Acts 17:15-18:1

Every now and again, as a nation, we examine the number of religions present in our society and assess the apparent strength or following of those faiths. Indeed, we hold a census every five years which specifically asks people to nominate their religious affiliation. And even though, these days, it has become an optional question, the majority still answer the question.

All well and good. Except that the number of people who actually attend Church on Sundays—or any other day—is only a small proportion of the number who indicate some sort of affiliation with the Christian church.

We can easily conclude, then, “Do people really understand what Christianity is about? Do they really know why the church exists?” Because if the answer to both of these questions is “No,”, then perhaps we should ask, “What are we going to do about it?”

Now these questions are similar to the ones that the Apostle Paul faced when he entered the great city of Athens—a city noted, at the time, for the time people sat around talking about and listening to the latest ideas, and for the superstitious nature of the people. Indeed, there were idols everywhere, including (just to cover themselves) one to an unknown god.

But Paul didn’t need a census to tell him what was going on—it was obvious. The people didn’t know who the real God was. As a consequence, Paul was determined to put them right.

So he went to the synagogue, he spoke in the market place, and he stood up at a meeting in the Areopagus where the serious debating took place. In other words, he used everyday places to share the message of God; he used every opportunity available to him to share what he believed about God and about Jesus.

So what has changed in the last two thousand years? Not a lot. Missionaries have been sent out to spread the good news, but even in our own country people still don’t understand about God and the church.

Paul then is a great example. Indeed he used every opportunity to tell others about Jesus, and therefore has given us a model that we can follow. Because we need to use every opportunity to share our faith with others too.

Posted: 6th March 2020
© 2020, Brian A Curtis