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Compelled to Preach

Apr 23, 2010 06:26 AM EDT

Acts 17:16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols.

Do you ever feel righteous indignation as you look at our confused society today? Righteous indignation is the result of seeing something that disturbs you deep in your soul.

Maybe you see something on television that is wicked and perverse. Maybe you see someone misrepresenting God. Maybe you see a situation in which you realize that people are turning to false gods. It grieves you and causes you to be stirred deep within.

The Book of Acts tells us that when Paul arrived in Athens, he was grieved to see the absolute absence of the living God, and in His place, every conceivable substitute. Acts 17:16 says that Paul's spirit "was provoked within him." Another way to translate this is, "His spirit was exasperated," or "He was irritated or aroused to anger," or my favorite, "He was hot and mad."

This doesn't mean that Paul lost his cool and he was basically ticked off. This was righteous indignation.

Does it grieve you inside as you see generation after generation going down the same path that leads to destruction, buying into the same lies the generation before them bought into? Does that concern you?

Here is what it comes down to. We can take as many classes as we want on how to share our faith. We can memorize verses. We can prepare ourselves. But unless we have a God-given burden for unbelievers, it won't matter.

Paul said, "Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!" (1 Corinthians 9:16). But if some Christians were honest, they would say, "Woe is me if I have to preach the gospel." We need to ask God to change our hearts.

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