The people to whom he preached
Paul was deeply moved by a third group of people-those who worshipped different idols. In his observation of their ritual he noticed one idol entitled “The unknown God” (Acts 17:23). What an amazing title given. Also how amazing that they would actually worship something that was not known to them.
This is indeed idolatry gripping their hearts and keeping them enslaved to the creator of it. Satan is the mastermind behind all idolatry and religion! He keeps minds blinded to the truth of the gospel! In today’s society
he is the god of this world blinding the minds of those who believe not lest the light of the Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them that they might be saved (2 Corinthians 4:4)
The message he proclaimed
Paul seized the opportunity by revealing the God they did not know. God made Himself known by the things they could see around them.
1- God who made the world and everything in it is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands (Acts 17:24).
It is important for us to teach the Living God that is the creator of all things. Many scriptures refer to Him as such and from a human perspective David sums it up so beautifully,
When I consider the Heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon the stars which you have made, What is man that you are mindful of him, or the Son of Man that you visit him. (Psalm 8:4 NKJV)
The heavens declare the Glory of God and the firmament shows forth His handiwork. (Psalm 19:1)
Through faith we understand the worlds were framed by the Wordof God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which do not appear. (Hebrews 11:3)
Much more could be said but it’s a good place to start when proclaiming the Gospel.
2 – He is not worshipped by men’s hands, as though He needs anything, seeing He gives to all life, and breath, and all things (Acts 17:25)
The idolaters were bringing gifts to their gods so they might be accepted by them. The living God did not need anything for He was the creator and owner of all things! How futile today many still think by giving to the poor or by doing some good deeds God will be pleased with them. It’s not what is brought but what is received from Him. The gift of eternal life. (Ephesians 2:8)
3- He has made of one blood every nation of men to dwell on the face of the earth and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings. (Acts 17:26)
How infinite is the mind of God that each person is born in the certain country and in the very time period He has determined! Also, we all descend from our first parents, Adam and Eve, created by God. We all are interconnected to each other. In Him we live and move and have our being, for we are also His offspring. (Acts 17:28)
4 – In the light of those wonderful truths in those times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men (mankind) everywhere to repent.
This simply means to change the mind about who they are worshipping and seek the Lord to forgive them for all their sins.
5- The reason this was urgent was because God has appointed a day in which He will judge the World in righteousness by that man whom He has ordained and given assurance by raising Him from the dead. (Acts 17:3)
God holds everyone accountable to Him and we will either meet Him as a Saviour or as a Judge
The response he received
The outcome of this sermon was that some mocked-which is not any different from many today who will not believe Jesus rose from the dead. Others said we will hear you again on this matter. (Acts 17:32) Neglecting the opportunity may be never to receive it again. However some believed both men and women and joined themselves to the Disciples.
Young preachers, there is a multitude of sermons from this sermon. Get working on it and keep on preaching the Gospel.