Bible Study: Acts 17: 28-31 | Robert driskell

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In the first part of this passage, we saw that everyone has an innate sense of the existence and presence of God. The passage also tells us that God created everything, sustains everything every moment, and in light of these facts it is ludicrous to think that God lacks anything. We also understand from these verses that God has arranged the times and places of our existence to ensure that we understand our responsibility to Him and that we have the opportunity to respond to His loving offer of salvation.

In light of these previous verses, let’s pick up where we left off in Acts 17:

“28 for in him we live, we move and exist, as some of your own poets have said:” for we are also his children. 29 Being therefore children of God, we must not think that the divine nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man.

Paul reminds his listeners that even their own secular writers noted that some god exists. And that they count on this god to support them. We are reminded here that Paul is introducing these people to the one true God. He warns them that the true God is not found and does not consist of gold, silver, stone, or anything artificial. It is separate, and above all else.

“30 Wherefore, having forgotten the times of ignorance, God now declares to men that all men everywhere must repent”

Because God loves us and is merciful, he has given us the time and opportunity to understand what he requires of us and that we repent and live for him. If humanity had got what we deserved (in other words, if God had judged us according to our sins when we committed them), there would be no more humanity. However, he has chosen to graciously give us time to understand his revelation, in his Word and in the creation around us (Romans 1:20), so that we may choose to follow him and those who have chosen not to following Him could not say they did not know they were responsible to Him.

“31 because he has appointed a day when he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, having given proof to all men by raising him from the dead. “

Some consider the phrase “judgment day” to be almost a cliché; a cheesy slogan created to “scare people in heaven”. However, the Bible repeatedly tells us that there will come a time when each of us will stand before God and answer for all that we have done and all that we have said. We will not be judged on our own vacillating opinions; we will be judged according to God’s holy standard. He who will judge will be Jesus Christ himself.

Conclusion

In light of what is contained in this single passage of Scripture (Acts 17: 22-31), we know that (1) everyone has an innate knowledge of God in them, (2) God is not contained in no structure, nor is He bound to all material substance, (3) He created the universe, all that it contains, and He sustains it at every moment, (4) He thus arranged the life and location of each person so that they have the optimal opportunity to know Him and His love, and be faced with the decision whether or not to submit to His Lordship, (5) He postponed the judgment of our sins for a while but, (6) He will judge each of us at a future date by His Son, Jesus Christ.

Therefore, we must each choose to repent of our sins and enter into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, having our sins forgiven and receiving eternal life. Or, we choose to reject his love and forgiveness, choosing to live by our own opinions, lusts, and desires. This last choice ensures that we will live eternally separated from his love… an eternity of misery and suffering.

He gives us that choice and it is a choice that each of us MUST make. Is your soul worth taking the time to make the right choice? God thinks so and sent his Son to die on a cross to save you (John 3:16).

NOTE: All scriptures are from the New American Standard Bible

Article by Robert Driskell

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