Summary: How to communicate to people who see God as a passive supernatural being

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How To Speak to People Who View God as a Passive or Indifferent God

(Acts 17:16-18)

Quote: God is not dead nor does He sleep. Time magazine once asked the question "Is God Dead?" Let them read what Paul the apostle wrote. "For it is God who is at work in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure." (Phil. 2:13,14)

1. What is the best way to speak to humanistic people who view God as a passive agent hesitant to interfere in the affairs of men?

Many of the Greeks were polytheistic since they viewed life from a humanistic or naturalistic perspective. They thought that the anger of the gods occasionally needed to be appeased (as evidenced by the many monuments on Mars hill).

Yet they thought the gods were indifferent to the personal concerns of individuals. We live in a day when many Americans only call on God when they are in trouble.

Few seem to realize that the Lord wants to play an active role by guiding, helping and teaching them how to grow in to Christ likeness. Paul knew how to speak to the Athenians in a way that reflected an understanding of their culture and world-view.

Ask the Lord to help you approach people with an understanding of their perspective and needs. Good communication begins with knowing the needs and views of your audience

2. Paul knew that the Athenians believed in many gods passively observing the affairs of people with little more than a detached interest.

The Epicureans chief goal was to obtain pleasure without having to experience any pain or discomfort – much like many folks in our present culture. Paul offered them salvation as a free gift through the resurrected Jesus Christ.

The great apostle knew how to connect individual’s felt needs with their spiritual need for forgiveness. Paul did not try to criticize their idolatry, but he used the monuments on Mars hill as an example of one memorial marked to an unknown God to spark their curiosity.

Take something familiar and lead your listeners to what is unknown about Jesus Christ. The positive approach works much better with those who look at life from a natural-humanistic perspective.

Ask God for the wisdom, patience and persuasive power only given through the Holy Spirit. Speak the truth in love.

3. Paul prayed for the Athenians realizing they were prisoners to their social, moral and naturalistic perceptions. Instead of becoming angry, fearful or critical of people around you ask the Lord to give you a real heart for their salvation or spiritual growth.

Everyone needs the Lord working in and through them to experience the best of life.

Trust God to give you a heart for people’s spiritual needs.

4. Paul knew that the sufficiency and power of the truth could penetrate through any human mind. Many Christians look at the natural-humanistic perspectives of most people around them and think – “What is the use of trying to speak to them.”

Paul spoke with great confidence in the power of the scriptures to reach the hearts and minds of the most resistant person.

Ask the Lord to give you a greater confidence in what the word of God can do to reach the most resistant humanistic thinker.

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