An Obvious Change Takes Place

An old man from the back mountains of Tennessee found himself one day in a large city, for the first time standing outside an elevator. He watched as an old, haggard woman hobbled on, and the doors closed. A few minutes later the doors opened and a young, attractive woman marched … More

Change

Paul makes three statements describing the change that took place in these new Thessalonian Christians:

  1. They turned their back on idolatry (v. 9). Keep in mind that many of the initial converts were Jews but the church soon included large numbers of Gentiles. Many of these Gentiles had been idol worshipers and had bowed down to false gods. Have you ever seen people bow down to idols? Several years ago I had the privilege of spending the summer in Mexico among Indian tribes. In one of these tribes every family had a “god house” in back of their mud hut. Inside they had a clay pot with an ugly face on the front. This was their god and they would go inside and bow down to it and cry out for favors. For someone to accept Christ and stop doing this would create a stir among the whole tribe. This is what it would have been like in Thessalonica.
  2. They began to worship God (v. 9). In our culture, when we accept Christ, it may not even become obvious to those around us, unless we tell someone about it. However, in this Thessalonian culture, when people turned to Christ and forsook their pagan background it was a very obvious and dramatic change.
  3. They looked for Christ’s return (v. 10). They not only turned from idolatry to serving the true God but they developed a great expectancy for the second coming of Christ.

All of us should respond to this Good News as the Thessalonians did. Their labor of love made them  a good example and an enthusiastic people as they lived the Word of God and shared the Gospel. Their patience of hope made them an expectant people, looking for the Saviour’s return.

Application

Just as the Thessalonians faith and loved confirmed their testimony to those around them, so should my testimony exemplify the power of the Gospel to change lives.

I Thessalonians 1:9-10 (English Standard Version)

For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

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