TEXT: Acts 17:30-34
30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.
33 So Paul departed from among them.
34 Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed
In the context of this passage, we find the Apostle Paul going throughout the Mediterranean world proclaiming the good news to people in frustration, fear, and sin. In his travels, he comes to the city of Athens. Athens was the cultural and intellectual center of the ancient world. It was the city of Plato, Aristotle, and Epicurus. If you take all the universities of America and roll them into one, you have what Athens was to the intellectual world of that day. As in this day, in the midst of intellectual achievements and scientific advances, there existed both confusion and frustration. They were searching for an answer. And things haven’t changed very much in two thousand years. The world is still searching for answers.
The great intellectual minds of Athens did not have answers to their dilemmas, so when Paul got there, some of the philosophers came and said, “Paul, we’ve heard about your message. We’d like to hear more of it. How about going up to Mars Hill and giving a lecture?” So Paul did. He went up to Mars Hill, and there he preached his famous sermon. That day, he had a great audience of people who regarded hundreds of different gods and religions. Yet, they did not know about the one true God; they still sought for answers.
Paul stood up to that crowd to preach his sermon. And the first thing he said was this: “There is one God.” He said, “I saw an inscription coming up this mountain that said, ‘To the unknown God.’ Oh, I perceive that you are religious people. You believe in some sort of God, but you don’t know Him.” Paul said, “I want to tell you about this God. This God is the answer you seek, and He has a message for you.” Paul gave a three-part answer to the questions of the Athenians — an answer which applies to us today as well.
First, you must repent of your sins. Paul said, “God… commandeth all men every where to repent.” What do I mean by repentance? I mean that you acknowledge to God that you have sinned, and that you are willing to turn from your sins. Notice I said “willing.” You may not have the strength to turn from your sins, but by faith you are willing to turn if God will give you the strength. You say, “There are things in my life that are wrong, but I cannot give them up. I’ve tried. I just can’t do it.” If you are willing, God will give you the strength to give them up and turn from them.
Second, you must receive Christ by faith. You must receive the one who died for you; that is a definite act. It may be unconscious, or it may be conscious. It may be a quiet moment; it may be a decisive, climactic moment as it was in the life of Paul. But if you’re not sure by faith that you’ve received Christ, you’d better do it today. There are three little men who live inside us all — our intellect, our emotions, and our will. Intellectually, thousands believe in Christ. They believe in Him with their minds. But that’s not enough. You may have some emotion in your religion. You may have had an emotional experience at some time, but you never really received Christ. You must by faith receive Him, because it is an act of your will. You must say, “I will trust Him, I will follow Jesus.”
Third, you must obey Christ. You must be willing to follow Him and serve Him from this moment on. Following and serving Him means self-denial, it means cross-bearing, it means obedience. It means that you are going to burn all of your bridges no matter what it costs. It means you go back to your business and back to your home and live for Christ, no matter what it costs. It means you are going to be faithful and loyal to your church as never before. It means you are going to start praying in your home from this moment on. That’s what it means. And if you are not willing to do that, don’t come to Jesus Christ. He will not accept you just part of the way. You must be willing to go all the way.
When Paul finished his sermon, the crowd responded in three ways. Some derided; the Bible says they “mocked” his message. Some delayed; they said, “We will hear thee again of this matter.” But others decided; the Bible says, “Certain men clave unto him, and believed.” I hope that you will be among those who decide today. Believe in Jesus Christ and receive Him today. I am not asking you to a church. I’m asking you to give your life to Christ. I’m asking you to do a hard thing, because coming to Christ is not easy. Many people have made it too easy. It’s simple, but it’s not easy. Jesus went to the cross and died in your place. Certainly, you can take a few steps to give your life to Him. Simply say, “I need God; I need Christ. I want to be forgiven of my sins. I want a new life, and I want to start a new direction today.”
Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
If you are that person, ready to accept Christ today, believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.