Acts 17:22-34 (click for full reading)
“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 human hands” –Acts 17:24
Religion and Politics
(Click on the title above to listen to the sermon)
Today’s reading from 1Peter says “Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an account of the hope that is in you…”
Can you do that? If your faith provides you with a sense of joy or gratitude or hope, could you defend that hope in a world that may scoff?
This week Paul is out there proclaiming the gospel of Christ, the same good news he tried to snuff out by persecuting followers of Jesus. He is establishing churches and developing leaders. And even though he complains about not being eloquent, Paul finds himself in Athens defending the hope that is in him in one of the most sophisticated cultural centers of his day.
Paul bothered to learn about the people of Athens before he proclaimed the gospel there. He toured their city. He read their poets. Paul shared the good news of Jesus and some of the people ridiculed him but some also came to faith. It’s an amazing story with many connecting points to the culture surrounding the church today.
Questions to ponder/discuss:
1. Athens was known to be a city filled with a variety of idols and differing views on religion. How does this connect with the culture in our country today?
2. Paul was dismayed when he saw so many “idols” that people worshiped around Athens. What “idols” might Paul notice in our culture? How do these idols affect the way we live out our faith?
3. Do you feel like you have a deep enough understanding of the bible and the Christian faith to give a good defense of the hope your faith provides?
Are you growing in your faith and understanding of the gospel? NOW is a great time to renew your commitment to maturing as a Christian. Participating in GroupLife or a small group bible study are just a couple great opportunities at POP to grow deep so you are better equipped to reach out.