The Mars Hill Bunch
Acts. 17: 22 – 31
The Mars Hill Bunch, as I call them, are about like many people today:
3. Religious troublemakers
The Unknown god on Mars Hill is the one Paul preached about. Remember, Mars Hill: was the supreme court of that day.
Some one said, “Finding a god there was easier than finding a man.”
They sacrificed to all kinds of gods because they did not want to offend anybody. they did not know whom they were worshiping. Sincerity and commitment are meaningless without a relationship with the true and living God.
Paul used the “Unknown god” alter to make his defense and declare to them the God they do not know.
We still have the Mars Hill Bunch among us. What about the Mars Hill Bunch (that’s what I call them) of today? What are their characteristics and doctrines?
Here is a little humorous story that could possibly be true nonetheless.
A Sunday school teacher was teaching her fifth grade Sunday school class one day about whales. She said, ” Whales are very large animals with very small throats; incapable of swallowing a man.” A little girl raised her hand. The teacher recognized her. She said, “Well Jonah was swallowed by a whale and he’s in Heaven.” The teacher replied, “Whales are very large animals with very small throats; incapable of swallowing a man.” The little girl replied, “Well, when I get to Heaven I want to ask him about that.” The teacher replied, “Well what if Jonah didn’t go to Heaven but went to Hell?” The little girl replied, “Well, in that case, you ask him.”
There are perpetrated lies being taught from the pulpits of churches today. There is always someone wanting to be affiliated with the Mars Hill Bunch! However, the Bible, in 2 Peter 2:1 tells of their destruction when it says, “ But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”
First, the Mars Hill Bunch always get their pleasure from wanting to hear or tell some “new thing”. They feel they have the “one upmanship” on every one else.
They feel as if they have “seen the light” and need to educate everyone else about the truth of creation and life. These people are usually very nice and accommodating persons. However, these Mars Hill believers believe all kinds of things the average sensible person doesn’t and shouldn’t fall for. I’ll give you just two examples. One, the theory of a flat earth. And by the way, these are only theories which means “a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained.” These people believe that the Earth is not a globe, but instead a flat disc. According to believers, government forces promote a completely fictitious model of the cosmos in order to conceal the true nature of the Earth. (what’s the point? )However, The evidence for a spherical Earth is overwhelming. Most obviously, there are many thousands of images and videos of the Earth from space, including a continually changing live stream view of the globe from the International Space Station—not to mention all the astronauts who have personally seen the Earth from orbit. Flat Earthers, however, claim that all images of the globe are fraudulent inventions, and all testimony from astronauts is false. (I personally think they’ve lost their ever loving mind!)
Isiah 40:22 says, “It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers” Circle in this passage clearly means according to a study by famed creationist Dr. Henry Morris, clearly refers to the spherical shape of the earth. Dr. Morris goes on to say,” The Bible says the earth is round, showing that its authors were inspired to understand science beyond their time.” Well, here we are beyond their time and some people still believe that non biblical flat earth nonsense.
Number two. Some also believe that gravity is a hoax or a myth! Stand under a concrete block and let someone drop it on your head and see if it’s a myth. A group called the Anti-Gravity Alliance says gravity is only a theory and not a scientific fact. Those unfortunate souls that jumped from the twin towers as they were being destroyed by terrorists should have known that! They go on to say gravity cannot be seen, heard, felt, tasted, or smelt. Well, I walk on this earth everyday and haven’t floated up and out into space yet!
These Mars Hill believers are confused and the god of this world has blinded their minds and spoiled them through philosophy and vain deceit. The Bible calls them the blind leading the blind and they’ll all fall into the ditch together.
When the Apostle Paul preached to the people on Mars Hill, some didn’t like it. Some were furious, livid, and fuming because of what Paul preached. That was one reaction to Paul’s message, but there were other reactions as well. Acts 17:32 goes on to tell us, “…Others said, We will hear thee again on this matter.” This second group wasn’t jumping and shouting, “Amen!” But the fact that they were open-minded and wanted to hear Paul again constituted a significant victory for the Kingdom of God. This means they were interested — and for judges in the highest court of this pagan land to be interested in the Gospel was a huge development!
This was a massive triumph for Paul’s ministry. He also left the door open to tell them more about the one true God. He had enraged one group, interested another group, and had no visible proof that anyone would be saved as a result of his preaching that day. Although the response to his message was very mixed, there was a small group of notable people who not only heard it but were deeply touched by it. Some people believed the truth they heard and desired to know more.
You know, we may not be popular preaching the truth but we must preach it anyway!
I’ve shown you the doctrines and characteristics of the Mars Hill bunch. Now permit me to tell you the characteristics of the one true God just as the apostle Paul did in our text above.
Characteristics of the One True God
A) GOD IS CREATOR:
1. He created the world and everything in it / in six literal days!
God, as the creator, is important. When the enemy has undermined the faith of people in their creator, he has effectively removed their accountability to him! As creator, God is creation’s rightful owner and ruler. God also created this world and everything in it with Jesus himself. John chapter 1, verses 1-3 tells us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” God also said in Genesis 1:26, “Let us (U.S.)make man in our (O.U.R.)image, after our likeness:” So, Jesus was with God the Father from the beginning; not a created being like some of the Mars Hill bunch teach today.
B) GOD IS SELF SUFFICIENT.
1. God made man / one blood.
2. He’s involved with man’s history, with the world’s situation, and he has his way in the rise and fall of nations.
C) GOD IS WHAT MAN DESIRES.
1. God places a desire in man so that he would seek the Lord.
Jer. 29:13: “And ye shall seek me and find me, when ye shall search for me with all ;your heart.” The Mars Hill bunch really doesn’t know what that means.
D) GOD IS EVERY WHERE PRESENT.
1. Acts 17:27: “That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from everyone of us.”) God is not someone that you had to take a journey to visit. He did not just live in some temple or reside in a statue but was near to all of them (as well as all of us if we’ve been born again)
Paul even quotes from a couple of their own authors to back up his statement. “In Him we live” refers to our continuance of life being owed completely to God. If it were not for Him we could not go about our daily activities, nor be in existence. These all demand an Omnipresent God. If He were not near us, we could not do or be anything.
E) GOD HAS PROVEN HIMSELF!
1. God has proven himself to be just exactly who he says he is. Mark 12:22 states, “And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:”
Acts 4:12 states, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.“
1 Cor. 8:4 states, “…and that there is none other God but one.
In the book of John it says, “ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.”
One must either believe God’s Word or deny it altogether. God’s word is not mixed up or half truths. I believe the King James Version of the scriptures is God’s perfect design for mankind to live by and learn from today.
The book of first John tells it like it is in verses 4 – 6 when it says, “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.”
5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
This was the unknown god Paul preached about to the Mars hill bunch that day on Mars hill. He said, “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; For in him we live, and move, and have our being; …he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness…”
The truths of God’s work and word are still under attack today. We still have the Mars Hill bunch running around and spreading their superstition, lies and poison today. We still have those who profess salvation through Jesus Christ but don’t possess salvation.
We must study to protect these foundational doctrines from crumbling in our society. We must do what Timothy said and Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
I suppose some of the Mars Hill bunch will always be with us as long as we are still on this earth. But when I leave here, I want to know that the Mars Hill bunch has had no effect on me nor swayed me from the simple truth of the Gospel. How about you?