God Knows…When I Meet Up with Truth – Part 3
Since Paul and Silas had caused an uproar in Thessalonica, the believers there had sent the two missionaries on to Berea. At Berea Paul found the people more willing to consider whether he was teaching the truth. They studied the scriptures every day to see what had been written about the promised Savior. They honestly wanted to do right and to make sure what they were hearing checked out with God’s word. It did check out, so they accepted it.
But again Paul had to flee for his life. Jealous and hateful people back in Thessalonica heard that Paul was preaching in Berea and came after him. Paul moved on to Athens.
Athens was the greatest university city in the world, a city of many gods. People liked to talk. Soon a crowd was gathered around to listen as Paul talked with the great men of Athens. They took him to speak at the Areopagus (Greek for Mar’s Hill). This was where wise men—poets, philosophers, artists—gathered to talk about important things.
“Men of Athens,” Paul said, “as I was walking in your city I saw an altar saying ‘To the Unknown God.’ It is this God I want to make known to you, the God who made the world and everything in it.” He reminded them that the images in their temples had no life. They moved only when people moved them. The true God doesn’t need any help from man, but is in a position to help human beings. He has creative power and the ability to guide history.
Paul described the true God as a Father and all on earth as His children. Through Christ Jesus, God had sent the world the light of truth. The days of excuses and ignorance were past, and the day of judgment was coming, Paul told them. He showed how Jesus’ resurrection from the dead proves the greatness of the true God. At this some of the listeners made fun of Paul’s speech. Others said, “We will hear thee again on this matter.” A few believed.
When God’s truth is considered today, there are still these three reactions: 1) Some laugh it off. They try to ignore it and act like it isn’t all that important. 2) Some wait until later. They postpone thinking about the truth. 3) Others believe. They see the value in the gifts God holds out to them—forgiveness, peace, friendship, power to live successfully. They act on their belief, and enjoy the rewards of faith.
A Long Stay
Paul moved on to Corinth, on the narrow piece of land connecting two parts of Greece. Corinth was a wicked city, in need of the Good News of salvation. In Corinth Paul met Aquila and his wife, Priscilla. He stayed with them and worked with them for awhile, making tents to support himself. But he was still a teacher and preacher.
One night when Paul felt like giving up on Corinth and its corruption, the Lord spoke to him: “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.” Encouraged, Paul stayed in Corinth a year and a half.
Silas and Timothy joined him there in giving the message of the love of God and of His Son Jesus. A large church was begun. Besides his preaching and door-to-door teaching, Paul wrote letters while in Corinth. Two were addressed to the church members in Thessalonica. We can still read those letters. They are 1 and 2 Thessalonians in the New Testament.
When Paul left Corinth, Aquila and Priscilla sailed with him as far as Ephesus. The couple stayed there, but Paul continued on to Caesarea, a port not far from Jerusalem. Then he returned “home” to Antioch. The second missionary tour was over.
Where to find the story: Acts 15-18