Mike was a man with a past. Soon after I met him he let me know of some of his struggles and how he had found his way to an AA meeting. This changed his life. He got on the road to sobriety and has stayed there for several years.
If you are familiar with AA (and many of those types of programs), you may know that one of the steps in the program is that you connect with a higher power. So, during one of our conversations Mike explained to me that he had such a “higher power” who had helped him get forgiveness and move forward. He had learned through this to do good and give back to people.
Still, he had many vices: gambling, pornography, cursings and grumblings, narcissism. But, he was sure that the good he was doing for others would be enough to get him salvation.
The problem is he had made this god up. He danced around the fact that his god was different than my God. He had chosen to believe in a go of his own design, a good life, and good deeds.
What do you say about a guy like that? A guy who’s seeking to make better of his life; who is struggling but has made some steps forward; who is trying to do good for others; who has a belief in a god who is forgiveness and love – but isn’t following Jesus?
It reminded me of a story in the book of Acts 17.16-34.
People are very religious (v22-23)
What is unknown needs to be proclaimed (v23)
God is Creator (of everything) and Lord of heaven and earth; he has no needs (v24-25).
On the contrary, he gives us life, breath, and everything (v25).
He establishes all nations determining their periods, boundaries, and places (v26).
He desires to be sought and found and has dwelt among us for that purpose (v27-28)
Since we are from God, let’s not think that he is anything that could be made or imagined by us (v29).
God has set a day for righteous judgment of the world through the resurrected Jesus (v30-31). V18 already tells us who this is – Paul “was preaching Jesus and the resurrection.”
Some mocked; some wanted to hear more; some believed (v32-34).
~ Being religious is not enough. Big Greg talked about this last week (secure a relationship with Jesus, not religion.
~ Many people worship and unknown god – even if they call him Jesus.
~ God is working so you can know Jesus and make him known.
~ A fixed day of judgment is coming.
Messages in this series
Messages by Greg Taylor