Family Bible Study lesson for Nov. 25: Reasons to Tell the Good News
November 9 2001 by David Edgell , Acts 17:16

Family Bible Study lesson for Nov. 25: Reasons to Tell the Good News | Friday, Nov 9, 2001

Friday, Nov 9, 2001

Family Bible Study lesson for Nov. 25: Reasons to Tell the Good News

By David Edgell Acts 17:16 When was the last time your spirit was "provoked" (Acts 17:16) concerning the lost? God has been convicting me regarding my apathy toward those without Christ. I have not always allowed God to break my heart toward those without salvation in Christ. But recently, God has begun to renew what He desires in my life: a desire to be a witness to those without faith in Christ.

Several weeks ago I stood in the downtown of a village in Romania. The village had a population of approximately 1,000 and not one born again believer. We had arrived in the village to lead a Vacation Bible School and to visit families who were "God-fearers." Several families had expressed an interest in an evangelical church, but had not yet trusted Christ. I struggled with how our team could communicate in this situation. Did they realize their condition and the urgency of turning to God?

At this moment Paul's experience on Mars Hill (Acts 17:16-31) came to mind as I asked God to give us a way to share the love of Christ with this community. What was that one truth that would be a connection with these people? Was there a concept in their culture that could be used to share Christ's love? Was there an "unknown god" (Acts 17:23) concept that God had already placed in the hearts of the people?

Atheism was the state "religion" during the reign of the communists in Romania. People were taught for years there was no God and it was useless to place faith in something or someone who did not exist. Orthodox Christianity has a tradition in Romania, but most Orthodox Christians view God as distant and removed from everyday life. They think they should pray to the priest who prays to Mary, who then speaks to Jesus and then Jesus finally speaks to the Father. Burning a candle and saying a prayer to an icon is a normal routine for those who hold orthodox views. If God exists, He is removed and distant only to be reached by ritual and inconsistent communication.

My heart was "provoked" as I beheld a city "full of idols" (Acts 17:16). Yet God gave us the message we desired and we were blessed by the work of the Holy Spirit.

Our Vacation Bible School began in the street directly in front of the Orthodox Church. As children left school at around noon they joined our school to hear the message of God's love. Children came to hear a message concerning someone who loved them and had a purpose for their lives.

Our home visitation yielded further results as we shared scripture and spoke of how God desired to bless their home. Our prayer and blessing for the home came from Ephesians where Paul states he is praying for the people, "that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints" (Eph. 1:17-18).

Issues of family, character, integrity and self-discipline provided a rich list of culturally common concepts by which we could share Christ. They became our unknown god concepts that were of interest to the people and gave us a hearing with many people from many walks of life.

The church of the 21st century must ask God to break our hearts for the lost. And we must ask God to work in our culture to prepare a way for the gospel message to go forth to all people.

If heaven is real then hell is real. Let us go forth with a message of hope and repentance that all men and women may experience God's forgiveness and His gift of eternal life.

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11/9/2001 12:00:00 AM by David Edgell , Acts 17:16 | with 0 comments
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