One of my favorite authors, the late Leonard Ravenhill has written: "Now, while Paul was awaiting them at Athens, his spirit was grieved and roused to anger as he saw that the city was full of idols." Ancient Athens, though given to class and culture, was still peddling soul-dope.
Let me make some suggestions why Paul's spirit was roused to anger as he paced the streets and beheld Athen's sin.
Paul was angry at the power of false religion to delude the people.
Paul was angry at the reckless devotion of these devotees to powerless gods.
Paul was angry at the staggering wealth sacrificially given to build temples to frauds.
Paul was angry that Christ was cheated of the love which He should have had from men and women who could have been born of the Spirit of God.
Paul was angry that men with hearts of flesh cried out in vain to gods with hearts of stone.
Paul was angry that the atoning blood of Christ was trampled under foot and scorned as dung.
Paul was angry that the intellectuals mocked at the resurrection and ascension of the living Son of God.
Paul was angry that within a heart's beat of an eternal and inconceivably horrible hell men could eat, drink, and be merry.
Paul was angry that the devil could keep living men captive in chains of fear and lust, and then after this life hold them eternal prisoners in the bottomless pit.
The average believer's complacency towards the lostness of men is appalling. We believers today need a baptism of Paul's holy anger." (Sodom Had No Bible, pp. 33-35).
It is staggering how much is happening in our society across the United States today, and because of that and multiple personal experiences I have had in the past month, my heart is aching for our culture to repent and respond to Christ's call.
You may have heard or read Billy Graham's letter to our nation. Now at age 93, the aging preacher cried out once again to the nation he loves, saying: "Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone, except God. Some years ago, my wife, Ruth exclaimed, “If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah” ... The farther we get from God, the more the world spirals out of control. My heart aches for America and its deceived people. The wonderful news is that our Lord is a God of mercy, and He responds to repentance."
Honestly, from personal conversations with people that I love, I'm exhausted and brokenhearted by the increasing vulgarity and immorality of so many people within our society. My heart aches for friends who were once so close to Christ, but who are now trampling everything holy underfoot. I'm so tired of believers who seem to push every line they possibly can, and have forgotten the mercies and graces Christ has so graciously inserted in their lives.
Think about it. If we love someone, a spouse or a relative or a friend - we care about what they care about. We get angry about what they get angry about. What disturbs them, disturbs us. As we walk closely with God, we will also care about what He cares about.
Christians today need a new baptism of both holy anger and compassion. Anger because of Ravenhill's notes above. Anger at sin and the devil. Anger at personal compromise. Anger at our lack of seriousness about the Gospel. We need to weep for our nation. We need to weep over our own sins, and resolve anew to go after God's best for our lives. By God's grace, we need to set a standard.