The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. – Acts 17:30
Scripture reading: Acts 17:22–34
Paul arrives at Athens, the Capital of the intellectuals, which had produced famous philosophers including Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Those philosophers had dazzled the ancient world with their wisdom. And yet, Athens was filled with idols, one even erected “To the unknown god.” Paul proclaimed the Gospel to the cultural elite by stressing the fact that the Creator did not need the works of men’s hands, since He was Himself the author of life, as even some of their prophets had said.
Paul explained that in the past God had allowed Greeks and other nations to live in “the times of ignorance,” since He had not given them His special revelation that was given to the Jews. But now, in this New Testament Age, God’s universal Good News is broadcast everywhere. With this fact in mind, Paul added,
“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, and of this, he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
The audience was shocked upon hearing of the resurrection of the dead. That contradicted their philosophy; immortality of the soul was acceptable, but not the resurrection of the body! Paul left the assembly, “some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.”
Suggestions for prayer
Pray that ministers and missionaries would not be ashamed of the Gospel when they face modern sophisticated unbelievers or followers of other religions!
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Bassam Michael Madany has served as a missionary in Syria, and in 1958 he began a 36-year radio and literature ministry to the Arab world. After retirement Bassam & his wife Shirley began an Internet ministry, Middle East Resources, to provide a “Christian Response to the Global Challenge of Islam.”