When Paul was in Athens he confronted the idol worshippers. He gave a challenging speech on Mars Hill, (or the Areopagus). Paul observes how religious (KJV ‘superstitious’) they are (Acts 17:22). “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious: for I passed along and observed the objects of your worship”. He seizes on the fact they had even made an altar to the unknown god, in case they had missed one! This is Paul’s chance to describe the God they do not know as the one true God, a God that is REAL and not the product of human imagination. Today the theory of evolution is a concept of human imagination and is religiously followed, worshipped even, by many intellectuals of this age.
This ‘evolution God’ frees its worshippers from any sense of conscience that they need to obey and serve a Creator. At the end of Acts 17 we read how “some mocked” (verse 32). Paul’s message, especially the teaching that the dead are to be raised. This is comparable to the way some ‘mock’ at belief in the Bible today.
It occurred to me to wonder why Paul performed no miracle at Athens, as this would have challenged the thinking of the people. When the Apostles started their preaching there had been a dramatic healing in Jerusalem. Miracles occurred again in Cyprus and at Iconium where “the Lord bore witness … granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands” (14:3) and again at Lystra and Philippi. The healings helped convince many, so why not at Athens?
We suspect that the people of Athens were so confident in their own religious thoughts that they did not deserve to witness a miracle! Is not that comparable to today? But isn’t the resurrection of the nation of Israel from the dead a miracle? It is to those who know the word of God as it was to those who knew the Bible in the 19th Century and anticipated this event, despite the lack of any political indications. When the miracle of Christ’s return overwhelms the world it will be too late to start believing. Belief in God has its foundations on a true faith grounded in a real knowledge of His word! How strong are our foundations?