Read 331 cont.) Acts 17:5-18:11. The Apostle Paul is continuing on his Second Missionary Journey and is in Europe, having been directed by God to leave Asia to go there, in Acts chapter 16. I noted that all Europe’s history was forever altered as a result of that one turn of events, as Paul’s bringing of the Gospel to Europe resulted in the laying of the Christian foundation for all that was ever good about Western Civilization. Continuing on to other parts of Europe, we pick up where Paul was in Thessalonica, in Acts 17:5. From there, we follow him to Berea and then Athens, Greece. It is while in Athens, we want to point out several matters of great importance.
In Acts 17, and verses 22 thru 31, we have a 9th presentation of the Apostolic message in this book. We learn that Paul has ascended Mars Hill there, and is invited to share his particular message to the intellectual elite of the city, known as the Areopagites. Since he was not addressing Jews who would be familiar with the One True God, who is the Creator of heaven and earth, Paul starts with what has come to be called Creation Evangelism; which begins at the beginning, rather than to pick right up with Jesus as the Messiah, and the Good news of His death and resurrection as he could with a Jewish audience in the synagogues. Paul’s message contains a couple of matters of keen interest. First, we want to note which of The 10 Essential Elements of The Real New Testament Message he got to bring to them, and we can find at least four. First, Paul calls for what is the 6th of the Elements when he presented the necessity to repent, turning from worthless idols, unto this Creator God. He next went to the 3rd of the Elements, explaining to them that there was a day of judgment by God coming, for which they needed to be prepared. He managed to get as far as the 5th Element as he alluded to the Christ who was dead, but had experienced a resurrection from the dead. His presentation was not fruitless, as we next learn that a few exercised the 7th of the Elements, when we read that they believed Paul’s’ message of Good News!
But, a second matter, of tremendous import can also be found here. With Acts 17:27 and 28, we could say that Paul laid out for these Athenians, and for all people, actually, what is the true meaning and purpose of life! I don’t want you to miss this, and it would be best to share it, and stop, that you might come away with this thought and ponder it. According to scripture, it could be fairly said that the meaning and purpose of your life is to ‘seek God and reach out for Him with the hope of finding Him, for He is not far from any one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being.’
We were created to know God; to enter into a relationship with Him, and to experience an ever-deeper love relationship with Him all the remaining days of our lives. You may do this by means of believing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell