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THE UNKNOWN GOD
“…Him declare I unto you.” Acts 17:23(b) KJV
Contrary to the protestations of so-called atheists (those who insist there is no such thing as “god”), anthropologists have found that no matter how primitive a group or tribe of people may be—the vast majority will worship someone or some thing! Like it or not, to believe in the existence of a supernatural entity beyond human control is innate to man and only the most obdurate among us try to deny it.
So as one might expect, the Bible has quite a bit to say on the subject:
“For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them. 20 For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification], 21 Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor and glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile and godless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves]. 23 And by them the glory and majesty and excellence of the immortal God were exchanged for and represented by images, resembling mortal man and birds and beasts and reptiles” Romans 1:19-23 (Amplified Bible, emphasis mine).
I have believed in the existence of a Sovereign Creator God for so long (60+ years) that I cannot remember a time when I did not believe! Therefore, it must be admitted that the concept of unbelief has become an extremely hard thing for me to consider objectively. Because how anyone can look at the myriad wonders of nature and yet fail to recognize the logical necessity for a Designer is simply beyond my comprehension. And then as if that were not bad enough, I am dumbfounded by the utter disregard for the laws of probability among those who insist the universe and everything in it came into being through a process of random chance! Apparently they believe the great equalizer is an infinite amount of time, which to their way of thinking causes the impossible to somehow become plausible.
Oh well—it has been said that there are none so blind as
those who will not see, so our appeal is to those who are desperately looking
for something and do not know what it is. In many respects that was the message
the Apostle Paul delivered to a crowd of intellectuals gathered on the
Areopagus (also known as Mars’ Hill) in
“So he reasoned and argued in the synagogue with the Jews and those who worshiped there, and in the marketplace [where assemblies are held] day after day with any who chanced to be there. 18 And some also of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him and began to engage in discussion. And some said, What is this babbler with his scrap-heap learning trying to say? Others said, He seems to be an announcer of foreign deities—because he preached Jesus and the resurrection. 19 And they took hold of him and brought him to the Areopagus [Mars Hill meeting place], saying, May we know what this novel (unheard of and unprecedented) teaching is which you are openly declaring? 20 For you set forth some startling things, foreign and strange to our ears; we wish to know therefore just what these things mean— 21 For the Athenians, all of them, and the foreign residents and visitors among them spent all their leisure time in nothing except telling or hearing something newer than the last— 22 So Paul, standing in the center of the Areopagus [Mars Hill meeting place], said: Men of Athens, I perceive in every way [on every hand and with every turn I make] that you are most religious or very reverent to demons. 23 For as I passed along and carefully observed your objects of worship, I came also upon an altar with this inscription, To the unknown god. Now what you are already worshiping as unknown, this I set forth to you. 24 The God Who produced and formed the world and all things in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in handmade shrines. 25 Neither is He served by human hands, as though He lacked anything, for it is He Himself Who gives life and breath and all things to all [people]. 26 And He made from one [common origin, one source, one blood] all nations of men to settle on the face of the earth, having definitely determined [their] allotted periods of time and the fixed boundaries of their habitation (their settlements, lands, and abodes), 27 So that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after Him and find Him, although He is not far from each one of us. 28 For in Him we live and move and have our being; as even some of your [own] poets have said, For we are also His offspring. 29 Since then we are God’s offspring, we ought not to suppose that Deity (the Godhead) is like gold or silver or stone, [of the nature of] a representation by human art and imagination, or anything constructed or invented. 30 Such [former] ages of ignorance God, it is true, ignored and allowed to pass unnoticed; but now He charges all people everywhere to repent (to change their minds for the better and heartily to amend their ways, with abhorrence of their past sins), 31 Because He has fixed a day when He will judge the world righteously (justly) by a Man Whom He has destined and appointed for that task, and He has made this credible and given conviction and assurance and evidence to everyone by raising Him from the dead. Acts 17:17-31 (Amplified Bible, emphasis mine).
The Athenian Greeks worshipped numerous gods and goddesses in their temple called the “Parthenon”—so many in fact that they erected an altar “To The Unknown God” to cover themselves in case they had unintentionally overlooked one! So Paul seized upon that as an opportunity to proclaim the Gospel message of Jesus Christ—the God-man who was previously unknown to them!
What was the outcome? Some (quite likely the majority) scoffed and rejected the message, while others kept an open mind and expressed an interest in discussing it later. But the thing we do not want to miss is that some believed right on the spot and became followers of Christ.
“Now when they had heard [that there had been] a resurrection from the dead, some scoffed; but others said, We will hear you again about this matter. 33 So Paul went out from among them. 34 But some men were on his side and joined him and believed (became Christians); among them were Dionysius, a judge of the Areopagus, and a woman named Damaris, and some others with them” Acts 17:32-34 (Amplified Bible, emphasis mine).
What do you suppose made the difference between those three groups of people, in that some believed while others did not? Was it due to intelligence, education, or social status? Dionysius was said to be “a judge of the Areopagus,” which undoubtedly means he was a high ranking member of Athenian society. And while we are not told anything specific about Damaris and the others who believed, more than likely some (if not all) of them were just common folk like the rest of us—which demonstrates the principle that the Gospel message draws people from every walk of life, regardless of education or intellect. However, there is a vital principle here that is usually overlooked when the “why” some believe and others do not is considered.
In the following passage from the Book of First Corinthians the Apostle Paul makes it clear that mankind’s response to the Gospel is actually disproportionate because not many from among the world’s elite are called by God!
“We preach Christ (the Messiah) crucified, [preaching which] to the Jews is a scandal and an offensive stumbling block [that springs a snare or trap], and to the Gentiles it is absurd and utterly unphilosophical nonsense. 24 But to those who are called, whether Jew or Greek (Gentile), Christ [is] the Power of God and the Wisdom of God. 25 [This is] because the foolish thing [that has its source in] God is wiser than men, and the weak thing [that springs] from God is stronger than men. 26 For [simply] consider your own call, brethren; not many [of you were considered to be] wise according to human estimates and standards, not many influential and powerful, not many of high and noble birth. 27 [No] for God selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame. 28 And God also selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is lowborn and insignificant and branded and treated with contempt, even the things that are nothing, that He might depose and bring to nothing the things that are, 29 So that no mortal man should [have pretense for glorying and] boast in the presence of God. 30 But it is from Him that you have your life in Christ Jesus, Whom God made our Wisdom from God, [revealed to us a knowledge of the divine plan of salvation previously hidden, manifesting itself as] our Righteousness [thus making us upright and putting us in right standing with God], and our Consecration [making us pure and holy], and our Redemption [providing our ransom from eternal penalty for sin]. 31 So then, as it is written, Let him who boasts and proudly rejoices and glories, boast and proudly rejoice and glory in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:23-31 (Amplified Bible, emphasis mine).
Note that Paul told the believers at
“We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose” Romans 8:28 (Amplified Bible, emphasis mine).
The Holman Bible Dictionary has this to say about the subject of God’s call: “The ground of calling is specifically established in 2 Timothy 1:9. The starting point for the divine calling is not works but the purpose and grace of God in Christ Jesus.”
“[For it is He] Who delivered and saved us and called us with a calling in itself holy and leading to holiness [to a life of consecration, a vocation of holiness]; [He did it] not because of anything of merit that we have done, but because of and to further His own purpose and grace (unmerited favor) which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began [eternal ages ago]” 2 Timothy 1:9 (Amplified Bible, emphasis mine).
“Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love” Ephesians 1:4 (Amplified Bible).
There are two very important things we must keep in mind where God’s call is concerned: (1) Matt.7:21 tells us that not everyone who refers to Jesus Christ as “Lord” is saved and (2) John 6:44 tells us that only those who have been “drawn” to Him by God the Father can be saved.
“Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven” Matthew 7:21 (Amplified Bible).
“No one is able to come to Me unless the Father Who sent Me attracts and draws him and gives him the desire to come to Me, and [then] I will raise him up [from the dead] at the last day” John 6:44 (Amplified Bible, emphasis mine).
Could it be that the unknown God is trying to get your attention? Many people today are desperately searching for something but do not have a clue as to what it is— “itches they cannot scratch” and longings they just cannot define. So my advice is to wake up and be aware that in some cases such things are symptoms of God calling individuals to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Are you listening?
If you have been born again and received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.
If you have never placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, but have come to sense His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to receive His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you truly believe in Him as Lord and Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually. If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.
We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order Kingdom of Antichrist in their daily news.
Finally, we would love to hear from you. You can write us at:
Cutting Edge Ministries, C/O Pastor Ron Riffe
P.O. Box 26
Gordo, AL 35466
You can also E-Mail Pastor Ronald Riffe regarding questions or comments about this article.
God bless you