Witnessing in the “here and now”

 Acts 17:  29-32

29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.

32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.”

 

When Paul found himself with an opportunity to preach to and witness to the learned men and women of Athens he gave us a model for witnessing in the world in which we live.

relevantHe started off with what they obviously knew — they knew there was something beyond this world.  They worshiped many things.  They also knew that what they worshiped seemed a bit incomplete.

They had an idol to an “unknown” god — because they felt like they were missing something.  This is where Paul steps in.  He began where they were — religious, but still questioning.

The sermon in Acts 17 starts off dealing with abstracts.  General concepts of divinity and the need for man to connect with whoever or whatever is out there.

But soon he brings it done to some concrete — here and now — concepts.  He tells them that God is acting in the world right now.  He sent his son and that son was killed but resurrected from the dead.  Those who witnessed this are still with us — and can stand as witness.  This is here and now — this is not theory.  There is testimony to back it up.

Sometime in our churches we get so involved in the abstract and theological — but fail to bring it back to earth.  We fail to apply the message to where we live right now — How can this be part of my life Monday morning?

Acts 2:42-47

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

 

We talk a lot about the apostle’s teaching, fellowship, breaking bread, and prayer.  But is there any “AWE”?   Do we see the “WONDERS AND SIGNS” of changed lives in our churches?

Are there concrete examples of the power of the resurrection in lives that we can show to the doubters and questioners as proof of Christ being true?

If there isn’t then we are merely trying to convince men to believe abstract ideas that we hang onto.  What really witnesses to the doubter is the proof of changed and resurrected life.

The “old man” of sin is dead and buried (Romans 6) and a “new man” is resurrected into a new life (Romans 6).

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