Summary: Fads today offer opportunitis for evangelism. Pul on Mars Hill pointed out a fad and turned it into a way to reach that Athenians.
Fads – a chance for evangelism
Last week James talked to us about worshiping when we really don’t feel like it. When things are bad and even scary that we need to find a way to worship.
Paul and Silas are set free and after an apology, visit the new church members and go on their way. They go to Thessalonica where there is a Synagogue and over a period of three weeks some Jews and a large number of God fearing Greeks and some prominent women come to believe.
Paul uses his standard operating procedure of gong to the synagogue and explaining the Jewish scripture. He pointed out that the long expected messiah would come into the world and suffer in die, instead of being a military leader he would be a servant.
Some of the important Jews are said to be jealous and go out and get come bad characters to cause a riot and blame the teaching of Paul and Silas who just happen to not be around at the moment.
Isn’t it strange that the mob can’t find these two men.
That night the brothers, the new believers, send Paul and Silas 45 miles to Berea. When they arrive they find the members of the Synagogue to be of more noble character and received the message that Paul shared.
The Berean’s were unique in how they responded to Paul’s teachings. It describes that they listened to what he had to say, then they went home and verified that what he said matched scripture.
I would suggest that is a good practice for anyone that listens to preaching. I am not saying that you should distrust the preacher, What I am saying is that you should not just automatically take in everything without an verification.
We are all gifted by the Holy Spirit to find the truth. However, you have to take the time to read scripture and compare what you hear here, or the radio or the TV preachers.
Any person that wants to gain a real understanding of God must at least make some attempt to learn for themselves.
Preaching is ok and helpful, but it must be supported my individual prayer and study, otherwise some flashy person can “almost” tell the truth and lead people down the wrong path.
The Bereans became believers not only because of Paul’s preaching ability and charisma but, because they researched his message and what this itinerant preacher said was true. It really was in the scriptures.
Things were going well in Berea; however, trouble makers from Thessalonica come to the city and stir up the crowds against Paul’s teaching.
The brothers (the new believers) sent Paul to the coast where it is thought that he traveled to Athens by ship. His companions Silas and Timothy stay at Berea for a time and Paul sends that they should join him there.
He is expecting to be in Athens for several weeks waiting on his companions.
Athens is the center of art, culture and education in Greece.
However, it had lost its place of power, the government and commerce had moved to Corinth down on the coast and left Athens as a sleepy little college town.
The population was well educated and philosophers shared thoughts and ideas as a general pass time.