“He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries. “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone. “God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.” When they heard Paul speak about the resurrection of the dead, some laughed in contempt, but others said, “We want to hear more about this later.” That ended Paul’s discussion with them, but some joined him and became believers. Among them were Dionysius, a member of the council, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
(Acts of the Apostles 17:24-34 NLT)
Paul, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, speaks forthrightly to the leading philosophers of the time. He declares, without apology or hesitancy, the simple, yet profound, truth that there is a God who made the world and everything in it (Genesis 1: Whole Chapter). He is also the Lord of Heaven and earth (Colossians 1:15-17). He doesn't live in human made temples (I Corinthians 6:19-20). nor does He have needs. (Psalm 136:25 and I Timothy 6:17). He supplies all needs because He is the Source (James 1:17). He gives life and breath to everything (Genesis 2:7). Paul went on to state that God made, from one man (Adam), all people's and nations of the earth. (The name Adam means first man/first blood. Eve means mother of all living). Paul even exclaims that God knew, in advance, the nations that would rise and fall and He set their territorial boundaries. God's intention was for mankind to come home to Him through His extension of mercy and kindness. The only reason He lets us live, is for us, perhaps, to return to Him through repentance and live again. Paul boldly told them that we cannot make God out of things made with human materials. In essence, he was saying, that God made the materials, not the other way around. Although God overlooked people's ignorance because of their sinful, fallen nature, He now commands us to repent of our wickedness and turn to Him for redemption. There is coming a day of judgment for all men. The only way to prepare for that day is to recognize Jesus as Savior and Lord and repent of our sins, accept Him into our lives, and receive everlasting life (John 3:16-18). Jesus will be our Judge! "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:" (John 5:22 KJV). Paul's last statement was the emphatic, dogmatic, fact that Jesus was raised from the dead. He was telling them that Jesus was verified to be the God who was real by rising from the dead. Only Life (God) could conquer death (Satan and sin).
Some laughed, some repented. Dionysius, one of the prominent philosophers became a child of God, a woman named Damaris, and others as well! We must never be ashamed of standing boldly for Jesus Christ, even if the culture around us is listening to another philosophy. There is only One Way! Jesus!!! (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; I Timothy 2:5).
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Rev. Curtis Norris