Tonight I was especially struck by the worldliness of such a store. As I entered the literary marketplace, it is as though my mind was being accosted by the words screaming from the covers of books on everything from Feng Shui to Self-Esteem Building Child-Rearing to the latest gossip of People magazine. It made me think of Acts 17:16 Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols.
I almost felt like standing up in the middle of the store and preaching a sermon something like this:
Yes, this is an alteration of Acts 17:22-31 - with no intention of being blasphemous. I'm simply illustrating how there is an incredible similarity between what the Athenians were pursuing and what people are buying today. Mankind has not changed. We are not more "advanced". In fact, the case can be made that we are just as sinful and deluded as ever - without the light of God in our hearts to help us.
Men and women of Calgary,
I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I pass through your marketplace of ideas and observe the fascinations of your worship, I find books with various inscriptions.
You seem to be searching for something and yet you are denying the very One that will satisfy. Your volumes of self-help propaganda and life-enrichment strategies have turned into mountains because of the many gurus, self-proclaimed experts and story-telling celebrities. You put together all manner of ideas and words - vainly seeking to design a god that can stop your pain within. You pursue all manner of gods: with the latest being a 'secret' that helps you find the real You, so You can have what You want and ultimately become a god in Yourself.
What therefore you seek as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, is not an idea concocted by man, nor is He mystically connected to. He Himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward Him and find Him.
He is actually not far from each one of us. In fact, if you head to the back of the store, in the far hidden corner, there are 4 shelves that give us His Word. Yes, deep among the religious panderings of false prophets and antichrists, you can seek and find the truth that will indeed set you free.
You think You are wise and intelligent; enlightened and sophisticated, but the reality is that you are ignorant and foolish - exchanging the truth of God for a lie. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent, because He has fixed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom He has appointed; and of this He has given assurance to all by raising Him from the dead.
This evening has definitely made me even more aware of the desperate need for truth to be spoken to the world today. May we all take seriously the task at hand - to share God's glorious truth with everyone we encounter. Our friends, acquaintances, brothers and sisters need the true God... and they need to hear His word spoken clearly in the marketplace of false gods being peddled through today's media.
Romans 10:14 But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?