Acts 17:31 "because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”
Introduction and review
These last several days have been dedicated to exploring the evidence we see for eternity in this world. We have been exploring Paul's sermon that he preached before a crowd of skeptical Athenian philosophers at Mars Hill in Acts 17. This particular sermon of Paul's is important due to the fact he deals with the subject of seeing God's eternal nature and Person demonstrated in this world. Thus far we have considered the following main points:
1). Eternity is declared in creation. Acts 17:22-25
2). Eternity is discerned in humanity. Acts 17:26-29
3). Eternity is defined in the Bible. Acts 17:30
The audience to which Paul preached was moreso about finding fulfillment in this life and doing it all by themselves. Both the Epicureans and Stoics had worldviews that would correspond today to the atheism and agnositicism we see so prevalent in movies, books and culture.
Main point of application: As we again about the subject of eternity, I point the reader it to a simple diagram featuring the name of God and two arrows doing out in either direction:
Why did Paul focus on this theme of eternity in his message? The point of application for this post, and really this blog series is: It is important how you respond to eternity in this life. Today we want to consider how Jesus Christ demonstrates the reality of eternity as seen already thus far in the course of this series.
Christian Apologist Dr. William Lane Craig lays out the following powerful argument that ties together proof for God's existence and the reality of Jesus' resurrection from the dead in his address "The Evidence for God" see link: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/media/the-evidence-for-god-imperial-college-london
1. There are three established facts regarding Jesus' resurrection from the dead: the discovery of the empty tomb, His post-mortem appearances and the disciples' faith in His resurrection from the dead.
2. The proposed idea or hypothesis of God raising Jesus from the dead is the best explanation of these facts
3. God's raising Jesus from the dead entails that the God raising Jesus from the dead exists
4. Therefore the God revealed by Jesus of Nazareth does exist.
Why is the Apostle's Paul's concluding point of his sermon on the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the final judgment such an appropriate landing place for seeing the evidence of eternity in this world? Because in the Person of Jesus Christ both the Eternal nature of God and the physical nature of humanity
We have spent these past several posts considering how it is we see evidence for eternity in this life. As we considered Paul's sermon to the philosophers of Mars Hill in Acts 17, we noted the following four headings:
1). Creation declares eternity Acts 17:22-25
2). Mankind discern eternity Acts 17:26-29
3). Bible defines eternity Acts 17:30
4). Jesus demonstrates eternity Acts 17:31
Paul closes out his sermon and the response from his audience is anything but neutral. Acts 17:32-34 states - "Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, somebegan to sneer, but others said, “We shall hear you again concerning this.” 33 So Paul went out of their midst. 34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them."