So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For 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. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.”
Acts 17:22–25, ESV
By nature, humanity seeks to serve a creator. Atheism is becoming more popular in our modern world. However, when we observe those that claim that they are atheists, we find that they have developed a system of worship and a doctrine with which they run their lives. They have indeed placed a god in their lives, not too dissimilar from what we find in ancient times. Paul saw the idols of the people of Athens. He observed the religious nature inherent in people. He didn’t attack them or call them foolish but sought to open the door for some to Jesus. Not all believed. Some even mocked it, but that is not the purpose of the proclamation of the Gospel. Jesus never stated that all would believe, but He said quite the opposite. It’s not about convincing those that don’t believe in the one true God but seeking out the people whom God has prepared and called. Jesus originally limited to whom He gave the message but opened the door as there were those who were drawn to Him and received His Word. It wasn’t that God did not know, but that upheld that the proclamation of the Word was meant for His chosen. The choosing was not made merely by what family you were born into but by what family was drawn to the Word of God. Pride separates many from ever knowing the one true God. We are not given salvation by our care of carved images, nor are we saved because we enter a church and sit through a service. We are saved by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and believing and trusting in His message and His promise. It is through Him that we find life.
Let us pray. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger, and I ask you to protect me this day also from sin and every evil, that in all I do today, I may please you. For into your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel watch over me, that the wicked foe have no power over me. Amen.