In an earlier lesson, we looked at Paul’s sermon to the men in Athens
(Acts 17:16-31). Follow the line of reasoning he used, noting not just where he started but where he ended. What’s so important about the conclusion he came to, particularly regarding the question of origins and morality?
Paul’s sermon to the men of Athens began with Creation and ended with judgment. According to Paul, the God who made the world and everything in it has fixed a day on which He will judge the world. To be endowed with morality implies accountability, and each of us will be held responsible for our actions and our words (see Eccles. 12:14 and Matt. 12:36-37).
Everyone who ever lived will meet together in God’s presence to face the judgment. The difference between the two groups in Jesus’ parable is how each person treated those who were in need. The Creator is interested in how His creatures treat each other, especially those who are needy. There is no place in heaven for the principle of natural selection; it is contrary to the character of the God of peace.
If the Bible teaches anything, it teaches that the justice so lacking in this world will one day be meted out by God Himself. More so, the whole idea of judgment implies a moral order: why would God judge, much less punish, if there were no moral standards to which people could be held?
Think through the reality and certainty of judgment. Why, then, is the gospel and the promise of salvation in Christ so crucial in order for us to have assurance in that judgment?