Monday, 31 March 2014

"But Now..."

At the heart of what we do in speaking about Jesus, is to call people to turn from serving dead idols, and to trust in the living Lord Jesus that they might have real life.

Here are three encouragements from the end of Pauls sermon in Athens to equip us to speak the gospel to our unbelieving friends. You’ll find it in Acts 17:30-31.

1) Speak Boldly
“…but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.” (v30)

This passage begins with a command. God commands everyone everywhere to repent. He calls them to turn from their rebellious ways and to submit to His rule in Jesus.

If we understand this we can speak boldly and urge our non-Christian friends, family and co-workers to ‘do a u-turn’. The God who alone has all authority demands repentance of every single human being, therefore we can speak boldly as we calling people to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus.

2) Speak Urgently
“For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed.” (v31)

The passage continues with a reason. This is the reason God commands all people to repent. The next big date in God’s diary is that day when all must stand before Jesus as judge. It will be a day of infinite joy for those who have trusted in Jesus, but a day of infinite terror for those who have continued to rebel against His rule. On that day it will be too late to repent. Every day is a day closer to that day. Therefore, we must have a ring of urgency as we speak.

3) Speak Confidently
“He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.” (v31)

The passage finishes with proof. Here is Gods proof that there will indeed be a judgment day: He has raised the judge from the dead. Jesus has been raised from the dead, and so shall all people shall be raised to stand before Him as judge. Some will go to everlasting joy in His presence and some to everlasting pain. That day will come.

As we speak and call people to repent in light of that coming day, we can do so with full confidence. Why? We have a historical and public proof from God that judgment day is coming.

Jesus has been raised. Therefore, let us speak the gospel boldly, urgently and confidently as we wait for His coming.