When Paul and Silas had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they
came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue.
As he usually did, Paul went to the Jews in the synagogue and for three Sabbath days spoke to them from the Scriptures.He explained and showed evidence that the
Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. He said, “This Jesus I am
proclaiming to you is the Messiah.”
Some of them were convinced and
joined Paul and Silas, along with a large number of God-fearing Gentiles and
quite a few of the leading women.But the other Jews became jealous and
took some wicked men from the marketplace to form a mob, and set the city
in an uproar. They attacked the house of Jason and tried to bring Paul
and Silas out to the assembly.
When they did not find them, they dragged Jason
and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men
who have stirred up rebellion all over the world have come here also.
has welcomed them, and they are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar,
saying that there is another king, Jesus.”So they stirred up the crowd and the
city authorities.When the city authorities had received bail money from Jason and the others, they released them.
The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas by night to Berea. When
they arrived they went to the Jewish synagogue.These people were more
noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, so that they received the Gospel-word with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see whether these things were so.
As a result many of them became believers,
along with quite a few respected Greek women and men.
But when the
Jews in Thessalonica heard that the Gospel-word of God was also being
proclaimed by Paul in Berea, they went there to agitate and stir up the
Immediately the brothers sent Paul off to the coast, while Silas and
Timothy remained in Berea.Those escorting Paul took him all the way to
Athens, and then Paul told them to tell Silas and Timothy to come to him as
soon as possible.
While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, his spirit was troubled as he saw the city full of idols.
So he spoke in the synagogue
to the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the marketplace every day
with the people who happened to be there.
18 Some Epicurean and Stoic
philosophers also were conversing with him. Some of them said, “What is this
ignorant show-off trying to say?” Others said, “He seems to be advocating foreign
gods,” because Paul was preaching Jesus and the resurrection.
19 So they brought
him to the Areopagus and said, “May we know what this new teaching of
yours is? 20 For you are bringing some astonishing things to our ears, and we want
to know what they mean.” 21 All the Athenians and foreigners living
there used to spend all their time either telling or hearing some new thing. 22 So Paul stood up in the middle of the Areopagus and said, “People of
Athens, I see that you are very religious in all ways.
23 For as I was walking around
and looking at the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this
inscription: ‘To an Unknown God.’ So then what you unknowingly worship,
I am announcing to you: 24 The God who made the world and everything in it,
the Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made with hands. 25 And He is not served by human hands as if He needed anything, since He
Himself gives to everyone life and breath and all things.
26 He made from one
man every nation of mankind to live on the whole earth, having set
their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God wanted people to seek Him, if perhaps they might reach out for Him and find
Him — though He is not far from each one of us. 28 For in Him we live, move,
and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are all his children.’
 29 So since we are the children of God, we should not think that the Deity is like
gold or silver or stone, an image designed by the skill and creativity of humans.
30 So then God has overlooked the times of ignorance, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent,
 31 because He has set a day when He will
judge the world with justice through a man He has appointed, and He gave
proof of this to everyone by resurrecting him from the dead.”
32 When they heard about the resurrection from the dead, some ridiculed him, but
others said, “We want to hear more from you about this.”
33 So Paul left the Areopagus.
34 But some people joined him and became believers, including Dionysius, who was a
member of the council of the Areopagus, as well as a woman named
Damaris, and others.
The modern equivalent of this public forum for debating and explaining the Christian faith is
the internet — websites, forums, blogs, Facebook, etc. A large proportion of the world can now be
reached by the miracle of technology. This makes the command in Matt. 24:14 about the Gospel of the
Kingdom being announced worldwide a real possibility. As technology for translating improves, the
various language barriers will be overcome. A good command of English remains a most valuable asset
for all Gospel of the Kingdom preachers, and of course a thorough immersion in Scripture.
Literally in the Greek, “one who picks up scraps of information.” The word is spermologos,
“seed-word person.” Ironically, and I am sure Luke did not miss the humor here, Paul and Jesus were
both preachers of the seed-word Gospel of the Kingdom (Lk. 8:11, Mt. 13:19; cp. 1 Pet. 1:22-25).
It is a remarkable thing to consider that every human being is related, and we all have Adam
and Eve as our parents. Imagine what the family tree of the whole human race would look like!
The Calvinist idea of a limited atonement or limited call to salvation is plainly refuted by
Paul’s words here.