THE TEXT: Acts 17:24-31 (NIV).  “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands.  And He is not served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He Himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.  From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.  God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.  For in Him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are His offspring.’  Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone–an image made by man’s design or skill.  In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent.  For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the Man He has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising Him from the dead.” How Can GOD Become Known? His creation is but one way. The starry universe, planet Earth, plant and animal life, birds and bees, the human body, the birth of a baby: ALL OF THESE AND MORE…speak loudly and clearly that GOD exist and is the Great Creator! If it takes someone to build a simple dog house [The “Big Bang Theory” didn’t build it], then to look around you–to see the starry, starry nights, it couldn’t have just happened… not without a Creator GOD! But there are other ways GOD reveals Himself to mankind. Someone said: “It is illegal to read the Bible in the public schools of Illinois, but a law that requires the state to provide a Bible for every convict!” So don’t worry, kids, if you can’t read the Bible in school, you’ll be able to when you get to prison! We Believe in the Book! The Book I’m referring to is the BIBLE–the Word of God. GOD’s Word not only reveals who GOD is, but also motivates us to live for Him! My studying, my detective work in Scripture daily, is what makes my day! His Word, by the Holy Spirit, inspires me to write this blog: The WORD Detective. It brings joy to my heart which in turn makes me want to SERVE the Lord. I WONDER WHY? GOD is constantly revealing Himself through His creation, through His Word, and in all kinds of ways: music, giving, kindness, all through people! And He does this for one main purpose: HE WANTS ALL PEOPLE TO BE SAVED IN JESUS! THE GOD WHO MADE THE WORLD NO LONGER OVERLOOKS IGNORANCE: “Such [former] ages of ignorance God, it is true, ignored and allowed to pass unnoticed; but now He charges all people everywhere to repent (to change their minds for the better and heartily to amend their ways, with abhorrence to their past sins). Because He has fixed a day when He will judge the world righteously (justly) by a Man Whom He has destined and appointed for that task, and He has made this credible and given conviction and assurance and evidence to everyone by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30, 31 AMP). WOW! Pick out some specific words in the verses as I did: “but now…all people everywhere”; “repent”; a “fixed day” ahead; Jesus will “judge righteously”; God has given and made plain for all to see, “credible evidence” and “conviction,” “assurance” because of the risen Savior. See if you can see some words that might influence others. “We’re Not Stupid, you know”– My wife and I were visiting my mom in a rest home in Georgetown, Texas five years ago. Mom had Alzheimer’s disease, and dad couldn’t take care of her the way he wanted. We were waiting in the lobby for dad, to take him out for dinner, when my wife noticed there was a group of people playing Bingo in the dining hall. She took a stance behind an elderly lady seated at a small table, when a number was called out: “N-3, N-3”. Dianne leaned over the lady’s shoulder and said softly, “I believe you have that number on your card,” pointing to the place on the Bingo Card. The lady looked my wife right in the eye, and at that point, instead of saying “Thank you”, she loudly exclaimed, “I’m not STUPID, you know!” Walter Heller, a leading American economist of the 1960s, an influential advisor to President Kennedy said one time: “While I was speaking to the Denver Independent Banker’s Association, one of the bankers suddenly hollered out, ‘You’re stupid!’ Well, that may be true, but you don’t like it publicly acknowledged. Five minutes later, I tried to keep my composure when he said the same thing. I noticed a slight slur in his voice. So I was ready for him the third time when he said, ‘You’re stupid!’ I retorted, ‘Yes, and you’re drunk!’ He replied, ‘Yes, but tomorrow I will be sober and you will still be stupid.’ I believe that many Americans aren’t to bright. How can a person living in America the Beautiful, not believe in JESUS– where there are so many churches and so much preaching of Christ on TV? There is a point, when God will no longer overlook ignorance. It’s beyond me how anyone living in this country and most parts of the world, where anyone could say, “WHO’S JESUS?” Ignorance and Apathy–What is the difference? I don’t know and I don’t care. Many people don’t know about JESUS and don’t care to know about JESUS. BUT THERE IS A TIME WHEN GOD WILL NO LONGER OVERLOOK IGNORANCE AND INDIFFERENCE. And I think, we’re living in that time! “NOW IS THE TIME!” Right now, in the communities we are living in, now is the time for people to believe in JESUS and become a follower of His. A time for people to surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Matthew 7:21: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.” Are we GUILTY of not doing as JESUS tell us to do recorded in Scripture? That is a rhetorical question. We are ALL GUILTY. It’s relatively easy to say, “I believe in Jesus,” but it could be a different matter when it comes down to the “doing it”; what we know He wants us to do. YES, It’s Time! It is time people quit playing IGNORANT. I’m confident in saying that many people in America believe in JESUS but…they just don’t want to commit to Him in any form. Probably because they’re having too much fun right now where they are in life. They may fear, by making a public confession of faith in JESUS …the FUN MAY END! But that’s when the real fun begins! THE GIVEN PROOF--(verse 31): “Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he raised him from the dead” (KJV). GOD’S WORK CONFIRMS HIS WORD: What Word? In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. GOD CONFIRMS HIS WORD WITH ANOTHER PROOF: What’s that? Why are we here today? Further Evidence– It is the resurrection of Jesus Christ that PROVES… the God who made the world we live in today. One writer put it this way: JESUS predicted His own resurrection; the Old Testament prophesied it; the tomb was empty; the grave-clothes were vacant; many people saw the resurrected Christ–looked on His face; touched Him, heard His voice, saw Him eat. The disciples lives were changed forever, as my life was changed forever when I became “born-gain” in 1972. The RESURRECTION was the central message of the early church and still is today!. Men and women today are testifying to the risen power of Christ (or should be), that transformed their lives. I love Old Hymns as some of you faithful readers of my blog know. I use the lyrics of the music to illustrate a Biblical truth (you can add the tune in your own heads). Alfred Ackley wrote a song with a practical example of how God wants to be made known in the ‘right now!’:
I serve a risen Savior, He’s in the world today;
I know that He is living, whatever men may say;
I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer,
And just the time I need Him He’s always near.
He live, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.
“Why is it thought incredible, by any of you, that God raises the dead?” (Acts 26:8):
If God, who made the world, who flung the stars into the sky, who made planet earth keeping everything together, He can make you and me...why should anyone think it’s incredible that He could raise JESUS from the dead?
The GOD who made the world, does raise the dead; He raised JESUS and He will raise us from the dead while giving us eternal life through our faith.
BELIEVE IT… STAND ON IT…TRUST IT!
Believe it with ALL your heart.
PREACH IT…TELL IT…LIVE IT!
The GOD who made this world wants to be made known. He no longer overlooks our ignorance and has PROVED HIMSELF CONVINCINGLY. Now is the time, if you haven’t already made the decision to follow Him. For a time is coming…and then, it will be too late to repent.