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Summary: Paul preaches on Mars hill. (Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:


Athens: A City of Extremes

Paul: A Man of Courage

Communication: A Message of Impact

Response: A Reaction of Conflict



• Mercedes Benz were the company who first produced;

• A car body design that absorbed the force of a collision on impact.

• One Mercedes Benz TV commercial;

• Shows their car colliding with a cement wall during a safety test.

• Since then of course many other car companies have followed its design.

• Someone then asks the company spokesman;

• Why they do not enforce their patent on the Mercedes Benz energy-absorbing car body.

• He replies mater-of-factly,

• "Because some things in life are too important not to share."

• How true!

• In that category also falls the good news of Jesus Christ,

• News that saves people from far more than automobile collisions.


• The apostle Paul, was the first person to travel widely telling people about Jesus.

• He is considered the first missionary - a word meaning; ‘Someone who is sent out.’

• Quote:

• “Someone has said that you are either a missionary or a mission field.”

• Meaning of course you need to hear and respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ;

• And when you have you then need to share it with other people.

• That is the mandate for every Christian.

• It was given to us by Jesus at the great commission - Matthew chapter 28 verses 19-20,

• And it has never been rescinded.

• “Therefore go…into all the world…to the very end of the age.”

• Although the great commission;

• Is the last recorded personal instruction given by Jesus to His disciples.

• It is also a special calling from Jesus Christ to ALL His followers;

• To take specific action while on this earth.

• Now you and I might not have a specific calling to go abroad to another country;

• But we can pray and support those who do;

• And our calling of course is to start witnessing where we are.

• Quote from Richard Bach:

• "Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you're alive, it isn't."

Note: The apostle Paul made three missionary journeys:

• We have read and already studied his first missionary journey in Acts chapters 13 & 14.

• This first expedition lasted at least two years,

• His second missionary journey is found in Acts chapters 16, 17 and 18.

• This trip is likely to have lasted at least three years.

• This is what we are currently looking at in our studies.

• And in a few weeks-time we will read and study his third missionary journey;

• In Acts chapters 19, 20 and 21.

• This final trip would last about five years.

Note: In Acts chapter 17 we are travelling with Paul on his 2nd missionary journey:

• After teaching some in Berea,

• Paul departed ahead of Silas and Timothy his friends and co-workers;

• And heads to Athens, possibly to spend the winter there - 51-52 AD (verses 14-15).

(PP slide 1). Athens: A City of Extremes (vs 16-22a)

• For centuries, Athens had been the cradle of democracy and education.

• Athens had been home to some of the greatest ancient philosophers;

• i.e. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle.

Joke: How many Philosophers does it take to change a light bulb?

• Socrates (469-399 BCE)

• "A light bulb unexamined is not worth changing."

• Plato (circa 427 - circa 347 BCE)

• "There is no need to change the light bulb because the only true light is knowledge."

• Aristotle (384-322 BCE)

• "First we must understand what we mean by change."

• Epicurus (circa 342-270 BCE)

• "We must consider whether changing the light bulb will bring pleasure or pain before we decide whether to change it at all."

And in response – how many Christians does it take to change a light bulb?

• Charismatic:

• 1 – His hands are already in the air.

• Pentecostal:

• 10 – One to change the bulb, and nine to pray against the spirit of darkness.

• Reformed:

• None – Lights will go on and off at predestined times.

• Roman Catholic:

• None – Candles only.

• Baptists:

• At least 15 – One to change the light bulb,

• and three committees to approve the change.

• Anglicans:

• 3 – One to call the electrician, one to mix the drinks;

• And one to talk about how much better the old one was.

• Christian Brethren:

• 0 – What do you mean change?

Athens: A City of Extremes:

• For centuries, Athens had been the cradle of democracy and education.

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