No one could fault the ancient Greeks for being atheists. As St. Paul looked around him in Athens, he could see religious temples, shrines, and statuary of gods and goddesses everywhere. And yet in all that religious clutter people did not really know for sure where they came from, what the purpose of their existence was (if there was any purpose at all), nor what lay ahead after death. Their only strategy was to set up altars for absolutely every deity they had ever heard of, including one to “The Unknown God,” just in case they had missed one.
Paul complimented the Athenians on their evident piety, but he let them know that the unknown God could be known, as could their origin and destiny: “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” (Acts 17:26,27 NIV 2011).
People today struggle just as intensely with the great questions of human existence. They still see no design and purpose to their lives—all they have is the cold, dry wind of Darwinism that tells them they are accidents of billions of years of blind, random mutations and natural selection through survival of the fittest.
Aren’t you glad to know that you are designed and loved, forgiven and immortal?
Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of six books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.
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