1 Thes.1:8,9 – The message of the Lord has sounded out from you not only in Greece, but its echo has been heard in every place where people are hearing about your strong faith. We don’t need to brag on you, for everyone tells the story of the kind of welcome you showed us when we first came to you. And everyone knows how wonderfully you turned to God from idols to serve the true and living God.
True Christianity stands out from the culture of this world. To the lost, our faith can be unsettling. Paul said it would have either a fragrant attraction drawing people to Christ or a stench of death, causing animosity and pushback against the followers of Christ. Paul said the faith of the new believers was sounding forth in the community like the blast of a trumpet. Our church, Victory Church, is like that. You really can’t have a nonchalant attitude about it. Christ expressed in us demands strong feelings, you either love what He is doing or despise it. Here is how William Barclay describes this phrase.
“Verse 8 speaks of the faith of the Thessalonians sounding forth like a trumpet; the word could also mean crashing out like a roll of thunder. There is something tremendous about the sheer defiance of early Christianity. When all prudence would have dictated a way of life that would escape notice and so avoid danger and persecution, the Christians broadcast their faith. They were never ashamed to show whose they were and whom they sought to serve.”
As many of you know, I was saved in the Jesus movement in the 70’s. One of the characteristics of that movement was the raw faith and expression of early Christianity. A Jesus freak is shocking to the religious person, yet strangely attractive to the hungry. Our world need a fresh wave of Jesus freaks to shock the world back into reality. Here is how the Passion Notes describe these early Christians.
“The gospel of power will change lives. The Thessalonians had renounced the worship of false gods and turned wholeheartedly to the true God and become faithful servants. Every time true conversion (repentance) takes place, a life is changed.”
This is the very heart of our Christian faith, turning from the loves of this world to fall in love with our Lord. Repentance is easy when you are following Him.