Saturday, May 6, 2017
“And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter. So Paul departed from among them. Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them” (Acts 17:32-34 KJV).
How true even today!
Verse 16 says: “Now while Paul waited for [Silas and Timotheus, verse 15] at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.” Idols are everywhere in the city. Paul is excited. What an opportunity to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all these lost and dying heathen! He discourses with the synagogue Jews and other religious persons; also, in the marketplaces, where large crowds exchanged ideas and products, Paul speaks with individuals (verse 17).
Philosophers of the Stoicks and Epicureans hear him, and wanting to learn more, they bring him to Mars’ Hill, a place where religious ideas were offered and debated (verse 18-21). Paul preaches to these idolaters from verse 22 to 31. Notice his final remarks: “ Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.  And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:  Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man [Jesus Christ] whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”
Then comes today’s Scripture. Some mock Paul’s “resurrection” comments—Greek religion denied it, and so do they. Others want to discuss it more at some later time, but they too are more interested in learning more of the “new thing” (verses 18-21) than believing God’s Word. Paul left them, not bothering to waste time. Still, a few men and women trusted Christ as Saviour and thus joined Paul. We see such scenarios even today. Some want to hear; others do not. Some believe; others laugh. We should not be surprised or discouraged! 🙂