“And the times of this ignorance God winks at, but now commands all men everywhere to repent—because He has appointed a Day in which He will judge the world in Righteousness by that Man Whom He has ordained, whereof He has given assurance unto all men, in that He has raised Him from the dead.”

Acts 17:30-31

If the Word of God is “sharper than a two-edged Sword” (Heb. 4:12)—and it is—then we must always remember it involves both “wooing and warning.”
There’s no doubt the word “Gospel,” which comes from the Greek word “euaggelion,” means “Good News.” And, truly, there’s nothing more exciting than hearing about our sins being forgiven through Jesus’ Death on the Cross (Rom. 5:6-11; Heb. 9:14) and having Hope as a “sure-and-steadfast Anchor of the soul” (Heb. 6:19) because of His Resurrection from the dead.

However, as we see in Paul’s message to the folks on Mars’ Hill that day, the “full Gospel” not only tells others about God’s Power and Presence (vv.24-26), our need to seek Him and find in Him our all-in-all (vv.27-29), it also warns of “Judgment to come” (cf. Jn. 16:8-11).

Just as Noah, the “preacher of Righteousness” (I Pet. 3:20; II Pet. 2:5), preached 120 years of God’s Grace and the need to turn to Him, so he also warned them of the coming Flood. Even though none of them heeded his warning, he was still faithful “as a watchman on the wall to warn of a ‘sword in the land’” (Ez. 33:1ff).

As Paul pointed out, for now “God winks (Grk. ‘hupereido’—‘overlooks, chooses not to look at, etc.’) at their ignorance (Grk. ‘agnoia’—‘lack of information or intelligence, lack of understanding, etc.’);” however, through the preaching of His Word and faithful witnesses, He “now commands all men everywhere to repent.”

Why is that?
“Because He has appointed a Day in which He will judge the world in Righteousness by that Man (Jesus) Whom He has ordained.”
As the Apostle John pointed out in the Revelation, there’s coming a Day when “the Lamb of God becomes the Lion of Judah” (Rev. 5:5). And, no longer will He be pleading, “Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy-laden” (Mt. 11:28-30); instead, He will be saying, “Why did you not heed the warning? Why did you not ‘come into the Ark’? Were you not told ‘Today is the Day of salvation; now is the acceptable time’ (II Cor. 6:2)? Depart from Me, you worker of iniquity; I never knew you’ (Mt. 7:23).”

Thankfully, God “has given assurance unto all (who believe) because of His having raised Jesus from the dead.” And, what a glorious Blessed Assurance it is! May the Holy Spirit help us today to do all we can to lead others into that beautiful, personal relationship with Christ so they, too, can know His forgiveness and love. Amen and amen.

August 30, 2011