The Best Chance

Acts 17:24-27 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.

The Bible's verses from Acts above contain some of the Apostle Paul’s discourse on the Areopagus in Athens.  Paul was defending his teaching on Christ to the Greek Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. Epicureans taught that the chief end of man was to avoid pain. Epicureans taught that the goal of life was to reach a place of indifference to happiness or pain.  Paul introduces them all to our true creator, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. When evangelizing pagans Paul started from creation, when evangelizing Jews he started from the Old Testament.

Paul is teaching the great Greek philosophers (who had it all wrong) that everyone who ever was born or whoever will be born was placed on this earth at a specific time in world history so that they, and we,  might have the best chance to seek and find God. Every Nation that has ever existed and exactly where that nation was located was sovereignly fixed by our Lord Jesus Christ.

Our omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient God, fixed when we would be born, where we would live, where we would move next and how long we would live all to better seek Him. Paul wanted those Greek philosophers to know saving truth so they could repent and seek God. For Paul and all Christians the best thing in life, that which brings the most joy, contentment and peace is knowing God. God wanted the Greek Philosophers to know Him and so he sent Paul to Athens in 51 AD so they might seek and find him. Some of the philosophers mocked Paul, others wanted to hear more and some joined Paul and believed.

It is comforting to me that our God who sovereignly controls world history, placed us all here and now to have the best chance to seek and find Him. I am so grateful for that.

Why did God do this? Peter tells us that in 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some understand slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance.” 

Matt Schneider 

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