Archive of Pastor Darby's Sermon Notes, transcribed from his original typewritten documents

Acts 17:22-34

PAUL'S MESSAGE 'TO THE UNKNOWN GOD'

Apr 4, 1965 pm

GOD SENDS HIS TRUTH TO THE POOR AND THE WEALTHY, THE DULL AND THE WISEST OF MEN

  • Stephen stood before the Sanhedrin court and was killed - Paul stands before court of wisdom of the world.
  • Here the wisest of the philosophers sat in judgment on ideas and doctrines.
  • But it is the court and the judges who are on trial this time, not Paul.

HOW GOD USES THE MEN GOD USES

A great city - like ours - much worship - very religious - but hell-bent.

GOD USES MAN'S PROBLEMS

  • Paul had to leave Berea - for stirring up the people.
  • He had to leave his friends.
  • He had to wait for them in Athens - a great city of culture and learning - fine arts

GOD USES MAN'S FREE TIME

  • Paul's spirit was stirred at the idolatry he saw (16)
  • He reasoned in the synagogue and in the city (17)
  • Paul preached Jesus and the resurrection

GOD USES MAN'S CURIOSITY

  • Paul met the Epicureans - atheists, materialists - the two enemies Christians have to fight, pleasure and pride - highest aim, to gratify self, pleasure, sexual sin, sensuality
  • He also met the Stoics - Pantheists, stern law, educated pride, opposed humility, self denial, dead.
  • They were curious.
  • They brought him to the court that had condemned Socrates - very religious - but hell-bent.

A city very much like our own- churches on every hand, but corruption, sin, vice, all over.

HOW A MAN OF GOD DELIVERS GOD'S WORD

THE INTRODUCTION - YOU HAVE TO GET A PERSON'S ATTENTION

  • Paul knew his men, they were too superstitious - and so today
  • He had marched down their Idol Row - seen one marked to an unknown god.
  • He started with a startling statement - "I know your unknown God."

THE PICTURE OF GOD - THE UKNOWN GOD - THE ONE THAT IS DIFFERENT

  • God made the world (24), was not made by men, or thought up by them.
  • God ordered the world (25 & 26) and put man in his place
  • Men should seek Him and be happy; He is not far from all of us.

WHAT GOD EXPECTS OF MANKIND - REPENTANCE - JUDGEMENT - SALVATION

  • God expects REPENTANCE - once overlooked ignorance - but not now - He demands sorrow for sin!
  • God will judge in righteousness (more than these) and the time is appointed
  • As proof, He raised Jesus from the dead.

HOW MEN REACT TO GOD'S MESSAGE PREACHED BY GOD'S MAN

SOME MOCKED - THE HARDEST THING FOR MANY TODAY TO BEAR

  • They prided themselves that they would give anyone a hearing - but they didn't
  • But the philosophers blamed Paul for unveiling their ignorance - resurrection
  • The idolaters took their sin out on Him - but God is not mocked!

SOME SAID, "WE WILL HEAR YOU AGAIN"

  • This saying also echoes through hearts today.
  • Most of them never did- and died lost, and without a chance - procrastination
  • Many today put off a decision until it is too late.

CERTAIN MEN CLAVE TO HIM AND BELIEVED

  • The Preacher had to leave town soon after this message
  • But he left a small nucleus of believers in the town of the wisest of men
  • God was near enough to be found of any who seek Him

ARE YOU ONE WHO WILL BELIEVE AND ACT UPON YOUR BELIEF?

  • The Holy Spirit can guide you into wisdom and knowledge
  • Will you mock, procrastinate, or say Yes to Him?
  • There are battles to be fought today; where are the warriors?

• Invitation