Scripture Memory Meditation | Acts 17:30-31


 “Therefore, having overlooked the times of ignorance, God now commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has set a day when he is going to judge the world in righteousness by the man he has appointed. He has provided proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”
Acts 17:30-31 (CSB)

As part of our homeschool “morning time” routine, my daughter and I are working through the New City Catechism (for Kids!). These concise, thoughtful questions and answers really pack a punch when it comes to understanding the Bible. For example, see #18: “Will God allow our disobedience and idolatry to go unpunished? No, God is righteously angry with our sins, and will punish them both in this life and in the life to come.”

In Acts 17, Paul made some similarly “punchy” statements to the Greeks! He challenged their ideas on repentance, idolatry, who Jesus was, and Jesus’s resurrection. Verses 30-31 are part of the climax of his important speech. He stated that because of Jesus, the Savior sent into the world, God clearly demands full repentance. All people – everywhere, of every tribe and nation – are to repent of their sins. There is a time set in the future when Jesus, the appointed resurrected man, will return and righteously judge all people.  The resurrection is proof of this future return.

For those who have repented and trusted in Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection, this future judgment is cause for rejoicing! “Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity” (Ps. 98:8-9, ESV). The classic lyrics to the hymn Joy to the World tell us to look forward to the day when Christ will come again, and we will sing “Joy to the world! the Savior reigns!” New City Catechism #50 beautifully reminds us of our future hope: “What does Christ’s resurrection mean for us? Christ triumphed over sin and death so that all who trust in him are raised to new life in this world and to everlasting life in the world to come.” Praise God for this righteous and just judge!

“Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked” (Acts 17:32). Sadly though, some who heard Paul’s message firsthand scoffed at it. They were told of Jesus’s death and resurrection and knew the command to repent. Yet, they rejected Paul’s message. They refused to believe and repent. God’s demand for repentance is clear. Revelation 22:20 warns us that He is coming soon! 

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