Acts 17: 24 “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, 25 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. 26 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. 27 “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. 28 For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ 29 And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone. 30 “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. 31 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.”32 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.” 33 That ended Paul’s discussion with them, 34 but some joined him and became believers. Among them were Dionysius, a member of the council, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
Can you imagine telling someone who prides themselves in "knowing" everything that their way of thinking is wrong and that there is only one answer and He is Jesus? The above scripture shows how bold and sure Paul was about the message he was sharing. Sadly, today we seem to have weakened our conviction about the message of the Bible and with that comes a waffling that has consequences. Liberalism has waited for the crack in the foundation of believers' beliefs and our weakened resolve about Jesus being "the only way" has allowed other "new ideas" to become stronger. If we follow the example of Paul we will be very well-versed in the Bible and know what we believe in order to share the whole message of salvation and abundant life. Paul told them in an earlier verse that the one they were seeking was the one they did not know. Why? Because their pool of candidates was poisoned with their new, man-made ideas about what truth was and it only confused them more and more. When we drift from the total belief in Jesus and Jesus only we do a disservice to the Bible and to the sacrifice of our Savior. If we are going to be liberal may we only be liberal in our love for the Lord and our neighbors. If we are going to be true believers then we must stand on the following scripture as Paul did. John 14:6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
What we are lacking today is believers who will stand firm in the truth and not back down. Oh, you will get chastised, misunderstood, rejected, and many other distractions will be thrown your way, but like Paul we need to live in the wisdom of God's word and all doubt will be resolved in any discussion. In verse 32 they laughed when Paul spoke of the resurrection of the dead, but some said "Tell me more about this." So the Word of God does still have an effect as the living Word of God and does not return without effect. Which brings to mind the need to memorize the Word. Memorize to give us strength and direction and lead others to Jesus as well. Our Pastor this past Sunday told us the importance of knowing 1 John 1: 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. I agree with him and this was the second verse I ever memorized and I use this verse many times a day.
Like Paul, you never know when you will need the Word in your daily life, and invoking it to explain an important truth to someone is vital to the cause of Christ. Don't just read the Word, but study and "know" the Word because It is alive!! The Lord spoke these words through His prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 55:11 It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it. The writer of Hebrews wrote this in Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
The Word of God will never die as Jesus said in Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear. These are "absolutes" and cannot be changed with the shifting tides as man's philosophies do. So the latest, greatest ideas are very temporal and can change, but the foundation we live in is the unchanging Word of God because God never changes. Hebrews 13:6 So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” 7 Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 9 So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your strength comes from God’s grace, not from rules about food, which don’t help those who follow them.
Trying to follow anything less than the Word of God is going to be generated from our pride, and in that pride, we believe we know a better way, but there are not any better ways. Okay, there I said it!! Now I have to live in that truth as well. The Word of God is our ONLY hope for living this life we now have in Christ. Get into the Word and memorize it and do as the Psalmist said in Psalm 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. So when you have your moment to share this great truth it will be "who you are" and not "what you do!"
The Pilgrimage Continues