He has also set eternity in their heart: yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.
– Ecclesiastes 3:11
We know it’s there. A gnawing restlessness springs from deep within man and testifies to a sobering truth: We are meant for more.
We just can’t figure out what more is. More sex? More money? More validation? More enlightenment? Throughout history, humanity has turned to a pantheon of pleasures and gods to feed the need. When the pleasures aren’t enough, we hunt for another deity to fill the void.
Society isn’t against gods, as a whole. One ancient city, in fact, covered their spiritual bases with altars to an assortment of gods. In Roman times, the learned men of Athens held council at the hulking rock formation known as the Areopagus, where the ruins still command a sweeping view of the city. Considered the religious center of Greece, Athens was filled with altars to various gods. To be on the safe side, they even erected an altar inscribed “TO AN UNKNOWN GOD,” in case they missed one. (Acts 17:23)
They worshipped every god they knew about, but they could not calm the restlessness in their souls. The accursed emptiness was still there. Eternity was in their hearts, but they didn’t know how to fill it.
It was to this place the apostle Paul was taken to defend his teaching about a God of whom they knew nothing.
That day at the Areopagus, Paul introduced them to the UNKNOWN GOD.
There he proclaimed to them what they worshiped in ignorance. He explained that the God who made the world and everything in it was the Lord of heaven and earth, too magnificent to dwell in temples made by human hands.
Paul then declared to them the gospel of Jesus Christ, the mystery revealed, the God who came in the flesh to pull back the veil on the UNKNOWN GOD.
We all have a place in our hearts only God can occupy. Nothing else fills that void. We try, though, in our ignorance. When that fails, we erect a fresh altar to a new obsession, hoping to ease the longing.
Still, it gnaws at us. All our money, time, energy, and emotions—enough to fill a city—can’t quench the thirst for the source of life.
We don’t have to live this way.
Two thousand years ago, a man stood on a rock and declared the revelation of God to humanity. He said, “Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man.”
Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.
– Acts 17:29-31
Now we see. Now we know.
Today, right now, wherever we are, we can revel in the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have the privilege of knowing what billions of people have longed to understand: He is not THE UNKNOWN GOD. He is the Lord of the universe, and He’s waiting to reveal the majesty of His justice and grace to us.
He’s as close as the whisper of His name.