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This is our Understanding the Scriptures segment, we are in the Book of Acts Chapter 17.Dave, last week we did read Acts 17, Verse 26, but let’s give our listeners a little background.Paul is in Athens, he’s actually at Mars Hill, and he has an opportunity to speak to everyone.They said, Who is this guy?He’s got something new to say, let’s hear him.And that was an opportunity to speak to the unbelievers in Athens.He begins by talking about an altar which he finds, and the inscription is, To the unknown god, and of course, Paul then is going to explain who this unknown god is.I’ll read those verses: Acts:17:24
, “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands, Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.”And this is the verse we want to talk about:“And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation.”Now, you mentioned last week that there are a lot of different ideas about this verse, and I think that we even pointed out that could this mean that’s why you’re living in Bend, Oregon, and I’m living here, at this time and this day, and so on.
Yeah, well, Tom, I think it’s talking about nations, “made of one blood all nations of men” and we now know that we are all of one blood, no matter what color the skin is, the blood is the same.You can get a transfusion from one person to another, it doesn’t have to be white to white and black to black, and so forth.It doesn’t even have to be Chinese to Chinese or American to American.In fact, when you bring it down to the plasma it is one blood for all nations.So, how did Paul know that?Then he goes on and he says:“determined the times before appointed.”Well, God knows everything, and He knows what He’s going to do, when He’s going to do it, and of course He has told us much of that in His Word.“Times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation” it says.Well, actually it’s amazing, there does seem to be bounds.You know, you were just traveling in Europe, you go from France to Switzerland, to Germany, to Austria, these are distinct people, it’s really amazing, and they have a distinct way of talking, their diet and the way they think.So, I don’t know that it’s saying more than that.There are bounds and of course, how are you going to break those bounds, what are you going to conquer, that’s not good, that’s not what God wants.But it’s interesting that it tells us why they have bounds of their habitation.He says, “That they should seek the Lord, if haply, they might feel after Him and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us.”
Dave, I want you to give me your understanding of that phrase:“If haply they might feel after Him.”
Well, I think it’s a bad translation.They might search for Him, I think.But Tom, “the bounds of their habitation” that’s interesting, “that they should seek the Lord.”Okay.Oh, what does that mean?If all the world got mixed up and there weren’t any boundaries that would prevent them from seeking the Lord and they can seek the Lord more if they are in separate countries?I think it’s going back to the Tower of Babel, and the world was a one language, they were all one, and they weren’t seeking God, they were seeking ways to get to heaven.You know, they were going to build a tower that reach to heaven, they would climb up the steps to heaven.They really were defying God, and God scattered them.Now what we find today, Tom, as you know as well as I—I’ll never forget an ad in Scientific American, and it was put in there by Lockheed Corporation, had a picture of, kind of the ruins, well, half ruined of the Tower Babel, and Lockheed said, We’re undoing the Babel effect with our computers, we’ll have everyone speaking the same language.The whole idea today, Tom, is the world must unite, get all he religions together, the ecumenical movement, you know, this is what the Pope John Paul II, was a great leader of that.And of course, the multi-corporations are really putting this thing together, and what the world thinks is, if we could just unite and have one world.That’s contrary to what God decided, He had to scatter them and confound their languages!So, He scattered so that—Hey, guys, don’t get these grandiose ideas that you can be God and that you can control your destiny, and that you can solve your problems, and you can turn this earth back into a paradise by your United Nations and your peace conferences and so forth, you had better just seek the Lord.That’s what I get out of this, Tom.“Haply they might grope for Him and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us.”It’s not a good idea to try to create a one world government or a one world religion, that’s contrary to God’s will, and what is wrong with it?Well, because then you are going to think man can do it, man can solve his problems.It’s not going to work, it isn’t going to happen.
Dave, can’t we contrast that with the unity the Scripture is talking about, it’s unity and truth.
Oh, yes, unity in the church, unity of all believers, we are one in Christ.But that’s not the world, so this would be a unity in opposition to that.
Right.Verse 28:“For in him we live, and move, and have our being,”Dave, let me stop there.Some people would pull back from that, they wouldn’t believe it and say, Wait a minute, are we in God, is God in us?I mean, is this pantheism?
Well, the end of Verse 27 says, He is not far from every one of us.In other word, He can be reached by prayer in a moment, cry out to Him.Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.And Tom, as you know, I’m writing a book right now titled:Cosmos, Creator and Human Destiny.One of the things I point out, how astonishing it is, we’re trying to search space to find out if we’re alone.We’re trying to find out if there might be some intelligent life out there.We’re listening on our radio, telescopes, is we can hear some sensible, you know, not just static or whatever, but some words from out there.Tom, God has written words on DNA!We’ve got a message right there, furthermore, He has given us His Word in the Bible.Here we’ve got a sensible message from God, we’re not alone, He created us, and it used to be that the thinkers, philosophers, poets, scientists search for God.Oh, if I could just know God.But they have turned their backs on God.So, what Paul is saying here is, Our very life comes from Him, in Him we live and move and have our being.It doesn’t mean that everybody is reconciled to God.Even the atheists who shakes his fist at God and says:I defy you, God, God is giving him the strength to do that.God could smite him and he would be finished.So, our very breath comes from the Lord, and I think this is what Paul is saying.He is not saying that everyone is in fellowship with God.
Program Number: 0107d https://www.thebereancall.org/content/what-are-bounds-our-habitation
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