TEXT: Acts 17:22-28
22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.
23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
John M. Perkins said, “The reason we haven’t solved the race problem in America after hundreds of years is that people apart from God are trying to create unity, while people under God who already have unity are not living out the unity we possess. The result of both of these conditions is disastrous for America. Our failure to find cultural unity as a nation is directly related to the church’s failure to preserve our spiritual unity.”
From Paul’s speech to the Athenians, we have seen three principles that will help us to unhitch ourselves from W.E.B DuBois’problem of the color line. (1) We must realize that all people are born of the same common ancestor and the same blood. Some would even say that there is really only one race — the human race. (2) Where we live and the times in which we live are appointed by God, and it is our job as believers to love our neighbors and live at peace with all people no matter their race, ethnicity, culture, language, or social status. (3) In order to overcome racial division, we must first seek the Lord because it is through Christ that such barriers are broken down by the radical transformation of the sinful human heart.
Racism is a sin of pride. Both white supremacists and black supremacists arrogantly believe that their skin color makes them inherently better than the other. One of the ways we overcome the prideful sin of racism is by fostering a spirit of humility in ourselves. We can do this by realizing that we only live by the grace of God. “In him we live, and move, and have our being.” If it were not for God, we would not exist. If He withdrew His hand from us, we would die, no matter what race we are apart of. In this passage, Paul shows us the glory of God and several reasons why we ought to be humble before Him.
First, realize that God has made the world and everything in it. It is common among many people today to believe that the universe was entirely the cause of natural processes. It is also common to believe that both animals and humans evolved from one-celled organisms which were created from fortuitous atomic and chemical collisions. As Christians, we know that God has set the universe into motion, and has created all the living things that exist in it, including us. This alone ought to put us in a mindset of worship to our Creator.
Second, God exists independently of us. He does not abide in our cathedrals or churches, like the Greeks thought that their gods needed temples. He does not need our worship, like the Greeks said that their gods needed sacrifices. Rather than being a product of human belief and imagination like the false gods of other religions, God exists apart from us. If nobody in the entire world believed in God, He would still exist and be the arbiter of the universe. Even though He does not need our worship, He deserves it.
Third, God has made all men of the same blood, and set the bounds of where they live. God decided to put black people in Africa, white people in Asia, yellow people in Asia, brown people in South America and the Middle East, and red people in North America. God is also the authority of history. He allowed the Roman Empire to control the entire Mediterranean. He allowed the Caliphates to spread across the Near East and North Africa. He allowed the European colonial powers to control the entire world, and He allowed their downfall after the World Wars. It is only under His determination that the United States rose as the world power after the Cold War.
This ought to humble any attitudes of racial or ethnic supremacy that we have. It is only under the allowance of God that different races and nations rise to power and fall from it. He also created us all to dwell on the face of the entire globe. We should be humble before God and treat all human beings for what they are – the Creation of God, made in the image of God.
John Oxenham wrote:
In Christ there is no east or west,
in him no south or north,
but one great fellowship of love
throughout the whole wide earth.
In Christ shall true hearts everywhere
their high communion find;
his service is the golden cord
Join hands, disciples of the faith,
whate’er your race may be.
All children of the living God
are surely kin to me.
In Christ now meet both east and west;
in him meet south and north.
All Christly souls are one in him
throughout the whole wide earth.
If you are a Christian listening today, here are three things you need to do:
1. Confess and repent of your own sins. You already know what they are.
2. Pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ to repent of their sins and get back to their first love
3. Pray for souls to be saved, and do your part by witnessing to the lost.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.