Ecc 1:9 “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.” Many times we like to take pride in our self, and think we are so unique. However, in a general sense, mankind is - and always has been - the same. Yes, we live in an evil age - but no more evil than in ages past. Noah lived in an evil age. So did Lot. So did Joseph. So did Elijah. So did Jesus and the Apostles. So we do today. There is nothing new under the sun. Yet, there is a blessed hope. There is a Savior. There is eternal life. There is redemption. There is Jesus Christ, the Lord Almighty.
In Acts chapter 17, the apostle Paul found himself in Athens, Greece. It was a city rich in culture and arts - as well as paganism and idolatry. While there, he came into contact with certain philosophers of the Epicureans and the Stoics. Epicureans, in a nutshell, believed the chief end of man was pleasure and happiness. Some thought to achieve this by mental tranquility, while others sought to achieve it by “if it feels good, do it”. Stoics believed in many gods, and thought there was a purpose for all things, and life should be lived, through tragedy and triumph, in pursuit of this purpose. Again, there is nothing new under the sun.
Certainly there are both types of these people all around. Many today are selfish and self serving, caring about nothing and no one but themselves. As long as they are happy, that’s all that matters, right? There are also many today that live in pride and self sufficiency, exalting there purpose above God’s, and “stoically” doing there own self righteous thing. And all of these put their intellect on the pedestal to be worshipped; whether or not they admit it. Such were the people in Paul’s day - and so it is today.
Today, as in Paul’s day, a man that remains in his pride cannot be granted eternal life. God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son (1Jn 5:11). If you refuse The Son (Jesus), then you refuse eternal life - and you count yourself unworthy of eternal life (Act 13:46). Some seek eternal life outside The Son, but this is not possible. Eternal life is IN The Son, and you cannot separate the two (1Jn 5:12). It takes humility to acknowledge you are an unrighteous sinner in need of savior. Prideful man cannot do it. The humble will be exalted by God, and the prideful will be brought low (Mt 23:12, Jam 4:6, 10, 1Pt 5:6). Whoever falls on Jesus will be broken, but whoever Jesus falls on will be ground to a powder (Mt 21:44).
There will always be those who mock Jesus and the resurrection, as well as those who will always want to put off Jesus until later (Act 17:32). Yet, there will also be those that believe and follow after (vs. 34). These are the ones that make all of your efforts worth it. Jesus Christ and the resurrection is the only hope this world has. Don’t give up! Don’t give in ! Don’t quit believing Jesus! Don’t quit standing for Jesus!
This was Paul’s message to the Athenians, and to all he came into contact with. He preached Jesus and the resurrection (Act 17:18). While he found different ways to reach out to different people (Act 17:22-23, 1Cor 9:22-23), his message was always the same - Jesus. Many people just sit around with itching ears, wanting to hear some new thing (2Tim 4;3, Act 17:21); but Paul stuck to his message time and time again. Stick to the message of the cross. It is truth. It is eternal. It is forever settled in heaven.
Why are we here? Why are we living during this time, and in this nation? The Bible tells us: to seek after and find The Lord. That is your purpose (Act 17:26-28). He is not far from any of you, but you must look for Him. You must desire Him. You must desire truth. If you are truly seeking The Living God, creator of all things; then you will find Him. And His name is Jesus. Until next time, rejoice in The Lord! (Philp 4:4)