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The Light Shines On Mars Hill Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
October 12, 2022 1:00 am

The Light Shines On Mars Hill Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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October 12, 2022 1:00 am

How do we shine the light of Christ in a complex culture? Paul used the beliefs and culture of the Athenians to explain the real God, the real essence of man, and the very real need of salvation Christ offers. In this message, we explore three responses to the Gospel. In the power of the Spirit, we can shine like Paul did on Mars Hill. 

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One reason for us, looking to Jesus phoned her all was the apostle to the Gentile. He moved aggressively to cities and reason beyond with the power of the spirit. Directing his energies and birthing faith. Wherever he preached today that power is on display atop a famous hill in a city known for its philosopher from Moody Church in Chicago.

This is running to win with Dr. Sir, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line after Luther, is it possible for philosophy to be compatible with the gospel. That's a very interesting question and it has been debated throughout centuries, Christians have taken different points of view on it.

But you know, even though I think that philosophy ultimately cannot be combined with Christianity. I see much benefit in studying philosophy is matter fact I have a degree in philosophy and I think to a certain extent. It has enabled me to interpret our culture. I've written a book entitled, no reason to hide is standing for Christ and a collapsing culture.

It deals with a number of different issues that we are facing today. What about the war against white supremacy. What about the canceled culture.

What about the triumph of the self.

All of these issues are discussed in the book no reason to hide and I'm glad that the apostle Paul on Mars Hill found no reason to hide and I think we have to stand with him. Let us go there. Now he's saying God made a you know you didn't make God look at all of the idols around here. They are man made about the God that I am proclaiming to you is not man-made. As a matter fact, he is the creator of all things that exist, and because of him that you have your existence.

That's the God I proclaim to you, and that's the God who can redeem you said begins by saying yes indeed God is Creator God is omnipresent. He doesn't exist in temples made by hand that was you can't build the temple and you're saying I'm building this temple for God and God is going to dwell there. No, no, no, it says in the Old Testament, the heaven of the heavens cannot contain the Solomon said how much less this house that I have all yes in Old Testament times, God was localized for the purpose of people connecting with him, but God pervades the entire universe and is everywhere and is not limited to a temple or an idol that is made with man and then no notice. Paul says you need to have a straightened out your doctrine of God and also your doctrine of man. That's the next part of the sermon. You'll notice it says verse 26 and he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods that could refer to the seasons and the boundaries of their dwelling place that they should seek God in the hope that they might feel their way. One of the translation says a girl their way to ward him and find him, yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for in him we live and move and have our being is even some of your own poets have said, were indeed we are his offspring.

I read it quickly.

We have to go through now and understand that in a little bit more detail. The apostle Paul is saying that first of all that God created man from one person and by the way, now science continues to have evidence that we all descended indeed from one set of parents. So the apostle Paul here in speaking to them about human being said, God determined the seasons and got determined where all of the various tribes would live if you asked the question why did Hamm go into Egypt and Jephthah went to Europe and Seth stayed in the Middle East. It is attributed to God that men might grow after God know what's in that text what he saying is, is that as people moved out into different areas and they begin to understand that the earth was created for man, and that's why they were able to live in different parts of the country through agriculture and what have you. They should have said to themselves. Surely God created this world. Surely this is all of him because of the light of history because of the light of nature because of the light of conscience. They grow after God hoping to find him and everybody groups for God they don't know it.

They have all kinds of substitutes the man who's involved in addictions and sexuality in and ruining his life trying to find fulfillment, and in some reasons He's groping for God, but he doesn't know it. He thinks that he can get by by filling his life with all kinds of substitutes people groped for God and then notice that you say will is God difficult to find. Well, there's a sense in which God is hidden, but there's also a sense in which he's revealed himself.

He is hidden and can be found. Look at what Paul says that they should seek God in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him, for he is actually not far from each one of us. Then Paul quotes two of their philosophers. He says in him we live and move and have our being. Even as some of your own poets have said, for we are indeed his offspring. I discovered this week that that phrase we are indeed his offspring come from a a Greek poet by the name of Arata's and he was actually referring to Zeus it's a poem about Susan. Then he ends by saying we are his offspring and the apostle Paul pulls that line out and says that the philosopher, the poet was right in what he said he just had the wrong God, but in him we live in the God that I'm proclaiming to you. We live and we move and we have our being.

And he's not far from any one of us. I can imagine that someone is come here today and you had such a difficult week.

You're in the midst of tragedy here in the midst of heart ache.

You've come today, perhaps with a conscience that is cluttered with all kinds of sin added to it and you say where can I find God, will the answer is that he is not far from you is not far from you. You can find an even where you are seated. You can find them. If you are listening today on the Internet and any one of the 80 countries of the world that we heard from you can find God.

There because he is not far from any one of us know what you people need to know today. They have to have the correct doctrine of God. The correct doctrine of man and the correct doctrine of sin. That's why he speaks about judgment and notice he says being then God's offspring.

We ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone or an image formed by the art in the imagination. God is not the idols that you can see as we walk through the city of Athens.

Paul is saying the times of ignorance God overlooked.

You know, in a time of idolatry. It is not as if God comes along and forgives those people and says it doesn't matter what God that you worship. But God has always been fair and always judge people on the basis of what they did with what they that the bottom line is, of course, that nobody lives up to what they know.

So on that basis.

They're going to be judged. That is also true regarding the final judgment, Jesus will not say to those who've never heard of Jesus. Well, you're condemned because you didn't believe in Jesus know know know know they never had that opportunity that would be unfair.

God will say to you, you're condemned because you had the light of conscience and the light of nature and you didn't live up to what you knew was right and that will be the basis of their judge. So in times past. God was more lenient and not in terms of his eventual justice, but people knew less, but now that Jesus has come, things are much more stringent. As far as God is concerned. Grace increases responsibility and never decreases that the more light the more responsibility and so you'll notice that Paul says in verse 28 that God overlooked those times. But now he commands people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given us assurance by raising him from the dead, just in that verse.

All of the things about final judgment. First of all, that is a fixed day you have to appear can send your attorney can't say I'm busy that day, Lord. You'll be there is compulsory and you'll notice he's going to judge us.

According to a fixed standard of righteousness and its God standard and is not yours and it is a terrifyingly holy standard that none of us can meet on our own. And that's the standard by which God is going to judge you and me and then you'll notice it says also that this judgment is going to be for the world and of course even though it mentions the word world. He's talking generally. But it's an individual judgment. You are going to stand before God individually nobody to hide behind. I heard that this past week. God is my witness, somebody told me that he was speaking to a woman and helping her to see that she was a sinner and she said she had never sent and then she said well let me correct that I told a lie. One time, but it was my husband's fault. I was not gonna work. It's not gonna work, individual judgment, and then he says he's going to judge it by the man whom he appointed, that is Jesus, and of this he has given us assurance by raising him from the dead.

Jesus is the one who is both Redeemer and Judge Paul says he's the one with which you have to do. He is Lord and therefore repent of your sins and trust him. And God confirmed that Jesus had the ability to forgive because after all he was raised from the dead, and when they heard about the resurrection of the dead verse 32 some mock others said we will hear you again about this. So Paul went out from their midst. But some men joined him and believed among them also was Dionysian, who apparently was responsible for the Areopagus Mars Hill and a woman named Damas. Now these are the three responses. You always have. Whenever the gospel is preached here to walk down Clark Street here in Chicago you would come to the Newberry Library and in front of the library where you have that park. It's known as bug house square and then one Saturday in July. They have soapboxes as it were, upon which you can stand in your given a bullhorn and and then you can preach whatever you like and people gather around you and they heckle you they stopped in the middle tell you that you're crazy and perhaps also some other things and that's the way in which you speak. Now I've been speaking there for three or four years, and again, they've already asked me for the summer and they want to have the title and I been agonizing over the title. Of course they want something controversial and very happy to supply that. But this summer I chosen the topic of why every honest historian should believe in the resurrection of so that should give some controversy. Imagine doing that in 15 minutes with hecklers in between. It's the closest that I get the able to preach on Mars Hill.

The closest that I can get and you know what all have the same three responses. First of all some mock I can already hear not based on historical evidence, but it can't be God doesn't raise people from the dead, the Epicureans, they mocked because they were materialist miracles don't happen. How do you know it's just that we know the Stoics.

They didn't want to believe because after all, the soul gets absorbed into the one then disappears. There's no physical rest. Some mocked and some listening today possibly mock and the reason that you mock is not because the evidence is wanting.

It's because you do not want to believe you have made up your mind and you came, in advance, knowing that when you listen to this sermon, you would not believe what the Bible says God is not mocked.

I've been praying for you this week that God would overcome that mocking spirit and then the Bible says some procrastinated will hear you again. We want to do more comparative shopping and we want to see if we can come up with a religion that is more in tune with where we are at. Can't you just hear it and you know the Bible says in the book of Proverbs that if we delay, I wrote the text down but I didn't write what it actually says, but I know it's there somewhere in the Bible it warns about those who delay and it was Dr. Sweeting who like to say that the road mark tomorrow leads to the town never bottom line, I can tell you this. If you delay today.

You'll delay tomorrow you'll delay the next time you hear the gospel and the next time you know many people who intend to accept Christ at 12 midnight actually die at 1030.

If you're here today.

Do not delay in believing in Jesus. Don't fall into the trap of the procrastinators and then finally some believed, some believed and I'd like to think that in the audience that is here as well as the way in which these messages get broadcast on radio and what have you that there may be some in whom the Holy Spirit is working.

I was thinking this week of Lydia whose heart the Lord opened and God is opening your heart. You are open to the truth and there is enough conviction of sin in your life for you to know that you really do need a Savior and Jesus is the only one out there. So what you need to do is to believe on him to trust him. The Bible says to repent, because that day is coming, in which God is going to judge the world and because he is not far from you and him you live and move and have your being. That means that he's there in the balcony with those of you. Perhaps sat there because you wanted to be a distance from what is being done today. I don't know but it could be God is there to know and God is here, and what you need to do is to reach out to him and put personal faith in Jesus as your sin bearer and remember God raised him from the dead. As proof as proof of the fact that he was the son of God who came to redeem centers and as I hope to show every honest historian must believe in the resurrection of Jesus. My question is do you believe, and if not, what is your excuse and how will you explain that to God in the day that he is fixed to judge. Let's pray together. Father we pray that in a day of idols in a day when people believe in whatever God they want and think that they have the true one because they like the God that they have created in their minds. Would you father lead us to the true one, the one who knows and sees and created and the one also redeems through Jesus Christ take this message. However, given that I pray father that you might work in the lives of many that right now they might believe, and I do need to ask you today my friend, have you believed in Jesus.

If not you can trust him right there because he's there with you where you are seated. Father, we thank you for this message from the apostle Paul, thank you that it still rings in our culture with our idols use it mightily. We pray and help us to be able to explain the gospel to culture that's Lost Its Way in Jesus name.

This is pastor Luther once again I want to urge you if you've never received Jesus Christ as your Savior. To do that right now the gospel is paramount. It is most important at the same time.

It's very important that we also understand the culture around us at the top of this broadcast. I was asked by Dave about whether or not philosophy and Christianity can be united and I said that I did not think so but I need to tell you this, philosophers are very very important and powerful because they have ideas that eventually filter into the culture. For example, in my new book, no reason to hide. I point out the continuing influence of Karl Marx and other atheists. So it's important for us to understand this and people today are living at a time when they have to ask themselves the question, am I woke enough to be seen as virtuous. You and I need to understand the meaning of those words, the meaning of the question that I have just asked. I've written a brand-new book entitled no reason to hide is standing for Christ in a collapsing culture.

I've written this book to help us understand the pressure points that the church is facing today.

Pressure points that your children are facing in school that business people are facing in their line of work. It is everywhere where facing cultural streams that want to change what we believe and pushes into the world's mold for gift of any amount. This book can be yours. Here's what you do go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Let me just share my heart with you and let you know how much we appreciate your support, your prayers, you are helping us get the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world, but also to help people make it all the way to the finish line go to RTW offer.com or call us right now at 1-888-218-9337 it's time now for you to ask pastor Luther question about the Bible or the Christian life. How we act is definitely noticed by those around us. What we do often reveals the state of our hearts, Richard wrote to us concerned about his church. Here is his story.

What is the role of a pastor's wife in respect to a church we have a pastor whose wife rarely attends church sits in the back by herself. When she does come it appears to be in different she doesn't care to interact with anyone around her. Unless they take the initiative. While Richard first of all, a couple of comments all begin with the opening part of your question, what is the role of the pastor's wife often times in small churches especially. She is expected to play the piano to be head of the VBS to give leadership to the women's ministries and I think that that is unfair. What is the role of the pastor's wife. I can tell you what it is first of all to be a very good wife and supportive wife to her husband. Secondly, to raise her children along with her husband in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord that with regard to your specific question regarding your pastor's wife who comes rarely sits at the back doesn't connect with people that is actually a matter that your elders should look into.

Obviously it does not look as if they have a very compatible happy marriage and that I think affects the pastor's ability to preach, particularly on topics such as the Christian home, and yet at the same time I want to be very cautious and very generous. Who knows what she is going through. Who knows what she has gone through in her past. So we should perhaps refrain from judging but at the same time.

I think the leadership of the church should get the two of them together find out exactly what the point of friction is and see whether not there can't be some harmony some sense of closeness.

Some obvious sense of support that would come from his wife for her husband and for the church. Bottom line, I pray for you Richard.

I pray for this church that the pastor and his wife might be together on the same page honoring the Lord is one. Thank you Richard for your concern and thank you pastor Luther for your compassion if you'd like to hear your question answered.

Go to our website@rtwoffer.com and click on ask pastor Luther or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 to visit a place where the apostle Paul preached go to Greece and visit ancient corn, you'll find an amazing excavation of the very streets and buildings. But Paul saw when he first brought the gospel. There next time will watch God open hearts to the gospel and will see a local church being born. It's no secret that America is in crisis. Pastor's book no reason to hide standing for Christ in a collapsing culture will be sent as our gift to you when you give a gift of any amount to support running to win. Just call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 online go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com or write to running to win Moody Church 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago 60614 running to win is all about helping you understand God's roadmap for your race of life. This is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church


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