First Baptist Church of Minneola
Theology is not Theory
  • Nature is the most beautiful thing we have. It's better than art because it's from the creator. --Olivia Newton-John
    INTRO - Last week we took a break to talk about God’s gigantic love for us as we look deep into John 3:16.
    Two weeks ago we talked about being a praying church.
    BTW, I’m pleased that so many of you began a prayer group last week. I expect God is even more pleased.
    This week we turn again to the book of Acts.
    We’re joining in as Paul is making his Mars’ Hill sermon.
    Paul is preaching from Mars’ Hill in Athens, Greece.
    Athens is an actively idolatrous place.
    Paul in confronting the people with the message of the true God who contrasts their false and stupid idles.
    The Athenians worshiped these idols.
    The late great Dr. Ronald H. Nash notes, “Many contemporary spokespeople for the historic Christian faith have shamefully ceased defending God’s objective communication of truth.”
    We need that same sense that Paul had to confront the people of our world with the truth about God.
    This morning we will note three great things about God that Paul points out to the people; things that their gods do not possess.
    EST - Paul notes three great things about God.
    ESS - We’ll note how these three great things can apply today.
    OSS - We’ll have opportunity to consider the timelessness message and where to go from here.
    TRANS - Let’s go back that time of the early church close to the time of the resurrection.
    Let’s join Paul as he preaches to the idol worshiping people in Athens.
    Let’s listen in for God’s timeless principles while expecting this message to change lives.

    What does it say?

    Acts 17:24 ESV
    The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,

    What does it mean?

    God the maker “God who made the world and everything in it”

    The Athenians gods didn’t have the ability to create anything.
    In contrast, consider what the Bible teaches:
    Genesis 1:1 ESV
    In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
    and:
    Isaiah 40:28 ESV
    Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.
    Again, back in Genesis:
    Genesis 2:3 ESV
    So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.
    God is the creator, the maker, the One who called everything into existence.
    There are other supernatural beings, angels, demons, ghosts, mentioned in the Bible, but only God is noted as the Creator.
    Today evolution theory, which BTW is not based on the empirical scientific method, so factless theory and unscientific, is often the accepted way we came to be.
    We poke fun at the Athenians stupid worship of idols and, at the same time, everyone knows what the theory of evolution is about.
    Most schools don’t allow teaching about God and creation, but embrace evolution.
    Not only is this stupid, it appears hypocritical to teach the scientific method only to followup with discussion on evolution.
    Worst is evolution is usually presented as fact as opposed to theory.
    Society says embrace diversity, but don’t challenge our fragile, factless, and stupid theory of evolution by teaching that creation stuff.
    Creationism makes sense, offers sound explanation, and believers know it is true.
    When will America wake up and take a stand against the teaching foolishness?
    TRANS - God is the maker.

    God the mightiest “being Lord of heaven and earth”

    People rebel against authority over them.
    ILL - A boy of nine years old, I knew why I didn’t want to be a Christian. I didn’t want to accept Jesus into my heart. I understood what Christians were telling me about sin, punishment, and God. But, I still didn’t want to be a Christian. See, while the offer made sense, sounded really good, I mean, who doesn’t want to go to heaven instead of hell?
    As hard as the Bible teachers, children’s pastor, and all the folks at the church wanted me to accept Jesus, I kept telling them I didn’t want to be a Christian. They’d ask, “Do you understand?” I’d say. “yes,” and they’d say, “Do you want me to pray with you?” I’d say, “No!”
    See, I didn’t want the Christians telling me what to do. I heard them tell other kids, “Jesus is watching” and “Is that what God wants you to do?” I knew they were trying to “trap” me so they could tell me what to do and was not going to fall for that trap.
    Today, I understand that a forced conversion is really no conversion at all. When I did become a Christian, it was more of a feeling that things were going to be right between me and God. The dangling “free stuff” was a nice bonus, but being in the presence of God was really what I wanted.
    When I accepted that God was Creator, I had to bow to His authority.
    People resist bowing to authority.
    People do what they want with their lives.
    People don’t want to do what God commands.
    People want to do their thing, their way.
    The Bible tells us what that is called:
    Isaiah 53:6 ESV
    All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
    “gone astray”
    God’s Word, the Bible is our authority.
    God is Lord, Master.
    When people reject the authority of God, punishment comes.
    If you break the law of the land, temporary punishment occurs.
    When you reject God authority, His punishment is eternal.
    God is the highest authority.
    If you obey the law of the land, and I hope you do, why do people resist doing what the Bible teaches?
    Consider that the Bible tells us to obey God even past, over, or beyond the law of the land:
    Acts 5:29 ESV
    But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.
    What God says “do” in the Bible exceeds any law made by people.
    Peter noted that we “must obey God.”
    TRANS - We noted God is maker of all things, and that He is the mightiest commander of all of humankind.
    Let’s now turn our attention toward an aspect of God that transcends all of our understanding.

    God the majestic “God… does not live in temples made by man”

    The people in Athens lowered their view of the nature of God.
    In doing so, they could make their god with their hands, and control their god.
    Their god was on the same level as depraved people and wild animals.
    They made images of things and called them gods.
    There was nothing transcendent, majestic, or awesome about their manmade gods.
    Some were grotesque and required people to move them about.
    The true God is beyond comprehension.
    Our God is truly majestic, awesome, beyond measure.
    Our God moves at His will and not confined by human limitations:
    John 4:24 ESV
    God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
    Note this passage does not contain the letter “a.”
    The original Greek, does not contain the letter “a.”
    God did appear in the Temple, but that was for the convenience of the Jews.
    He was not limited to the Temple like the gods of the Athenians.
    Paul is telling the people of Athens that God exceeds their idol gods.
    If people have wisdom, they reject idols for the Real God.
    TRANS - We noted God is maker, the mightiest, and majestic.
    God exceeds, transcends, and is all powerful.

    What does this mean to a Christian?

    Evolution is a lie giving Christians the opportunity to teach what the Bible teaches.
    How can we love like Jesus while, at the same time, confronting the lies brought on through the teaching of evolution. (FaithlifeTV, class on apologetic matter)
    God’s laws exceeds man’s law.
    What other measures can we take to confront, for example, infanticide, abortion, homosexuality, sex change, and shacking up?
    Can Christians learn to intelligently address how laws of man oppose what the Bible teaches without making a negative impact?
    God is Spirit and cannot be contained.
    Can you explain God is Spirit to unbelievers?
    (end)
      • Acts 17:24ESV

      • Genesis 1:1ESV

      • Isaiah 40:28ESV

      • Genesis 2:3ESV

      • Isaiah 53:6ESV

      • Acts 5:29ESV

      • John 4:24ESV

  • Have Thine Own Way

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