For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to 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, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10)
The Power Of The Gospel
One of the first impressions I had as a young child from the preachers of my day was the emphasis upon the power of the gospel. There seemed to be a lot of Romans 1:16 going around and in almost all the gospel meetings and frequently from the pulpit would come the clarion call of the “dunamis” of the gospel. It was more often illustrated as ‘dynamite’ how the gospel would destroy the wisdom of men. The message of Christ would turn hearts to the good news of salvation. Not sure we hear much power from many pulpits anymore.
The gospel is an amazing thing (understatement I know). Paul commends the saints in Thessalonica because their transformation was a little more remarkable than many. Throughout the cities of Rome idolatry was on every corner in an ancient form of media blitz permeating every part of Roman life. Statues lined the streets filling the market places with their wares and life was governed by the will of the gods. Politics was guided by the corruptible images of glory (not much changed there), education was based upon idolatry and morality was governed by the will of self-worship (again not much changed). What the saints at Thessalonica did was to walk away from all of this. That was truly a remarkable thing to do.
There are many honest hearts in the world seeking truth. It is easy to look at a Muslim without any hope of teaching them the truth. Yet my son-in-law is now preaching the gospel of Christ when not many years ago he was a follower of the Koran. Recently a friend mentioned someone who once embraced the Mormon doctrine of Joseph Smith had obeyed the true gospel of Christ. I have wonderful brethren in my life who once served the Pope and dogmas of the Catholic Church but now see clearly the truly revealed word of God. There are those who have been alcohol free for many years with their lives changed by the gospel of Christ. Women who sold their bodies are now praising God in salvation. The gospel is powerful. It can change the heart of any man who is willing to let the gospel change their heart.
It can change you too. Let the word of Christ dwell in you and your life will never be the same. You and I may not have as tall a hurdle to overcome as others but we all must overcome sin. The gospel is the only way to do that. Praise God for the ‘dunamis’ of His word.