Let’s finish exploring how Paul engaged the lost culture in Athens.
Read Acts 17:16-34
After Paul confronts their sin of idolatry, he urges them to repent because there is a day of judgment. There is a Savior who is the Judge. And this is all possible because of the resurrection.
While Paul was very engaging, and non-threatening at first using their poets and trying to build bridges, he still preached the exclusivity of Christ. He preached sin, repentance, the exclusivity of Christ, the resurrection and the judgment.
This was totally foreign to them. In Greek thought, there was no idea of a end times judgment. That didn’t compute. The idea that after death all people would stand before the judgment seat of Christ was an alien concept.
Much like people today who do not believe in heaven or hell or bristle at the thought of judgment.
Resurrection didn’t make any sense to them either because matter was evil. If Paul would have talked about the immortality of the soul living off in the ether of outerspace or some New Age after life in the spirit world, they would have gotten into this.
But to have a crucified Christ die, and then come back to life in a physical body was offensive to them.
So what was the response? We see three.
First of all we see contempt. They mocked him.
Secondly, we see curiosity. Some wanted to hear more.
Lastly, we see conversion. A small number believed and were saved.
And that’s what we face today when we engage lost culture.
Contempt, curiosity and conversion. And we need to be prepared for that as a Great Commission Church.
We need to engage culture, address issues of idolatry, present the whole gospel, and do this in winsome and creative ways to build bridges of understanding.
Who in your life right now can you engage with the gospel? Who can you commit to make a disciple of Jesus?