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THE PLAGUE OF MARS HILL

While Paul was in Athens, he saw the idols everywhere. (Acts 17:16) He conversed with many religious people and philosophers. He preached Jesus and the resurrection. (Acts 17:18) The people loved to hear and discuss things, but the message was not well received. "Now all the Athenians and the strangers visiting there used to spend their time in nothing other than telling or hearing something new." (Acts 17:21)

Today we are also looking for something new. We talk and write and discuss all sorts of Christian thoughts and philosophies. People get divided into various camps by their understanding and their beliefs. There is a whole culture of Christians trapped into this life style.

Isnít it interesting today how the Christian world and the news media are discussing Mel Gibsonís movie about the crucifixion of Christ. The denominational churches are renting whole theaters for showings to their flocks. They believe that they will bring many converts into their divisions through this movie, and they probably will. Every time someone invites me to go see this movie, or asks me if I am going, I get a major check in my spirit. The pope is for this movie, the divided sects are for this movie, and even many unsaved people in broadcasting seem to support this movie. I hear people say it is the greatest evangelistic thing which has ever come along. To me, it is just another Mars Hill. Mel Gibson is an old order Catholic. That lost system has forever been fixed on death, darkness, dying, crucifixion, and leaving Jesus on the cross. He is seen in the church mass continually in His death and dying.

Paul preached "Jesus and the resurrection." If Jesus has suffered all the pains of death for us and never come to the resurrection, then you and I would still be lost in our sin. But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain. Your faith also is vain. (I Cor. 15: 13 & 14) And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless, and you are still in your sins. (I Cor. 15:17)

We can fill our steeple houses with converts who see Jesus crucified - the Catholics have done that and have millions and miss the glory of the resurrection. We are sons of the resurrection. (Luke 20:36) Jesus said "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die."

I am convinced that this great movement today will produce a lot of Mars Hill discussions - even many converts to the systems. Whenever you see so much attention given to this topic, one needs to step back and hear from the Holy Spirit in the inner man for that still small voice of warning.

I do not want to minimize the death and pain of what He did for us. However, He looked forward to the resurrection. He didnít say He was death, that is who satan is. Jesus said He is the Life. That Life has given me life eternal, resurrection life - Jesus is our life.

When people want to talk about these concepts, let us speak of His Life in us.

Jim Dermanoski

March 2004

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