In Acts 17, we read of how God used the Apostle Paul to be a bold and fearless witness for Him in Athens. In front of an audience of religious philosophers and intellectuals, Paul preached the resurrection of Jesus the Christ and proclaimed the “unknown God” who they claimed to be worshiping.
At the end of Acts 17, the Bible says, “some mocked, while others said, ‘We will hear you again on this matter.'” And then, verse 34 says, “However, some men joined him and believed, among them Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.” Damaris is not mentioned again in Acts or any other place in the Bible, but the choice that she made after Paul’s address is significant.
1. Damaris believed. Since she was among the philosophers at Areopagus (the seat of the ancient and venerable supreme court of Athens), Damaris was probably a wealthy, educated woman. But once she heard Paul’s words, she decided to leave her old beliefs behind and follow the Truth.
Damaris made a decision to believe in the God Who made the world and everything in it. Damaris made a decision to repent. Damaris made a decision to believe in Christ and His resurrection.
Along with Dionysius and some others, joining Paul was probably not the most favorable thing for Damaris to do. Perhaps they lost their positions in the supreme court of Athens. We don’t know, but no doubt they are all in Heaven with God because of the decision that they made to believe in Him.
Many people don’t believe in God because it sounds too simple to do. Smartness is not a friend of simplicity. Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Richard Feynman, said: “Sometimes, the laws of Nature are so simple, we have to rise above the complexity of scientific thought to see them.”
God is not complicated; neither is His Son. Their Gospel is simple. We’re the ones who make things difficult. Ultimately, for the theist and the atheist, it all comes down to a matter of faith. One has the faith not to believe. The other, like Damaris, has the faith to believe.