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February 8, 2021 12:00 am
Generation and beyond. Often had these letters written on their tombstone in F in S in C.
It was an abbreviation for the Latin phrase translated into English. I was not. I am not), and plot comes along and announces bad news about a coming judgment. Terrible. True to say that to the fact that there is an afterlife.
They should prepare for, as Christians, we need to remember that there really is two sides to the gospel. On the one hand, God is love.
He lovingly offers salvation through his son Jesus Christ. But the problem is that most people take God's love to mean that he would never punish sinners well that's the other side of the gospel because God's wrath will be poured out on those who refuse the salvation he offers Stephen Davies lesson today is entitled the other side of the gospel was go back to acts chapter 17 one more time. Paul is nearly finished his introduction. In acts 17 of this unknown God built several attributes. So far, we discovered that God is Creator of the universe that he is transcendent. That is, he is above and separate from all of creation, yet he is imminent, that is personally deeply involved in his creation.
He is the maker of mankind. The human race from one man one original man is white. He is sovereign over the nation see if that determines how long they'll exist and their borders. He's determined that Paul has. He sort of laid all this out as backgrounded by the way, he doesn't begin his message with hell thank you doesn't begin this message with judgment. He reserves that after he's delivered all of this background information about who got it. That's instructive.
By the way for us as well. In fact, background information is very helpful. I came across as rather humorous illustration of what happens when you don't give enough background is from James Woolsey, the former director of the CIA. He told the following story about a funny incident wasn't funny at the time of funny. Later when FBI agents were conducting an investigation at the San Diego psychiatric hospital for medical insurance fraud and they spent all day, hours and hours and hours reviewing thousands of medical records dozens of agents they worked out quite an appetite. The agent in charge of the investigation. Call the pizza parlor across the street to order dinner for all of his colleagues in the following telephone conversation was was taped and it could be played back and transcript for agent calls and says hello. I like to order 19 pizzas and 67 cans of Coke pizza place where would you like them delivered across the street to the psychiatric hospital you want. 19 pizzas delivered to the psychiatric hospital. That's right, and who are you, I'm an FBI agent.
FBI agent that's correct. There are number of us over here we've been working around-the-clock or starving right. Oh yes, and by the way, deliver the pizzas around the back entrance. We got the front doors locked, pizza guys and I don't think so and hung up background information is given a little bit of loving provided all the background information about this unknown God now called moves to this eternal verdict brings up.
I'm referring to is the other side of the gospel is picking up in verse 30 chapter 17 therefore, this is his conclusion on the basis of everything I've said, therefore, on that basis.
Here's the verdict having overlooked. The times of ignorance God is now declaring to Mendenhall everywhere should repent.
This is not, by the way, Paul's way of saying that God's chosen to overlook sin.
Paul actually uses a play on words here this loss to the English reader uses the word for ignorance. It's the same word translated unknown for unknown God earlier for their offer to the got no saying all this time even worshiping the unknown God out of ignorance. God is merciful, he left you unpunished because of your ignorance. In other words already brought judgment because of your unbelief in God is gracious and long-suffering and we know this writer text of Scripture. Paul's hinting at this. He's merciful in withholding his wrath from being poured out when she could have done a good bearing all of you and this Areopagus this hill long ago. Paul is effectively saying you're still alive which which means the judgment of God hasn't happened yet and it's time to repent.
Now there's an urgency.
Why verse 31 because he God has fixed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness, perfect justice judgment is coming by way Paul isn't just talking to the Athenian's notice how Paul refers to the whole world got is going to judge the whole world and you notice that God has determined the date he's already determined the time for this to take place.
The term Paul uses for judgment is in the future tense. It points to the future moment when he will judge the world. This word judge carries the legal technical nuance in Paul's day of being haled into court. There's a coming day when you will have an appointment in the courtroom of God, who will judge you rightly, he will judge you justly.
The data is already been set is fixed today in which he will judge the world in righteousness. Notice through a man. M this is a reference to the God man Christ whom he has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising him from the dead, push the pause button here for moment and tell you about a couple of judgments. The Bible clearly reveals for us there is more than one there very different. There is the judgment of all believers: the judgment seat of Christ or the bema seat of Christ.
The bema was the place where victorious athletes were awarded their laurel wreaths in different Greek city states maker, Lori, is that a different vines differently for having renderings of the Bible is very clear that this judgment is going to be for the purpose of determining all that was profitable in a person's life and thus worthy of warning you can jot a reference down and read at your leisure prescriptions. Chapter 3 second Corinthians chapter 5 all read a brief verse, verse 10.
From that text for we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be rewarded recompensed for his deeds in the body according to what is done, whether profitable or unprofitable to keep in mind this judgment has nothing to do with whether or not you're going to get in the habit.
Frankly nobody gets into heaven by doing profitable things right.
Nobody gets in for doing more profitable things unprofitable think the fact that you're being rewarded that which profited the glory of God is at work proves you're already there. No believer will ever be rewarded for anything except judgment. It's also important to understand the wording of the individual believer is the outcome of the evaluation. The outcome of the believer will be judged on how they ran their particular race, how they brought glory to God through Monday in acts of repetitive service in the home being faithful to spouse and family would be reportable at your job where you clock in and do your duties well would be reportable in the church where you serve the body will be reportable in the world, delivering the gospel plantings sewing watering the seeds of the gospel, perhaps dying a martyr's death given specific text that will be workable. Perhaps earning the church faithfully as an elder special reward as well.
These are all mentioned in Scripture. Following this evaluation, the believer is then going to serve Christ in the kingdom in their assigned honored position. The Lord talks about the faithful steward of one talent is given. Five. The one with five given 10 as relates to our service for him and that millennial kingdom. So the judgment is going to take place sometime after the rapture of the church were never given a text that tells us specifically when I believe it will be the end of the tribulation. When all of the spiritual fruit from someone's life will be able to be tallied by our sovereign rewarding Lord is my believe that. Imagine that the rapture of the church takes place tomorrow. Your testimony is going to linger. The effect of your witness will linger in ways that we can't even imagine right there will be neighbors.
There will be friends. There will be classmates who know you're just not showing up anymore. They remember what you believe. We know during the tribulation. There is going to meeting credible movement of the Lord, bringing many to believe from every tribe and tongue and nation to be an amazing period of spiritual harvest as God also calls Israel to repentance and faith as a nation is 144,000 Jewish evangelists are there in a circle the globe can be absolutely amazing all that to say it's possible that something you are now doing something you have said to someone can trickle down through the course of that tribulation. In their spiritual fruit that then would be reportable so it still effectively being toweling, so to speak. Since the purpose of the bema seat is to reward the gospel in the character of God lived in and through your life.
God will more than likely wait until the end of human history as we know it preceding the millennial kingdom to reward his his church. I can't remember if I told you this or not. If I have you enjoy hearing it again. It's optimism for preacher J. Vernon McGee has been on the radio for decades. In fact, it's almost 30 years after his death. I believe you heard J. Vernon McGee that amazing, but J. Vernon McGee has a desire among others to be on the radio during the tribulation.
He after the church's rapture. He had a strong desire to be used by the Lord as long as his radio program could be aired even during that tribulation. I think he wanted to irritate the antichrist is only J.
Vernon McGee could irritate the actually he wanted to add to the fruit glory of Christ through his ministries right now being heard more after his death and during his life he is. I believe right now and about 100 languages delivering the gospel so the reward and the spiritual fruit of his testimony is an in and until the end of the tribulation. That it there's another judgment described in Scripture. And this is the judgment that Paul is referring to here in acts chapter 17. It's the judgment we call the judgment of the great white throne. Now that judgment is for unbelievers only. If you're there it is forever.
Too late. The books will be opened and God will reveal through the deeds of every individual why they are worthy of this verdict.
How in fact, their rebellion against God was nothing less than idolatry and their hard worship themselves. He's going to take time. We will know how but is going to reveal the truth of their just punishment.
And Paul writes their mouth will be stopped tells the Athenians here that judge just so happens to be Jesus, God the son, the man God the father raised from the dead.
So if you can even imagine the irony in the fitting nature of the Lord God the son being the one with the gavel in his hand, so to speak, soon as it is judge over all of humanity. Why, because ultimately they worship themselves, rather than place their trust in the plan of God through the blood atonement that looked the cross and those who lived after the crucifixion, who trusted in the blood, atoning sacrifice after the cross, looking back toward so after their own personal judgment by Christ himself, having been haled into the courtroom of God. They will be sent to hell forever.
Now when Paul delivers this verdict.
The most popular opinion in Athens and by the way, to this day. It is the opinion that at your death, you cease to exist.
That was the popular opinion in Africa affect people in Paul's generation in Athens and beyond. Often had these letters written on their tombstone in the F in S in C.
It was an abbreviation for the Latin phrase translated into English. I was not. I am not. I care not. I was not.
I am not and I care. And Paul comes along and announces the other side of the gospel which uses bad news about a coming judgment. This terrible truth as if to say, better care, better care.
He speaking to these Epicurean and Stoic philosophers gathered here on the Areopagus before the Supreme Court of Athens mankind. He effectively says is not moving toward extinction which the Epicurean philosophers would believe mankind is not moving toward being absorbed into the universe as the Stoics believed mankind is actually moving toward this unavoidable appointment with the risen Christ who will be seated on this terrifying white throne. So Paul delivers this in his first message to these Athenian mankind is not heading toward a reunion with all their friends as I've had people tell me what was the reaction of Paul's audience the same reaction we get to this. First, some ridiculed for 32 and when they heard of the resurrection of the dead.
Some began near the language here indicates that there sneering didn't begin right when Paul mentioned the resurrection. Paul is actually finished with his message and then they begin to sneer primarily because of the resurrection. The verb to sneer means to scarf it means to literally lock there's ridiculed. Secondly, while some ridiculed others procrastinated verse 32. Again, the part other said we shall hear you again concerning this and make an appointment. I lab my dear little bit more about that stuff that many do that with me, with no indication that Paul ever return to the Areopagus that he ever returned to that hillbilly ever return to that supreme effort. Some ridiculed, some procrastinated.
Thirdly, some believe verse 34. Some men joined him and believed, among whom also work Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named emeritus, and others with them, but you love that some believe. Some believe told anything about the merits were not given other names of those who became Christians were only left with this one day interesting. Verse 34 Dionysius the Areopagite. In other words, Dionysius belong to the Council that sat on this bill. He was a member of the Supreme Court of Athens, and he believed that. Can you imagine all the other long robes as it were, our market and in carrying or putting them off and you have this one guy who blocks all of the current and by the grace of God, believes God was at work and when you deliver the gospel, by the way to your Athens symbols sneer. Some will mock some will jeer. They may not do it to your face, and may do it behind her back. Some might procrastinated and say you know your nice guy is such a nice crutch you have.
I'd like to hear more about that one but you never know his heart. God is moving will really James Montgomery voice in his commentary on this text told the story of something that happened in the church pastored by one of his assistants before joining his staff can become her voice course with the Lord now he retells the story of its his commentary there.
There's a man who lived next door to the church there in St. Paul, Minnesota, and he never want to get to church. However one week. The church had a series of special meetings and it featured really wonderful music and that the neighbor heard the music was so taken to decide to go in here he reason with himself.
I'll just go in for the music and then I'll leave before the sermon. So when it he sat down in the back of the church. The last the last pew unit of the good seats and he sums to listen to music and leave when the musical portion of the evening was over the pastors to preach, he realized that every seat was taken around to menus hemmed in and was no way he can get out without being noticed and he didn't want the pastor to know you been there so I thought to himself all. Just do the next best thing. I'll put my fingers in my ears so I can hear so there he sat with his fingers in his ears and then my people. The pastor began to preach our regatta work in his heart.
Music of the gospel is presented in the lyrics of the joy of people's faces as they sang got a plan, one long sermon voice writes that little housefly get a buzz around the man's nose. The man ignored the fly as long as he could find a little fly buzz is too much for me took one hand swatted at the fly and at that moment, the pastor said he that hath ears to hear, let him hear his hand in midair knew this was for him and he listened believe save by the grace of God. But I discovered in my study is about 100 years after this Event Took Pl. in Athens church leader in Corinth during the church mentioned in one of his letters that Dionysius became the first elder in the church in Athens. He became one of the shepherds imagine this church now churches pastor was a member. More than likely a former member of the Supreme Court, the city where God was introduced in some of his attributes explained in his coming wrath delivered and call to repentance extended Dionysius and others were saved in this. It's intriguing to me below that will Paul did was simply describe God as Creator as the sovereign ruler, the Lord of the universe, of all the nations of the earth in the coming charge and that was was some belief I think this is instructive to us.
This is the gospel we really must introduced to the Athens where God has placed you and me because, listen, he is still unknown God. He is more than ever. The unknown God our world may respond in the same way. But in spite of that we go into Aspen like Paul Bergen over their unbelief, asking God uses being willing to deliver both sides of the gospel have been held peace with God and the wrath of God, and in some will ridiculed you and some will put you off and some will have ears to hear something as we deliver the gospel song.
Believe save, what an important reminder from God's today. It's not pleasant or comfortable to discuss the wrath of God but because it's a reality for those who don't place their faith in him.
We must, the most loving thing we can do for those who are facing God's judgment is to warn them and let them know that God offers them hope and salvation. Instead, you've been listening to wisdom for the heart. Today's lesson was the conclusion to Stephen Davies series entitled introducing God. It might be that as you were listening today, the Lord brought to mind some people who would benefit from hearing this lesson. If that's the case I want to encourage you to share it with them. You can go to our website wisdom online.org and send your friend the link to this lesson or the link to the entire series. That's a great way to share and spread the truth of God's word if it would encourage you to have this series in your library of biblical resources we have it available as a set of CDs that you can receive in the mail or as a digital download that you can access from your computer. Information on all of that is firstname.lastname@example.org if you prefer we can assist you over the phone today. If you call us at 86 648 Bible. That's 866-482-4253 tomorrow's broadcast. Stephen begins a series from first Corinthians 13 entitled true love. Be sure and join us for that right here on wisdom