Paul stirred things up by preaching Jesus the King with resurrection power: “In the market daily with them that met with him . . . he preached unto them Jesus and the resurrection” (Acts 17:17-18). If there is any one place where Christians hide their light more than any other, it is in their workplace. Multitudes of Christians in this country sit in God’s house proclaiming their intense love for Jesus, yet when they go to their jobs, they are timid and ashamed of Christ!
Why is there such cowardly silence about Jesus by Christians who pray, devour the Word, and walk in holiness? It is because, unlike Paul, our hearts are not stirred as we see people given to idolatry all around us (see Acts 17:16). We dare not say, “But Paul was a preacher. He was called to this work!” We are all ambassadors of Jesus Christ and are commanded never to hide our light under a bushel.
These Athenians were exactly like the people you work with nowadays, spending “their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing” (Acts 17:21). So it is throughout this nation: the majority of those around you on the job are given over to idolatry, gossip, and superstitions of all kinds.
Paul was not put off by the immensity of the problem. He wasn’t overwhelmed by Satan’s hold on the city, because he knew he had a secret weapon against it: the gospel of resurrection power! Paul took his eyes off what the devil had done and focused on what Jesus could do in resurrection might! It did not matter that they called him a “babbler,” meaning a loafer, a preacher of nonsense.
Have you ever been called “a babbler”? Perhaps someone has said to you, “Stop infringing on my rights. Stop pushing your religion on me. Stop trying to make me believe like you do!” None of that kind of mockery could stop Paul because his heart was bleeding. He knew that if he did not take his stand for Christ, those around him would die in their sin.
It is not enough to just live right or to “set a good example.” For too long we have hidden behind the old cliche, “Actions speak louder than words.” We claim to be silent witnesses living His life but our testimony must include the spoken Word: “Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice” (Isaiah 52:8). “How shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14).
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon