So Paul departed from among them. Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
Paul left Athens. And I personally believe that the message he gave there is recorded not as a model to copy, but as an example of failure. Why? In most of the other cities Paul visited, a church was born as a result of his ministry. Not so in Athens. Even though Paul gave an incredibly polished sermon, only a couple of folks believed. Why? I believe it is because in Acts 17, Paul never mentioned the crucifixion of Christ, nor even the name of Jesus. Why? Could it be that, knowing he was in the company of brilliant men, Paul thought the coarseness of the crucifixion may not have been culturally correct?
In Church leadership journals and seminars today, the overriding message is: ‘You must be culturally relevant. Relate to the culture; quote their poets; and be careful that you don’t be too offensive or too simple.’ That is why we see ministries, churches, Bible studies, and witnesses trying to be careful that they are relatable philosophically and relevant culturally. But, as a result, very few believe.
From Athens, Paul went to Corinth, where he came ‘not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God, determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified,’ (1 Corinthians 2:1-2).
A great church was born in Corinth, a powerful, impacting work of God took place there because Paul said, ‘After Athens, I came to you in weakness, fear, and trembling, preaching nothing but Jesus and Him crucified.’
Regardless of whether you’re preaching in South America, South Central Los Angeles, or South Medford — wherever you go, whomever you’re with, whether it be college grads or high-school drop-outs, liberals or conservatives, teenagers or golden-agers — the key to relating to anyone and everyone is to preach the Cross of Jesus Christ. That’s where the power is; that is how we will truly be ‘Cross-cultural’.
I have found that every single question and problem in life and ministry is always answered at the foot of the Cross and in the Person of Christ Jesus. Jesus said, ‘If I be lifted up, I will draw all men to Myself,’ (John 12:32). Preach Jesus Christ and the power of the Cross, saints. Learn the lesson of Paul ...
Keep your ministry focused. Keep your message simple. Point people to the Cross. And they’ll find Jesus.