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The Invitation to the Movement

The Invitation to the Movement

Jun 02, 2019

Passage:Acts 17:22-34

Preacher: John Welborn

Series: The Movement: A Journey with Theophilus

Detail:

June 2, 2019 Pastor John Welborn

The Movement: A Journey with Theophilus

Invitation to the Movement

Acts 17:22-34

“So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: ‘Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along & observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world & everything in it, being Lord of heaven & earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life & breath & everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods & the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, & perhaps feel their way toward him & find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live & move & have our being’, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art & imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; & of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.’ Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, ‘We will hear you again about this.’ So Paul went out from their midst. But some men joined him & believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite & a woman named Damaris & others with them.” Acts 17:22-34

Main Idea: The Church is a Movement with an Invitation to Everyone, Everywhere

Three Facts about the Invitation to the Movement:

I. The Message is Relevant – Acts 17:22-23

 

We approach Theology (study of God) from one of two perspectives:

  • Speculation: We can wonder & guess what God is like & who He is. Speculation includes philosophy, spirituality, religion & social sciences, human efforts to make a guess as to who God is & what He’s like. 
  • Revelation: God has chosen to lift the fog of human speculation with divine revelation. Speculation is man’s attempt to comprehend God; revelation is God’s communication to humanity with clarity that is otherwise impossible! There are two types of revelation of God
    • General Revelation (Psalms 19:1-4, Romans 1:19-21) Act of God whereby He makes Himself known to humanity through creation, providence, and conscience so we might come into relationship with Him.
    • Special Revelation (2 Timothy 3:16, Hebrews 1:1) Act of God by which He makes Himself known to people by His redemptive work so we might come into relationship with Him.
II. The Gospel is For the World – Acts 17:24-31

 

  • God is Creator of the World– “God who made the world & everything in it” 

“The earth is the LORD’s & the fullness thereof, the world & those who dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas & established it upon the rivers.” Psalm 24:1-2

  • God is Provider for the World – “Does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life & breath & everything.” 

“…God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance.”  Romans 2:4b

“Not only do the temples not contain God, but these services in the temples add nothing to God…Instead of worshiping the Creator & glorifying Him, men worship His creation & glorify themselves.”  Warren Wiersbe

  • God is Ruler of the World – “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined the allotted periods & the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God…”  

“Yet he (God) is actually not far from each one of us.”  Acts 17:27b

“Great truths about God led to the truth about themselves: they were specially created by God, & he was seeking a personal relationship with them.” Kent Hughes

  • God is Savior of the World – “…he commands all people everywhere to repent.” 

“Because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed…”  Acts 17:31a

Two words almost universally used in reference to salvation:

Believe: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16

Repent: “Repent therefore, & turn back, that your sins may be blotted out.” Acts 3:19

  1. Everyone Will Respond – Acts 17:32-34
  • Mockers –“You believe WHAT?!?!” If you follow Jesus, you can’t escape being mocked. 
  • Delayers – Those who are intrigued, but do not feel ready to embrace the Gospel.
  • Believers – Those who hear the gospel & respond immediately. 

Where are you in your response to the Gospel? God has appointed a date in the future when He will judge the world on the basis of what they do with Jesus. Are you a Mocker? A Delayer? Or Believer?

Sources and Further Reading Opportunities:

  • Bible Exposition Commentary – Warren Wiersbe (1996)
  • Holman NT Commentary: Acts – Kenneth O. Gangel (1998)
  • Preaching the Word: Acts – Kent R. Hughes (1996)
  • New Bible Commentary – D.A. Carson (1994)
  • New American Commentary Series: Acts – John B. Polhill (1992)
  • Daily Study Bible Series: Acts of the Apostles – William Barclay (1976)
  • Word Pictures in the New Testament – A.T. Robertson (1933)
  • MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Acts 13-28 – John MacArthur (1994)
  • The IVP Bible Background Commentary – Craig S. Keener (1993)
  • Tony Evans Book of Illustrations – Tony Evans (2009)