Reason, invention, discovery and the "unknown god"
Sermon for May 14, 2023
Acts 17:18 18Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, “What does this babbler wish to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection.
We live in a time of reason, invention, and discovery. We have experts, self-proclaimed experts, and expert want-a-bees on anything and everything in and outside of this world. But the most important expert we have is the expert on Jesus Christ and that expert is the Holy Scriptures alone.
Too bad that most people would rather spend their energy listening to someone who thinks they know rather than reading or hearing from the book that does know. Reading God’s word gives us the answers we need. However, you need to read the Holy Scriptures to know the true truth. And it is better to read the Holy Bible with those who have been studying it for a while.
If we use man’s reasoning, we will get lost and find ourselves worshiping things that lead us away from the benefits of God promises. Philosophy is a means of thinking of possibilities to justify a reason for your point of view. Everyone is by definition, a philosopher as we always try to think of possible reasons to justify our desires. Everyone has their own point of view, but not everyone has the knowledge to back up their point of view or prove their point of view is correct. Unless, of course, you think that hearsay, misinformation and theory are facts. That would be a mistake, but our world seems to thrive on unproven facts, believing lies, and believing theory as fact. Most of mankind’s reasoning is at best a wish for their own desire and who really cares if it is true or not as long as it feels good. Believe it or not, God’s reasoning is for our benefit and joy, but for some unknown reason most do not want the joy our God provides. Maybe because they do not go to the true expert, the true word of God.
Acts 17:22–23a 22So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23aFor as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’
I wonder if the unknown god was swinging a golf club. I could sure use a golf god to improve the way I swing my golf club. Or at least hold the ball still so I can hit it.
Throughout history there has been a god for just about anything, and new gods are invented by many every day. The problem with gods is they have no redeeming value, they can’t accomplish anything, they deteriorate over time, and they take up valuable space and collect dust. Why then do people continue to follow the god of glob?
The god of glob is anything that is man made, collects dust, and does nothing for the décor of one’s abode. People worship many things out of a wish to receive power, wealth, or some sort of success. We worship the true God to praise and thank Him for all that He has promised us and does for us and has done for us. As the song goes “Our God reigns.” You might say the gods of glob can’t even drool, but the one true God rules. And the one true God rules with grace, mercy and love.
Again, as the song goes, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.” We have a known God and He is a true living God. There is only one God, therefore He is the only God to follow. Following anything else is asking for eternal death. Following Jesus Christ is life. We who believe through faith in the one true God are gifted with life eternal. Can I get an Amen?
Acts 17:23b–25 23What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.
We have a God who came to us after creating us and said He came to serve not to be served. Why would you not want to believe and have faith in Him who serves. Sin makes you a slave to evil, God frees you to be His loving child. I know everyone wants a god who will save them from all the bad things we make happen. Actually, we have a God who in the end of this life, saves us from the consequences of our sin and gives us eternal life and joy.
Acts 17:26–28 26And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28for, “‘In him we live and move and have our being,’ as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’
We were created in the image of the God who wants to serve us. (Matthew 20:28). Jesus Christ came and healed the sick and crippled, gave sight to the blind, and opened the ears of the deaf. Jesus Christ made sure of our salvation, as it was, He who served us forgiveness while enduring His painful death on a criminal’s cross. And it was Jesus Christ who through His resurrection showed us life eternal for all believers in faith.
Acts 17:29 29Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.
We do not have an American made god, a god made by man, or a god made by anyone else. We have a God who is the maker, creator, and savior. We have Jesus Christ our Lord. We do not worship “a what,” but the true person of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit the one true God, who has made everything and anything, works to serve us eternal life with Him.
Remember the best man can do, is to make something of less value out of the material God provided for us. What man makes has side effects, kills, deteriorates, and breaks; what God creates has true purpose and He made it for our behalf.
However, it takes a real man to screw-up and taint what God has created, just look at us; look at what we have done, look into the landfills. Though we mess things up, God does not. God is faithful and just and forgives us into eternal life. Jesus Christ dying for our sins is the proof of God’s grace and mercy, and love.
Acts 17:30–31 30The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31because 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.”
We are no longer ignorant of God and His word unless we choose to be. But we can no longer play the ignorant card. We believe and have faith in what we believe because our God is a real God, and a God who loves us to life, life eternal. Amen.
Written by Pastor Curtis A. May