When Paul preached his famous sermon on Mars Hill, in Athens, his teaching received three distinct reactions. "And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter. So Paul departed from among them. Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed..." (Acts 17:32-34). Do you see it? Some rejected the teaching immediately. Others procrastinated or withheld judgment, and did nothing. But some enthusiastically accepted the truth and acted upon it.
The same three reactions are in evidence to this day - even among members of the Lord's church. Consider this scenario: The preacher preaches a ‘hard’ sermon that exposes sin and worldliness. It’s one of those sermons that "steps on toes" and hits "close to home." Some Christians will grow angry. The things taught suggest the need to change, and they are not willing to do so. They are happy to hear preaching on things they already agree about, but if a lesson contradicts their existing views or practices, they get mad. They are like those in Athens who "mocked."
Some other brethren hear this same sermon and, while it plainly shows that there are things they need to change in their life, they postpone any action. These are the ones who commend the preacher as they go out the door: "I really needed that!", or "You really stomped on my toes today!" And, yet, they do nothing. They continue in their former ways. In effect they are saying: "We will hear thee again of this matter."
Thank God that there are those who are tenderhearted; those who are always looking to bring their life into closer harmony with the will of God. These are the folks who, upon hearing the truth, respond by putting it into practice in their lives. If it means changing from what they previously believed, they will do so. Their commitment is to the Lord. Serving Him is their first priority. May their tribe increase!
- by Greg Gwin