For they themselves report about us what kind of an entrance we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, and to await for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.” (1Th. 1:9 LSB) https://accordance.bible/link/read/LSB#1Th._1:9

 

These verses describe in summary the Christian life. First it is a turning away from idols. These are all the things we worship instead of the One True God, our Maker and the Sustainer of our very lives. Our current idols are money, security, pleasure, fame, but mostly self, what we want, how we want it and when we want it. Repentance is the first step in reconciliation with God and it is the turning away from all things that displease God and keep us from loving Him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. Upon our turning away from idols we turn to serving God. This is the other side of the repentance coin. It is not just the end of doing bad it is the beginning of doing what God describes as good. This good is loving our neighbor as ourselves culminating in the reconciling of all the people in our life to Jesus even as we have come to know Jesus. We serve God by building His kingdom upon earth as it is in heaven. This kingdom comes in breadth through the conversion of more people being born again and it comes in depth by each of us increasingly obeying everything Jesus commanded us. For we await the return of Jesus, we expect Him any day, so we pray fervently and work earnestly to see the whole world reconciled to God in Jesus the Savior lest He come and find us lazy, idle, or disobedient to the task He placed upon us. For when He comes, He will judge all men according to His word and all those who failed to live in obedience to the Living Word of God will be condemned forever in the fires of hell to suffer for their insubordination to God for all eternity. God desires that no man live in the fires of hell but for all people to live with Him in peace, joy, health, and happiness forever but to do so we must turn away from idols, serve God and obey His commands.

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