Read: Acts 17:13-16
The apostle Paul had gone to Athens to meet with Silas and Timothy. While he waited for them he observed the city. He was moved because of the great amount of spiritual wickedness that he saw.
As we observe our own city and country we ought to be stirred by what we see! All around us there is spiritual wickedness...as Isaiah described the condition of Israel, we are sick from top to bottom!
Paul was moved to action. He began to preach Christ in the synagogue with the Jews and to all that would listen in the market place. He was then invited to speak to the intellectual crowd. Read: v22-23
As Paul began his address to the men of Athens, he acknowledged that were overly superstitious.
There was well over 25,000 public statues and idols to their many gods. Among them Paul noticed that they had erected a memorial "TO THE UNKNOWN GOD". With that illustration, Paul began to tell them about the One God that they were ignorant of, the God who loved them enough to send His only Son to this earth to die in their place that they might have eternal life.
It isn't hard for us to think of a culture which existed many years ago and knew not God. It isn't difficult to imagine people in some far away part of the world today who are still in darkness and do not know the One True God. But this morning, I want you to think about the fact that He is still the Unknown God to many many people right here in our own city, and community! Why is that true?
I. He is the Unknown God because He is the Unseen God!
A. Consider the need of the world.
1. People need to see the Lord.
2. It is interesting that there was another group of Greeks who came to Philip with one desire.
3. "Sir, we would see Jesus." John 12:21
4. That is what people need today, they need to see Jesus!
B. Consider the ungodly crowd today.
1. They will use our constitution to their own ends while denying the very foundation of this great country.
2. They don't want to allow the ten commandments displayed in our school rooms.
3. They don't want Jesus to have a part in Christmas plays and musicals.
4. They petition to keep us from placing nativity scenes around our community.
5. But they defend blasphemous art work, books, and films.
6. They don't mind if people see a perverted Jesus...but they want to keep the true Lord from being seen!
II. He is the Unknown God because He is not served.
A. The challenge of Joshua.
1. As Joshua prepared to lead the nation of Israel out of the wilderness and into the promised land he gave them a challenge.
2. "...Choose you this day whom ye will serve..." Js. 24:15
3. Serving God is a choice that we make it is not forced upon us!
B. Many Christians are in name only.
1. Someone once said, "The only thing it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing."
2. Why do we live in a day and age where there are laws that protect animals, but allow the murder of millions of babies every year?
3. Why do we live in a day and age where the Gideons cannot pass out New Testaments in our schools, but planned parenthood is allowed to distribute birth control and condoms?
4. It is because God Almighty is an unknown God to the majority of Americans!
5. And that is because the majority of those who name the name of Christ do not serve Him!
C. We do not speak of Him.
1.In 2 Co. 4:13 Paul said, "...We also believe, and therefore speak."
2. The psalmist said, "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!"
3. People do not hear us speak of Him, so they do not know Him.
4. This week Lanny was able to lead a man and his wife to the Lord...he is 70 and his wife is 66.
5. "How shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?"
6. He is the Unknown God to many because we have not told them about Him!
III. He is the Unknown God because He is not Sought.
A. "There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God." Ro. 3:11
1. Often we speak of finding the Lord, but it is always the other way around.
2. He seeks us...He started back in the Garden of Eden when He called out, "Adam, where art thou?"
3. Because of our fallen nature, we try to hide from God, but He loves us and comes seeking.
4. Jesus said, "The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which is lost."
B. The Holy Spirit seeks men.
1. Jesus said, "No man can come to me except the Father which hath sent me draw him..." cf Jn. 6:44
2. When the Spirit of God convicts our hearts He places a longing within us for God.
3. If an unsaved person will respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and call upon the name of the Lord, he will be saved.
4. If he rejects that conviction and refuses to call upon the Lord, he chooses an eternity in hell.
5. 1Chron. 28:9, "If thou seek Him, he will be found of thee, but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off forever."
C. We need to seek others.
1. "...As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you." cf Jn. 20:21
2. "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." cf Mk. 16:15
3. If we are saved, God desires that we make Him known unto the nations!
4. This is our responsibility!
Unfortunately, God remains the Unknown God to many people around the world, but also right in our own community! Perhaps there are some here today who do not know Him personally. There is a vast difference between knowing about God and knowing God personally! Do you know Him today? Why not come and allow us to introduce you to Him this morning?
Christians, Are we doing all we can do to see that others know Christ?