16 Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was being provoked within him as he was observing the city full of idols.
17 So he was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present.
18 And also some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were conversing with him. Some were saying, “What would this idle babbler wish to say?” Others, “He seems to be a proclaimer of strange deities,”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection.
19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is which you are proclaiming?
20 For you are bringing some strange things to our ears; so we want to know what these things mean.”
21 (Now all the Athenians and the strangers visiting there used to spend their time in nothing other than telling or hearing something new.)
22 So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects.
23 For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you.
24 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands;
25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things;
26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation,
27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;
28 for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’
29 Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man.
30 Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent,
31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”
32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some began to sneer, but others said, “We shall hear you again concerning this.”
33 So Paul went out of their midst.
34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.
It is important to be as equipped as possible so that we might be able to go the long haul with people who need to be reasoned with on the truths of Jesus.
Being properly equipped happens when we prioritize spiritual disciplines. These include spending time reading the Bible and gathering together to worship with other Christians. This is why the role of your home church is so important.
Together as a family of believers we encourage one another, we learn together, and we become equipped to handle whatever life gives us. We thrive in knowing we have a safe place to go to gain wisdom, accountability, and knowledge. We are filled up and then, in turn, we can pour out and share with others.
Don’t neglect the fellowship of believers (Heb. 10:25). Being plugged in to God’s local church reinforces the mission of what we are designed to do: love, serve, and teach others.
• Paul’s heart was stirred at the sight of so many idols. Can you relate to that feeling? What are the idols of our modern culture?
• Who do you consider to be the modern-day “Athenians” of our time? How can you reach them?
• Praise God for being the one true God whom Paul beautifully distinguished from all the other false idols the Athenians knew.