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Confronting the Culture (Acts 2/Acts 17)

by Jake Roberts

COC Lecompte Sunday Morning Worship Service – September 17, 2023

Sermon Outline:

  1. Peter’s Sermon in Jerusalem (Acts 2:5-41)
  2. Paul’s Sermon in Athens (Acts 17:16-34)

a.) Paul was Provoked in His Spirit (Acts 17:16)

b.) Paul was Persistent in His Speaking (Acts 17:17)

c.) Paul was Perceptive in His Surroundings (Acts 17:22)

d.) Paul was Personable in His Sentiments (Acts 17:22-23)

e.) Paul was Plainspoken in His Sermons (Acts 17:29-31)

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Introduction – This morning, I want to invite you to turn with me to Acts 2. I want to talk to you about Confronting the Culture. The way we interact with and approach the world we are charged with evangelizing and ministering to is very important. The way a culture thinks, operates, and grows is important – even church cultures.

ILLUST: Society of Fishermen Who No Longer Fished

     There was a group of people who’d lived in one region of the world, and they had a very unique way of life.
Much like any other people who live near coasts, people who lived near all the water-ways and rivers like so many of our ancestors in Louisiana, so close to the Red River – this group of people were a lot like that.

     And their main function in this life, was fishing. That’s how in their most ancient of years their ancestors sustained themselves, its how their tribes grew. And for all time and for all pretenses and purposes they always thought of themselves as fisherman.

     Oddly enough, no matter where these people migrated to, they always found fish in the waters all around them. In fact, just about every recorded migration or spread of these people, they still always found themselves surrounded by streams, or lakes, or rivers, that were always filled with fish even fish who were hungry.

      In their earliest recorded histories, these great people would fish the region empty, and then scurry to find a new fishing hole. But as time grew on, and more and more creature comforts became available to them, that started to change. Enter the present day. Week after week, month after month, and year after year, those who called themselves fishermen met in meetings and talked about their call to go fishing.

     Remember these the descendants of that great people still for some odd reason considered themselves and called themselves fisherman, but they didn’t do as much fishing...Continually they searched for new and better methods of fishing and for new and better definitions of fishing.

     They sponsored costly nationwide and worldwide congresses to discuss fishing and hear about all the ways of fishing, such as the new fishing equipment, fish calls and whether any new bait was discovered. These fishermen built large and beautiful buildings called Fishing Headquarters. The plea was that everyone should be a fisherman and every fisherman should fish. One thing they didn't do; however, they didn't fish.

     All the fishermen seemed to agree that what is needed is a board which could challenge fishermen to be faithful in fishing. The board was formed by those who had the great vision and courage to speak about fishing, to define fishing, and to promote the idea of fishing in far-away streams and lakes where many other fish of different colors lived.

     Large, elaborate and expensive training centers were built whose purpose was to teach fishermen how to fish. Those who taught had doctorates in fishology. But the teachers did not fish. They only taught fishing.

     Some spent much study and travel to learn the history of fishing and to see far away places where the founding fathers did great fishing in centuries past. They lauded the faithful fishermen of years before who handed down the idea of fishing.

Many who felt the call to be fishermen responded. They were commissioned and sent to fish. And they went off to foreign lands ... to teach fishing.

     Now it's true that many of the fishermen sacrificed and put up with all kinds of difficulties. Some lived near the water and bore the smell of dead fish every day. They received the ridicule of some who made fun of their fishermen clubs. They anguished over those who were not committed enough to attend the weekly meetings to talk about fishing...

    This great fishing society had forgotten its heritage. After all, they were not following their master’s great word
 ``Follow me and I will make you fishers of men?''  Imagine how hurt some were when one day a person suggested that those who don't catch fish were really not fishermen, no matter how much they claimed to be.

    Yet it did sound correct. Is a person a fisherman if year after year he never catches a fish?  Is one following if he isn't fishing?

    Folks, let me say again, I want to talk to you today about Confronting the Culture. Jesus called us to do as much, he said that his apostles – and by extension we can say us – would be “Fishers of men:”

Matthew 4:18-19 ESV

18While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 19And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

     Now, though I enjoy it greatly and wish I could do more of it, I’m no expert angler or fisherman. However, this much I know: you’ll not catch ANYTHING if you don’t have a viable bait in the water! When I was a little boy, and had the fledging attention span of a brain-damaged hamster, I’d usually end up playing around when my dad took me fishing. I’d just practice my casting, I’d mess around in the boat. And he would always say the same thing, “Son, you’ll not catch a fish if your bait’s not in the water!”

    We in the church need to do well to remember that! That’s why we need to know how we should be confronting our culture. So many churchgoers are called to be “Fishers of Men,” yet they remain in the holy-huddle of the church and do nothing more. They suspect that God is going to miraculously cause a fish to just reach into the boat, pull the line out in the water, and allow the fish to surprisingly catch itself!

    Worse yet than Christians who don’t have their “bait” in the water, are Christians who are using the wrong lure in the first place, or they’re not trying at all. I feel like some of us have been guilty of play fishing, playing at our witness, and not really giving it our all…

ILLUST: Man who threw lead weights while fishing

My cousin Lance tells me of an acquaintance of his who absolutely hates fishing. He’s not that great a fan of it at all. However, despite his lack of enjoyment, he actually owns a small fishing boat and would take his children fishing! The weirdest thing of all, though, is what this guy would “throw” at the end of his fishing line.

    Most of us who enjoy fishing could spend hours discussing baits…the colors, the shapes, the hook styles, the presentation techniques, how to fish that bait, and so on. This guy, though, would literally tie a metal nut on the end of his line and throw it out in the water and crank it back…the whole time.

    I think there are church people who go about being “fishers of men” in a similar way. We throw out the equivalent of a lead weight in our personal ministry efforts. We are using a hookless “lure.” There’s no substance, no draw, no fervor, no passion! We’re not engaging at all; we’re only going through the motions.

    So, to better encourage you to keep fishing for the faith, I’ve asked you to consider a pair of sermons in the Book of Acts. We begin in Acts 2, but I hope to expound for you (later) another sermon from Acts 17. Now, in Acts 2, those of you who know the scriptures will recall that this is the account of the Holy Spirit falling on the believers on the Day of Pentecost.

 

  1. PETER’S SERMON IN JERUSALEM (Acts 2)

    This is not long after Jesus’ ascension back to heaven. He sent his Apostles to go and wait in the City of Jerusalem for the coming of the Holy Spirit. When the Spirit fell on Pentecost, Peter gave what some call the Church’s first sermon. The result was incredible, the response was incredible. Notice what it says after the fact:

Acts 2:41 ESV So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

    We in the church yearn for and long for the kind of revival in our world. And I’d not say that God couldn’t do something like that even today, the recent revivals and worship services in some American universities come to mind. God can still bring 3,000 people to repentance in a single setting today.

    Perhaps you remember the great Evangelistic Crusades of preachers like Billy Graham. Now, we all have opinions – many of them mixed – on those large-scale crusades and Billy Graham in particular. Yet, from a purely historical standpoint, there were times in our world, only a few decades ago, that saw a Day of Pentecost style response at such events.

    However, the world has changed. We don’t see a big turn out at those big crusades anymore, that’s even if there IS such an attempted crusade. What’s more, attendance at many of those events are already believers. Many of the responses at those events are Christians who are seeking to recommit or rededicate themselves to Christ.

    Now, I ask you, why aren’t we seeing a Day of Pentecost response in our world more often, these days, in 2023? We’re ministering as Peter did, we’re preaching the same Gospel, often using this exact text. Why is it that Christians are failing in their attempts to fish for souls?

    Dr. Ken Ham, famed Australia, Christian scientist – the man behind the Creation Museum and the ARK ENCOUNTER in Kentucky – posited a very, very incisive theory to answer the question. Dr. Ham argued, in a message much like this one today, that there is a large difference between an Acts 2 culture, and an Acts 17 culture.

    I want us to think about that for a moment. We study Acts 2, and we want the same result that Peter and the other Apostles saw. After all, this is (as aforementioned) the Church’s first Gospel sermon. It’s this sermon where we read:

Acts 2:37-39 ESV

37Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

    That’s an incredible passage. Yet, there’s a reason we see that response then, but not so much today. I want you to notice who Peter was talking to. Peter was talking to people who, more or less, shared his world view and understanding of God:

Acts 2:1-5 ESV

1When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.5Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 

     Strong’s Greek Concordance defines the underlying Greek term here in verse 5 rendered “devout” as “cautious, circumspect; hence: God-fearing, pious.” It’s not doubt, then, that the people Peter was speaking to that day were God-fearing. Their culture was one that was familiar with God and basic Judeo-Christian beliefs and values.

    They knew terms. When Peter said “Sin,” they knew what he was talking about. When Peter said, “God,” they knew which God he was talking about – the only God, the True God. This is why in the past, especially in the western world and U.S., there was a larger response to this sort of preaching.

    This is why you could have thousands of people become saved at the preaching of a Billy Graham type crusade, by the thousands. People in our world, in a generation or two past, understood the Christian world view. When some of you were growing up, they still had prayer in public schools, that’s been gone since 1962, over 60 years ago!

    Some of you may even remember when the BIBLE was a part of public schooling. Such is no longer the case. Rather, secular, atheistic humanism has replaced faith-based instruction. Is it any wonder, then, that we have a generation of Americans saturated in secularism and atheistic thought? When the THEORY of evolution is taught as “Fact,” and the “Fact” of God’s creation is taught as “MYTH?”

     Alan Hirsch once said, “I found out the hard way that if we don’t disciple people, the culture sure will.” When the Bible was still a part of American culture, it was much easier to evangelize – no doubts there! Such a culture was very much an “Acts 2” culture.

    These people know what we mean when we say, “God” or “Sin.”  However, as Dr. Ken Ham contended (and I whole-heartedly concur), we no longer live in an “Acts 2” culture. We are in more of an “Acts 17” culture. Turn, now if you would, to Acts 17. It is in that text that we truly find how we are to be Confronting the Culture.

    In generations past, Americans knew the difference between good and evil. I stand to tell you that, by the conversations I’ve had with high school juniors and seniors, the lines between good and evil have been seared and blurred beyond recognition! The belief in absolute, objective morality is in decline – by gathered, researched data.

  1. PAUL’S SERMON IN ATHENS

    Folks, we live in a world very much like the one the Apostle Paul visits in Athens, in Acts 17. While the Apostle Peter was speaking (mostly) to Jews in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost, the Apostle Paul was speaking to Greeks…very different crowd. Let’s remind ourselves, Peter’s audience:

Acts 2:5 ESV Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 

    Those are people who did know the difference between good and evil, people who did believe in truth. People who had a basic, Biblical worldview that encompassed the true Creator God and included his laws and thoughts in their consciences. Hear me. That’s not our people today, not in the slightest. Our audiences are more like the one faced by Paul…notice his hearers:

Acts 17:16 ESV Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols

     Is our world not plagued by idols today? Though, perhaps another sermon would be whether our spirits (like Paul’s) are “provoked” within us in the same way his was. There IS rampant idolatry today. According to a 2018 Pew Research Survey, 71% of “Christians” confessed to being guilty of the sin of idolatry.

    Like our people, Paul’s audience – according to this testimony – was VERY different from Peter’s. Notice also it says:

Acts 17:17 ESV So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there.

     THIS TELLS US, those in the synagogue can be considered “devout,” but NOT those in the marketplaces – the world! Paul would not have addressed them the same way! I KNOW that to be true. Paul wouldn’t witness to Godless heathens the way he would to his fellow Jews…

    For example, when he wrote the believers in Thessalonica, he NEVER quotes the Old Testament. Why is that? That’s because there was not substantial Jewish presence there, and no one KNEW the Old Testament. Paul, like the father of the Prodigal Son, knew he had to meet people WHERE they ARE.

    His hearers in Athens would’ve been in a sim. That’s why he didn’t really appeal to the Old Testament here either, just briefly in the end of his preaching. His audience was a culture that didn’t know God in Athens! Notice again:

Acts 17:18-21 ESV

18Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, “What does this babbler wish to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. 19And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.” 21Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.

     Now, tell me: which culture sounds more like ours, the one addressed by Peter in Acts 2, or this one addressed by Paul in Acts 17? I submit to you that there’s no debate here. We are absolutely enveloped by an “Acts 17” Culture! For instance, we might note that these people (obviously) didn’t know GOD, they were pagans after all.

Acts 17:22-23 ESV

22So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.

    We are in a world where God is – by and large – UNKNOWN! I don’t say this to preach you a consistent and harmonious sermon. I say this because it is objective, observable FACT:

ILLUST: According to a Pew Research Survey (from 2018) Nine-in-ten Americans believe in a higher power, but only a slim majority (56%) believe in God as described in the Bible.

    What that means is, people don’t know basic things anymore. When you say, “God,” they may logically ask “Which God are you talking about?” And denominationalism has done us no favors in this regard either. You say heaven, they may ask, “Do you mean the catholic heaven, the Baptist heaven, the Methodist heaven, the Church of Christ heaven; what do you mean?”

    This is the same type of world/culture Paul was in. If Paul would have said, “God,” his hearers would have thought of any number of pagan false gods that they were familiar with. Knowing the culture and its language is key to sharing the Gospel and being successful fishers of men!

ILLUST: British vs. American English

    Understanding our culture, knowing the words they speak and what they mean and being careful enough to see that they know what our words mean is critical! Herein this text, the blessed Apostle Paul gives us an eyeful in how that’s done. I want us to consider this, now, our second sermon to consider from Acts.

    How are we to be confronting the culture? How can we successfully converse and share the Gospel with those around us? This is very ambitious, but I’m going to try and expound for you FIVE facets of Paul’s example to us in the Areopagus of Athens. And we shall see how to confront our culture. Notice firstly:

  1. PAUL WAS PROVOKED IN SPIRIT (vs. 16)

Acts 17:16 ESV Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols.

     The first step in being fishers of men is being willing and yearning to do it! Are WE provoked in our hearts to share the gospel with others? Are we in a place like the Apostles where, earlier in Acts, they said:

Acts 4:20 ESV for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.

Acts 4:20 NIV As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard

Acts 4:20 NLT We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.

     Are we provoked to share Christ? Paul was! Dr. Steven Lawson, in a web series on Expository Preaching, had commented once and said, “Until preaching is a burning, compelling, passionate, fire within the minister – that he can’t help be preach – he’s not ready to be a sharer of the gospel.

    DO you not remember what Jesus said on Palm Sunday, when the religious leaders told him to quiet down his followers?

Luke 19:39-40 ESV

39And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

    Are we there? So, firstly, to confront culture, we ought to be provoked in spirit, as Paul was. Secondly:

  1. PAUL WAS PERSISTENT IN SPEAKING? (vs. 17)

Acts 17:17 ESV So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there.

    Notice it says that Paul was ministering every day. Are we ministering every day? We were just speaking of being provoked in spirit and now we’re considering how to be persistent in speaking. I believe God is…

Psalm 7:11 ESV God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.

    Do we “feel indignation every day” so as to encourage us to be persistent in speaking? Paul spoke about and shared his faith every single day…do YOU do that? Do you have conversations about Christ OUTSIDE of the church house? The Bible commands us to!

Hebrews 3:13 ESV But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

    How do we confront culture? We ought to be provoked in spirit and persistent in speaking! Yet, we are in “enemy territory” in this world…we must keep our wits about us. Note thirdly that:

III. PAUL WAS PERCEPTIVE IN HIS SURROUNDINGS (vs. 22)

Acts 17:22 ESV So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious.

    Paul was perceptive in his surroundings; he KNEW who he was talking to and where he was. This is not complicated folks. In fact, I think most of us do this all the time – instinctively. You know there are words you’ll use at home, alone, or in worldly company that you wouldn’t speak at church. You’re also being perceptive of your surroundings.

    You need to think about where you are and who you’re talking to!

ILLUST: I heard of a young man who was invited to the funeral of his girlfriend’s grandmother. As he was walking out of the funeral, shaking the hands of his girlfriend’s father – the man whose mother’s body is in the casket – the boy said something rather silly. Trying to say that he was honored to support the family through their time of loss, he embarrassingly told this man, “Hey, thanks for inviting me, I was so happy to be here.” Not the best phrase to use with someone who is grieving.

    Be perceptive and think ahead people. I think of a time when a man gave his subway seat up to a pregnant woman in what looked like her third trimester and he said, “Hey I know what that’s like.” After a few minutes he realized how stupid that sounded and explained that his wife was pregnant at one time too, thus he can empathize with her situation.

    Paul knew he wasn’t talking to people who knew the God of heaven. They may have been religious indeed, but they were lost! Side point: religion doesn’t save anyone, JESUS is who saves us. Paul was provoked in spirit, persistent in speaking, and perceptive of his surroundings.

  1. PAUL WAS PERSONABLE/POSITIVE IN HIS SENTIMENT (vs. 22-23, 26-28)

Acts 17:22-23 ESV

22So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.

     Paul was Personable. Notice, Paul did not berate or belittle these Athenians for their paganism. He didn’t throw a Bible at them. He did not condemn their religiosity. He used their pagan religion as a vehicle to steer them to Christ. He says, “Ah, I see you believe in God, that’s a great start! But let me tell you what you don’t know.”

    Paul was also positive, he did not hold their idolatry against them. See, Paul knew that mankind is made to worship. And when a human fails to worship his/her creator, we’ll inevitably begin worshipping something else. If you don’t worship the Triune God of heaven – Father, Son, and Spirit – you’ll worship just about anyone or anything else. History proves that. Note the Athenians! They had another false god on every junction and street corner, and so do we!

    Now, you probably won’t find statues of Aphrodite – goddess of sex – but you’ll find people who worship at the altars of physical pleasure and sexual sin. You won’t find altars to Artemis - the goddess of hunting, wild animals and the wilderness – but we have people who worship those things today, do we not? Why else are all the guys gone the first weekend of October? There’s by no means nothing wrong with hunting, after all, God did say to Simon Peter:

Acts 10:13 ESV And there came a voice to him: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” 

    You can make an idol of anything, including hunting. No, there’s no little statues to Ares (god of war), Hermes (the god of wealth and trade), or Dionysus (god of wine and pleasure). But you know as well as I do, people worship those things still.

    Yet, if we would take Paul’s approach, we wouldn’t denounce or deny people for who and what they are: SINNERS in need of Christ. Folks, if we don’t take the Gospel to them and live our faith in front of them who will?

Romans 10:14-15 ESV

14How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”

    Paul understood that call to spread the Gospel, and so did just that in the midst of Mars Hill – the Areopagus – of Athens! I’ve shared with you a great many things of Paul’s approach at confronting culture. Reviewing again, we saw that Paul was provoked in spirit, persistent in speaking, and perceptive of his surroundings, and personable in sentiment.

    He’s our final observation, and this is especially important. Listen carefully. The Apostle Paul was very direct. See fifthly that:

  1. PAUL WAS PLAINSPOKEN IN HIS SERMON (vs. 29-31)

    Paul initiates his conversation, his sermon, with the Athenians by our previous four points. But, now that’s his given the microphone (so to speak), Paul gives them a very plain sermon. Similar to how he approached those souls in Corinth, to those people Paul said:

I Corinthians 2:1-5 ESV

1And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

     This is the same attitude Paul had in Athens. Notice, he didn’t preach them an hour-long sermon. Here’s what he said:

Acts 17:29-31 ESV

29Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

     Folks, we need to take a page out of Paul’s book. The Gospel, at its core, is not complicated. That’s why Jesus said:

Matthew 18:3 ESV and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

    We don’t need to get caught up in big theological vocabulary terms. We don’t need to spruce up or spice up the word of God. We don’t need to put a “creative spin” to it so that it seems more persuasive. We need to note that which Paul said.:

Acts 17:30 ESV The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent

 

    I’m told Haddon Robinson said, “God will overlook ignorance but not unbelief.” I submit to you that God is now no longer overlooking man’s ignorance, for God has made himself and the plan of salvation known. In fact, the Apostle Paul would tell the Church in Rome that people today are, in fact, without any conceivable excuse:

Romans 1:20 ESV For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

     This is why God “commands all people everywhere to repent.” It is all of our job, then, to take such a message EVERYWHERE and be plain about it!

Conclusion

      Folks, this is a dying world we live in. It is sad; yet, those that follow Christ will be in the minority – by Jesus’ own word:

Matthew 7:13-14 ESV

13“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

    That passage finds relevancy in Acts 17 because, as you can read, Paul’s powerful preaching that day did NOT have the same effect as Peter’s preaching in Acts 2. At the end of Peter’s sermon in Acts 2, we saw 3,000 souls repent and become saved. At the end of Paul’s preaching, notice:

Acts 17:32-34 ESV

32Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, “We will hear you again about this.” 33So Paul went out from their midst. 34But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.

    Folks, we need to and we are trying to confront our culture. But we shouldn’t be surprised when such a response is seen in our ministerial efforts! Remember, we’re in an ACTS 17 CULTURE! When we try new things at church or in our own lives to spread the faith, and we don’t see 3,000 people response – we’re in an ACTS 17 CULTURE.

    The fact is, we’re not trying to get shallow, ho-hum respondents to Christ who fall away soon after committing to him. Jesus doesn’t want such people. He even said:

Luke 9:62 ESV Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

    We need to remember where we are and who we’re dealing with people. Scott McKnight said, “Most of evangelism today is obsessed with getting someone to make a decision; the apostles, however, were obsessed with making disciples.“

    We do such a thing when we CONFRONT OUR CULTURE! And How do we do that? Count them out, we need to be:

 

 

Jake Roberts is minister of LeCompte Church of Christ in LeCompte, LA.  He is the third generation of ‘Roberts’ ministers in Louisiana.. 




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