I want to back up a moment and reread verses 30-31:
“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.” Acts 17:30-31 NASB
In his message to the Athenians, there is something we often miss. You see, in those two verses Paul described both the grace of God, as well as His righteousness. God knows our sins, and He knows there are times when we act in “ignorance.”
Throughout history, many people have lived in “ignorance.” They haven’t known about the true God or the Good News that Jesus died for them. But as Paul explained, the Lord has often “overlooked” this ignorance. And Peter adds that God “is not slow about His promise . . . but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9).
But even with that said, the Day of Judgment will come. In fact, this day has been “fixed.” This day will take place (possibly soon). Like the Athenians, some won’t even think about this Day of Judgment; others may assume it will never come; while others simply laugh or find the whole subject curious.
But Paul said the right response was to “repent.” This was the same message preached by John the Baptist and Jesus. The Greek word here means to change our mind, to go in a different direction, to be serious and get our lives right with God. If our hearts are right in His sight, we don’t need to worry about the Day of Judgment. We will be ready.
Clearly, this is a message for unbelievers. They need to know that the day of the Lord is coming. They will have to face God and give an account of their lives! But this is also a message for Believers.
Today, make sure that you are ready. Remember to tell others the Good News. Some will mock and reject you, others will ignore the message. But, as happened in Athens, “some will be saved.”
If interested, you can download the entire study of The Story of Acts