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The Living and True God

1 Thessalonians 1:8-10

Often I hear moans of despair, “Our culture is so dark! It’s never been this wicked.” And with the New York State legislature voting to allow abortions right up to the time of birth, it is dark, especially when politicians proclaim this is liberating. How should we as believers respond?

In AD 50/51, when Paul and his associates walked into Thessalonica, it was common in the Roman Empire to take baby girls and throw them out to die with the trash. The Roman Emperor Claudius was worshipped as divine. As Paul walked through the city the statues of Roma, the personification of the glories of Rome, stood in their holy places, and Thessalonica itself was dedicated to Dionysius, the god of wine, orgies, and ecstasy. Did Paul cry out in anger against the people? Did he agitate to generate a revolutionary movement against the murder, sexual immorality, and injustice?

The Apostle Paul knew that underneath all that bluster of power and boasting about the pleasures of sex in any form, there was a nagging guilt and fear and Paul was confident that he had the greatest good news the world could ever hear. He started discussing it in the Jewish synagogue and then took his message out into the streets. Listen to what he has to say about what people were saying all over Greece and beyond about those who accepted Paul’s challenge to turn away from empty, lifeless idols and believe in Jesus who rose again from the dead.

“So, there was no need for us to say anything about you. The people of Macedonia, Achaia, and everywhere else were reporting to us about the welcome we received from you. How you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God. And to wait for his Son to return out of heaven, the Son who rose from the dead, Jesus, the One who rescues us out of the coming divine judgment.”

In the sixties the dominant message, especially in California, was drugs, free love, and anarchy. Young people climbed into their VW bus and headed for the beach. But when friends started dying from overdoses, the message of free love didn’t sound so good. When hearts hungered for faithfulness and trust, it was the passion of believers who took the message that Jesus died for our sins, he rose again, he is alive and can forgive us for our sins that moved hundreds of young people to want to get baptized and the beaches became special places where folks found Jesus. It’s time for another Jesus movement and it all begins when those of us who have the message love others enough to connect with them, listen to their stories, and tell the truth about Jesus.

LORD, help your children across the country to celebrate pregnancy, to cherish babies not only in the womb, but all the way through life so that we demonstrate to the world that Jesus is alive and giving life to all who will come to him.  Give us the boldness to connect in the marketplace like Paul, Timothy, and Silas.

For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!