Spring is such a wonderful time. The days are longer and warmer. The grass and trees are greener. During Spring we get a special day for Christians called Easter when we remember and celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, healed the sick, raised the dead, died a sacrificial death, was raised from the dead and ascended into heaven where He waits until His return back to earth. On this special day, we will discuss the resurrection of Jesus from Acts 17 and how it functions to prove the certainty of Judgment Day.
Our Special Day of Creation
First, Paul began his sermon by declaring that everyone has been created by God. God “gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation.” In contrast to idols, God is not made but is the Maker. Whereas idols consist of “gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man” (Acts 17:29), God is neither created nor made but exists eternally. Stephen, in his speech before the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem, quoted Isaiah 66:1-2: “The Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands, as the prophet says: ‘Heaven is My throne, and Earth is the footstool of My feet. What kind of house will you build for me?’ says the Lord, ‘Or what place is there for My rest? Was it not My hand which made all these things?’” (Acts 7:48-50). God has made you and placed you where you are. This truth should help you when you are feeling anxious and troubled. God himself has determined the time and the location for you. Why are you living where you are living? Why are you in this year in this area? Because God willed it to be so and it was. Psalm 115:3 says, “Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases Him.” It pleases God for you to be where you are at. God has placed you where you are for a reason.
Our Appointed Day of Judgment
Being our Creator, God is also our Judge. This is a major point of the gospels and must never be forgotten. God “has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness.” Romans 14:10 says, “You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.” 2 Corinthians 5:10 says, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” There is a day of judgment for everyone and everyone will stand before God to give an account of himself. The righteous will face a judgment with their Lord to give an account of themselves as Christians with rewards given for faithfulness. The unrighteous will appear before God’s great white throne and “if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” (Rev 20:15). What does this day of judgment have to do with Easter? Paul told the gathered crowd: “He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” Consider this very closely: Jesus’ resurrection is proof that judgment is coming.
There is a day of judgment for everyone and everyone will stand before God to give an account of himself.Tweet
A Call to Seek God
Thankfully, our sermon does not end there. You see, God has placed us where and when we are so that we “would seek God…might feel their way towards Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.” In Romans 10:5-13, Paul says:
Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law: “The man who does these things will live by them.” But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’(that is, to bring Christ down) or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on Him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”Romans 10:5-13
A Command to Repent
We are to seek God but what do we do when we find Him? Paul said, “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness.” Repentance means a change of mind that results in a change of action. Paul later said in Acts 26:20 that he declared “that they should repent and turn to God, practicing deeds appropriate to repentance.” John the Baptist told those who came to him for baptism to “bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matt 3:8). When we repent, we acknowledge that we are wrong and God is right and we obey God and seek to honor Him.
Repentance means a change of mind that results in a change of action.Tweet
When some heard about resurrection they began to mock, rejecting this as nonsense. Others, however, believed and were saved. What about you? What will you do with this Easter message? Will you hear it and reject it? Will you hear it and think it is true but not true enough to justify repentance? Will you hear it and believe it? Better do something with it soon, judgment is coming. Will you be ready?