It seems to me that there are lots of people who have not idea who God really is; the God that Scripture talks about. There may be a lot of people worshiping the Lord and not know who he is. You can be very religious and still not know God. You could have been raised in the church or a particular religion and do religious duties and still not know the one you claim to worship. The Bible tells us that you can be religious and still not know God and therefore not make it to heaven. Religion won’t get you there.
The city of Athens was very religious, if you walked around the market place in 50 AD, you will find objects of worship, shrines, and statutes all over the city. Paul went there around 50 AD during his 2nd missionary journey. The Bible tells us that he was distressed (provoked within, irritated) when he saw the idolatry in the city.
They had an image or object of worship for every deity they knew at that time. They even had an inscription to “An unknown god.” just in case there was a god out there they didn’t know. They also gave this god a plaque.
Paul used this inscription to introduce the Athenians to the true God. A God what is known, and not unknown as they supposed.
The God of the Bible, Yahweh (The LORD) can be known. He has revealed himself through Scriptures so that people get to know who he is.
There are some things in Paul’s speech on Mars Hill that day that help us get a better understanding of God.
Read Text. Acts 17:22-31
That which you worship as unknown I will announce to you. (What you worship in ignorance, I will proclaim to you.
God is the Creator. He made the world and everything in it. He is Lord of heaven and earth. (v.24)
-Gn.1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
–Col.1:16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things were created through him and for him.
As creator he has ownership to what he created, he has the right to do what he pleases with his creation. The heaven and the earth are his.
Let’s get one thing straight, God doesn’t owe anything to you. You owe everything to Him.
Job 38-41 Yahweh answered Job. Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Isaiah 40:25-26 To whom will you compare me and who is my equal says the Holy One….
You and I need to right size God. He is the creator, we are not. He is above us. We don’t even have the right to question his judgment; that is not our place.
HE is self-sufficient. (v.25) El-shaddai
-He doesn’t need a temple to live in or people to serve him. He doesn’t need any of the things we could offer.
He is a giving God He is the giver of life (He gives us life and breath and everything) v.25
He created mankind in his own image and gave them the ability to choose. Throughout the Bible God enters into covenant with people determining where they would live and how they should live.
God’s acts of giving to people and his entering into covenant with them was so that people would seek him. God is personal and expects people to come to him.
Paul said he is not far from us because in him we live and move and have our existence. We live because of him.
You cannot put God in a box. He is not an image, a genie. He is doesn’t owe you an explanation. He is bigger than your knowledge. Our best scientific efforts will fall short in trying to prove God because he is bigger than science. He created science, he created you. We are here to declare his glory, to give him glory.
What we know about God is because he chose to reveal it to us in his Scriptures.
He is a just God. He will judge the world. “Just as He is faithful to keep his promises of blessings, God is also faithful to carry out His warnings of wrath. This is important to keep in mind in a time when so many doubt and even ridicule God’s intention to punish.” (Francis Chan-Multiply)
The time of ignorance is gone. He overlooked people’s ignorance in the past, but now he commands all people to repent.
You need to know the Lord and Creator; He has revealed himself so that people get to know him.
Repent from going your own ways and neglecting his guidance. God doesn’t want people to perish or be lost, he is patient and he is waiting for them to come to know him.
God will judge the world by/through Jesus. Jesus Christ is the Just Judge. The proof is the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, then there won’t be any judgment. Jesus himself will be the judge. “All authority has been given to me..” Matt.28:18
John 3:18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
1 Peter 4:5 But they will have to give an account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
God wants you to know him. He has revealed himself through nature, history, through the pages of Scripture so that people would know him and seek him. God made himself known to us in the person of Jesus. He came to save people from sin and death. Do you know God? Can you imagine at the end of the age Jesus will say to you. “I never knew you. Depart from me”
Then you have to make sure you know him today.