To Our Church Family and Friends,
When we have some experiences that are so incredibly remarkable, we just have to tell someone about them. Sometimes when we attend some concert, see a game or a movie, or we read a book, we can’t wait to share that experience – usually these days on Facebook.
That’s how it ought to be among us with the news of the gospel of Jesus. In 1 Thessalonians 1:8, 9 Paul told the Christians at this very young church, “For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. 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…”
People were astonished at how these Christians had turned from idols to serve the one true God. That was huge news in that world. N.T. Wright said, to tell people to turn from idols in that culture would be like telling people today to give up driving their cars, or to quit using their computers or cell phones. The gods of the Greek and Roman culture were everywhere and a part of everyday life. If you were going to plant a tree, you would pray to one god; if you were going on a trip, you prayed to another god and offered some sacrifice and paid a fee at that god’s temple; if your child was getting married, you would worship the relevant god for that. There was a god for almost anything you did.
The gospel is good news. And it is so good it should be sounding forth from us. It should be something we are excited to share with others. And, the change or the difference in our lives should be something others should report about us. People should see such a difference in our lives that they tell how we have turned from the “gods” of our culture to serve the one true and living God.