Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Speaking the Gospel Message Today: A Lesson from Acts 17

Acts 17:16 tells us that as Paul was waiting in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. The word distressed is also used in 1 Cor 13.5 when Paul speaks of love being not easily angered. Paul was distressed, irritated, provoked to anger at the gods that spread throughout the city of Athens. So what did Paul do? He preached the gospel. Did he preach an "angry gospel"? No. His anger at the idols led him to preach a message of grace and truth to a people who loved works and tolerance.

Today, we ought to be "distressed", "irritated", and "filled with anger" at the idols of the age. It is not enough for people to be interested in "another idea". But how do we preach or speak the gospel? Paul poured out his heart as he spoke of the glory of God and the resurrection of the dead. The lesson: be distressed and angry at the gods of the age but speak graciously of the glory of God.

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