In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. Acts 17:30 (Acts 17:16-34)
When Saul Paul arrived in Athens, his soul be greatly distressed by tha idols scattered throughout tha port. Fer some days he sought ter reason with God-fearing Greeks and folks in tha marketplace. Day after day he chatted with ’em, explaining Skipper’s good spiel of grace and love through tha Son.
One group, Epicurean philosophers, began ter dispute with Saul Paul. Epicureans believed seeking pleasure be tha main goal of life. Such folks advocated living in such ah way as ter enjoy tha greatest amount of pleasure, only they also advised ter do so in moderation so as ter avoid suffering from overindulgence. Fer Epicureans, pleasures of tha mind whar better than physical pleasures.
Ah nudder group, tha Stoics, taught that folks should live in harmony with creation. They promoted ah god of self-sufficiency and independence. Fer Stoics, tha path of happiness be found in accepting tha moment as it comes, by refusing ter be controlled by desire fer pleasure, or fear of pain, and by using one’s mind ter understand tha world — ter do one’s part in nature’s plan, and by working tergether and treating others fairly and justly.
Epicureans and Stoics alike worshipped thar own way, own beliefs, own little god erected ter themself. In tha midst of all this along comes Saul Paul “babbling” ’bout some new “foreign god.” Because folks in Athens spent thar time debating new ideas and ways of thinking, they found Saul Paul’s words curious and asked him ter pontificate.
So right in tha middle of all this clamoring, Saul Paul stood and said, “I see that you are very religious, very suspicious in every way. Why you even worship an unknown god. Right here, this very minute, I am gong to proclaim who this god is. The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of the heavens and earth. He is not served by human hands, for he needs nothing from us. No, instead he himself gives all men and women life and breath and everything else. For from one man, this God made every nation. He determines the times of when nations will rise and fall and the exact boundaries nations will inhabit. Our God did this so that men and women would seek him and perhaps reach out to him. Our God is a God of relationships. He is near to each of you. We live and move and have our being in this God. In the past our God overlooked our ignorant actions and didn’t hold our sins against us, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. He has set a day when he will judge the world. The man he has appointed will judge justly.”
Now tha man Skip appointed ter judge be his very own boy, tha Son. He ‘ill sit in judgement over all of us.
After Saul Paul concluded his remarks, some fellers sneered. This be tha way most ever chat goes with them who doth not know Skipper. Some believe, others mock. Question be, how will ya react ter tha good spiel of Skip’s grace?
Will ya keep worshiping yer own smarts, Mother Ocean, Mother Earth, carnal desires, self-sufficiency, independence, unity in community, social justice, and treating others fairly? Or will ya give yer loyalty ter Skipper?
Whar ya come down on this ‘ill most likely determine if ya sail with tha Son ter paradise or in ter darkness.
Choice be yers. Choose wisely.