Daily Devotional – July 1
Peter’s sermon on the day after Pentecost resulted in three thousand souls being saved (Acts 2). The people who heard his message were familiar with the Old Testament; they believed in the Creator God and understood sin and its penalty of death. As Peter preached to the Jews, he was able to build on their existing foundation of truth and reality.
Compare this with Paul speaking to the Greeks in Acts 17:22-34. The Greeks did not believe in a separate Creator God who held them personally accountable for their lives and actions. To them the “gods” were really just part of the universe and world around them. They did not have the same background as the Jews. So what was Paul’s approach? He began by explaining that God was not part of the universe, but the Creator of Heaven and Earth. He began with creation.
Today, our culture does not know the Bible, and people increasingly think of evolution, i.e. creation itself, as their creator. We need to begin reaching the lost in our culture by explaining that there is a God, who is the literal supernatural Creator of everything. Unlike the Acts 2 crowd, our culture does not know the Bible. Americans have become like an Acts 17 culture. Just like Paul, we need to start with the evidence for creation in order to explain the God of the Bible to them.
Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, ….”
~ Acts 17: 22-24
Source: "Pearls in Paradise" by authors Bruce Malone and Jule Von Vett