14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out, 15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.” (Acts 14:14–15)
2 Corinthians 4:5-7 says, “5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”
Paul and Barnabas wanted the Lystrans to know that the two of them were not worthy of worship. They were but men, but men who possessed a great message from the One, True God. It was a message of good news. It was a message encouraging the people to turn from worthless things and turn to the living God who created them, the heavens and the earth, along with the sea and all that is in them.
One commentator writes, “This pagan crowd knows nothing about God and His works. So Paul and Barnabas explain that this God they proclaim is the Creator of all things. Furthermore, He has been patient and longsuffering, not calling unbelievers to account but showering them with good things, such as rain, food, and even gladness, blessings that revealed His existence and some basic facts about His nature. For these reasons alone, the Lystrans should worship and serve God through Jesus Christ. But even these powerful words barely dissuade the people from sacrificing to them.”
As we share the Gospel to our pagan friends, begin with the truth of creation. The created universe evidences the existence of a divine being with whom all men must give an account. Read and meditate upon Psalm 19:1-6, Acts 17:22-28 and Romans 1:18-32.
Soli deo Gloria!