Well…at least I am trying to blog consistently.
Yesterday was Acts 17. Paul goes into 3 towns. He shares the love and grace of Jesus as the Messiah in the synagogues and then in Athens has the opportunity to share with them about the Lord in the meeting of the people of the city. There he starts with their religious zeal and their temple to the unknown god and then he tells them about the Lord…the maker of the Heavens and the Earth.
So the main point of the sermon on Sunday came less from what Paul said but how Paul went about saying it. I find Paul’s approach enlightening and fresh. Paul goes into each place and reasons with people. (This means what he says makes sense.)
He talked about what they did know about to share with them what the did not know about. In the synagogues they know there was to be a Messiah. So, he told them Jesus was the Messiah and proved it from fulfilled prophecies. But in Athens he told the Greeks about God and how he made the universe and everyone in the world. He started with what they knew. They knew that all the temples they had all over the city were still not covering their need for God. So they made one to the unknown god. They needed to know who He was. They wanted to know who He was…or at least many of them did.
So he tells them. He does not rebuke them for how they were living without this knowledge. There is no condemnation for not knowing Jesus was the Messiah. He does not rant and rail against all the idols. He does not yell at people for believing what they believe. He shares with them the Truth…Jesus.
So here is the main point in the sermon yesterday.
No one will ever believe the the Truth because you belittle what they believe to be true.
I want to ask some Christians where they got any idea this would work. Where did you see people do this successfully? Where did you see people (who were honoring the Lord God) do this Biblically?
Arrogance is never the answer.
So whether it is in sharing the truth of Jesus with someone who does not believe in Him or whether it is in discussing a Biblical passage or interpretation with someone who does believe, arrogance does not make your answer right. Belittling them will never make them understand what you believe to be the most important of all truths in the universe.
So show people some respect. Treat them with love. Listen to them like they actually mean something to you. Speak truth. Don’t back away from your convictions. Don’t compromise. But don’t be a jerk.