While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply troubled by all the idols he saw everywhere in the city. He went to the synagogue to reason with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and he spoke daily in the public square to all who happened to be there.
He also had a debate with some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. When he told them about Jesus and his resurrection, they said, "What's this babbler trying to say with these strange ideas he's picked up?" Others said, "He seems to be preaching about some foreign gods."
Then they took him to the high council of the city. "Come and tell us about this new teaching," they said. You are saying some rather strange things, and we want to know what it's all about." (It should be explained that all the Athenians as well as the foreigners in Athens seemed to spend all their time discussing the latest ideas.)
So Paul, standing before the council, addressed them as follow: "Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your alters had the inscription on it: 'To an Unknown God.' This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I'm telling you about.
Paul was disturbed (deeply troubled v. 16) by sin/lostness.
- People who are so sensitive to God that they are troubled/concerned when they see sin, people hurting, starving, etc...
- Samuel stayed up all night weeping because of sin
- In Luke: Jesus looked out and wept..."If you only knew peace was coming"
- Entertained: Even if it's on the sidelines...sometimes we aren't broken by sin...we have a good time watching it happen (but we aren't doing it right?!?! hmm...)
- Numb: The World is too much of an emotional investment, so we just turn off our feelings--Thank God Paul didn't!
- What upsets you?
- What troubles you?
- (Lost, on a fast track to eternity separated from God? The Hungry? Poor? Human Trafficking?)
- Who decides what bothers you?
- Who influences you?
- We walk around all the time letting people influence and tell us what ought to upset us or trouble us. We ought to let the Word of God tell was should upset/trouble us. Open your heart and be affected by what God says. Don't let people tell you when to be happy or sad.)
- Ignore: "Ostrich Syndrome" putting your head in a hole. Sometimes you may feel overwhelmed and just hope someone else will do it, but God did not save you to ignore the lost.
- Complain: God did not call us to point out the problem, he already knows them, but to be part of the solution. What are you going to do about it?
- Participate in it (darkness): participating in what we condemn, solution: engage in the darkness.
- When he had a chance to speak, he spoke..."about the unknown God."
- EVERY door God cracked open, Paul barrelled through.
- Can you say to yourself each day, "I have done everything God has called me to do?!"
- "Have I capitalized on every opportunity?"
I have been blessed the past several weeks with these incredibly convicting and applicable sermons. Thank you Bro. Zach! (Hope you don't mind me sharing)