Then they took him to the high council of the city. “Come and tell us about this new teaching,” they said. “You are saying some rather strange things, and we want to know what it’s all about.” (It should be explained that all the Athenians as well as the foreigners in Athens seemed to spend all their time discussing the latest ideas.)
So Paul, standing before the council, addressed them as follows: “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about. “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 17:19-34 NLT
Yes, telling people that God is much, telling them that they are little, telling them about their ignorance and about their need to repent and turn to God because judgement is coming – it is a divisive message. It was then. It is now. It is divisive because it cuts to the truth of the heart – What is more important? Self, ego, and my way (which is sin and death) – or the Truth and Life of His Way?
We aren’t called to convince people that God is nice enough to fit into their own box of what God should look like and act.
We aren’t called to change the Truth of what God has laid before us as His Way in order to make it more palatable to those who aren’t even seeking Him.
There was a time before we and the world knew about Jesus that God was, to us, “seeker friendly” because of our ignorance, friends. But can you claim ignorance today that you have not heard of Jesus Christ?
Can you claim that you have not heard of His sacrifice on the cross as a testament that He alone is worthy of judging between those that are His and those who are dead in their sin?
Can you claim that you do not know that we must repent and turn to God?
Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me. They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin.
John 15:20-22 NLT
Then Jesus told him, “I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.” Some Pharisees who were standing nearby heard him and asked, “Are you saying we’re blind?” “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied. “But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.
John 9:39-41 NLT
The church of Satan wants you to believe that saying a sinner’s prayer or acting religious allows you to avoid the consequences of your remaining in your sinful and worldly ways – but the gospel, this Good News, is a different message. It is a message of God’s extended mercy and grace and of our need for repentance – not just “once upon a time” but as an attitude, perspective and direction in our lives.
Yes, many will mock this message and turn away. Paul let them leave, He didn’t change the message. Making it softer to try to “win them to God” doesn’t get them any closer to the narrow gate and path that few will find – it just satisfies the ego of those who foolishly think that God “needs their valuable ego” in order to fulfill His Kingdom work. God does not “need you” – you have the opportunity to be used for His glory and honor. We don’t use Him as a way to establish ourselves over others in a seat of our own glory and honor over the pigs at our feet.
No, the ones who hear this Truth and recognize the voice of the Good Shepherd, the call on their lives, the drawing and quickening that the Word of God has on them – they have hearts that are prepared to receive, their eyes are open to the light, their ears are open to receive truth.
“If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.
John 14:15-17 NLT
If you are softening the Word of God in order to feel like you are winning religious converts to Christianity – in order to “put up big numbers for God” – you are more interested in the approval of people than you are the approval of God. Worry less about your own plans for being great in the Kingdom of God, and stay true to the course of the gospel, the Good News.
If you are ashamed to share this divisive Good News of the gospel with the world along with the testimony of what He is doing in your life, don’t fool yourself by saying “I’m not equipped”. You are either a born again, Holy Spirit filled Child of God with a living testimony of your faith – or you are deceiving yourself with religion. You do not need theology lessons, because we aren’t sharing and teaching theology and religion – we are sharing the truth about the personal touch of God upon our lives. So I ask, “Is He touching your life in a personal, real, alive way today?” If not, repent and turn to the Lord. He is faithful and true and ready to come live with you, if you truly want Him in your life. He will forgive you. He loves you. Just come back home into His arms and know His loving touch.
So, you have either stopped reading at this point – or we are in agreement that it is Good News, it is the only Good News. There is no other way to God, and it is revealed to you. You are no longer in darkness, you are free from your sin if you choose to love and serve the Lord as first and only in your life. If you don’t like the message, you can reject it, or you can decide that you want to believe and learn more. He has an amazing purpose and direction for you, Child of God. I look forward to seeing you on that day where we will forever worship Him and give Him honor and glory Forever and ever. Amen.