Acts 17:30-31..30 Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent,
John Phillips said: “God had deliberately looked the other way, although their insulting images were the very essence of sin. In gracious forbearance the unknown God, so holy, awesome in His majesty, so purely spiritual in His being, had deliberately overlooked their spiritual wickedness. He made allowance for the depraving ravages of sin, which could cause men to exchange “the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.” [Romans 1:23].
But no longer. The time for such forbearance was past. God was now demanding repentance. There was no longer any excuse for idolatry; ignorance was now not only culpable but inexcusable, for the time had come when men must respond to the truth of the gospel. From henceforth, to refuse to repent constituted man a willful rebel.” A
31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”
“Greek theology, such as it was, had no concept of coming judgment. The apostle exploded that idea like a bombshell in the ears of his hearers. Men are accountable to their Creator for their action; the day of judgment has already been set.
John refers to this judgment as taking place at the great white throne, at the end of the Millennium when man’s final revolt against God results in the dissolution of the universe [2 Peter 3]. It will be the first event in eternity when time, as we know it, will be no more. Paul did not go into all that with the Athenians.
God is righteous, and He always does what is right. Man is unrighteous. Man does not want to know the truth.
The day is coming when God will expose men’s thoughts, words, and deeds, and people will stand exposed, not only for what they do but for what they are. In the last analysis we do what we do because we are what we are. We are not sinners because we sin; we sin because we are sinners. It will be a terrible day when unrighteous people stand before an all-righteous God.
What proof did Paul have of such a judgment? He knew the One who would
conduct it. He was the One whom God had raised from the dead. Here Paul touched the heart and soul of the Christian message—the resurrection of Christ. This was the triumphant truth he blazed across the world. This was the essence of the Christian message to the human heart. Jesus lives. He has conquered death. The grave has no more terrors. Christ’s resurrection is the guarantee of our resurrection.
There is a resurrection unto life for the believer, but there is also a second resurrection, a dreadful resurrection, a resurrection to damnation for the unbeliever, and Christ’s resurrection guarantees that as well. All judgment has been committed by God to His Son, who being both God and man is equipped to act as mediator now and magistrate then. It is that aspect of Christ’s resurrection that Paul solemnly brought before the frivolous Athenians.” B
Notes: A- “Exploring Acts-Volume Two” by John Phillips p.125 & B- p.126
Henry Luke 1/20/2018
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