When Paul arrived in Athens around AD 50, he saw that the Athenians had tried everything under the sun in order to find fulfillment and contentment. But their temples and shrines to various gods did not satisfy. The Athenians decided there must be a god out there who could give them the fulfillment they sought—but they didn't know who he was. So they built an altar to him with the inscription "to an unknown god."
Read Acts 17:16-34. Standing before the Athenians, Paul boldly told them about the one true God—but his good news was coupled with a warning: "In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead" (Acts 17:30-31).
The resurrection of Jesus Christ and the judgment of Jesus Christ are inexorably linked.
Notice that Paul says God commands everyone to repent. This is not advice. This is not optional. It's a direct order from the Creator of the universe. Why? Because in raising Christ from the dead, the Father announced to the world that Jesus Christ is indeed Lord and all other gods are false.
Notice what else Paul says. He says Jesus has been appointed to judge the nations. The resurrection of Jesus Christ and the judgment of Jesus Christ are inexorably linked. Neither the baby Jesus nor the crucified Jesus makes any demands. But the risen and glorified King of kings and Lord of lords demands our all.
On the day of judgment there will be only two categories of people: those who have repented and believed in the resurrected Christ and those who, like the Athenians, thought they could get to God their own way. The choice is ours: receive Him as Savior or face Him as judge.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a cosmic billboard in the sky of history flashing this all-important message: There is only one true God. There is only one way to heaven. God has been revealed through the person of Jesus Christ. And God's invitation has been extended. Have you accepted it? Have you given your life over to Him?
Prayer: Risen Lord, You alone are worthy of all praise. Forgive me for the times I have thought I could earn my way to You. Help me surrender myself daily to You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11:25-26).