Accommodation and Confrontation (Acts 17:16-34)

If you travel, what do you look for? When you’re a tourist in another place, do you look for beauty? For skill? For ideas? Do you look to see what you can learn about people’s beliefs?

God tells us that we are foreigners in our own culture too. In Hebrews 11:13-16, we are told about the OT believers: They “acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.” We should think of ourselves as exiles living in a foreign culture. We are strangers even in our own city. Because we are waiting for a better, heavenly one.

So, what do we find when we look at our culture with the eyes of outsiders? What matters to our neighbours? What does it tell you about their beliefs?

Well, one thing we’ll see is the growing distance between Christianity and the culture. Once we could assume that our message would be welcomed, or at least tolerated. Or that people had some Biblical knowledge, but not we can’t.

But we see in Acts 17, that God has a universal message for all people, everywhere: He commands all people everywhere to repent, because there is a universal judgement coming for all people everywhere (v30-31). So, how should we engage with our neighbours in a culture where Christian ideas are so foreign?

  1. Anticipate Collisions (v16-21)
  2. Look for Connections (v22-23, 26-28)
  3. Engage in Discussions (v23-32)
  4. Expect Divisions (v32-34)

Sunday 7th July 2019

Review questions:

  • Christians are __________ (Hebrews 11:13)
  • How did Paul feel (v16)?
  • Why did Paul speak (v17)?
  • Everyone has a story about where the world _________ from, what’s ________ with the world, how we can _______ it, and what our ultimate ___________ is.
  • How will they believe in Him whom they have not _________? (Romans 10:14)
  • Start with God the ____________ (v24) God is ____________ forever (Romans 9:5)
  • God doesn’t ___________ you (v24-25)
  • God rules _________________ (v26-27)
  • The judgement will be _____________, _____________ & _______________ (v31)
  • “Repent” means turning from _______ to God for ________________ness (v30)
  • Is resurrection true? (1 Corinthians 15:13)
  • A question I have:
  • A truth to share:
  • Something to pray about:
  • How I should live: