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Sinful man loves idols. He seeks to make concrete and visible the invisible God, and bring Him down to the level of mere men. The love of idols is the rebellion of fallen men.
Even in so-called "Christendom" there is much idolatry. The Roman Catholic mass is justified because, in their words, men require a physical visible sacrifice. Lost men aren't content with the one-time-for-all sacrifice of the Savior.
In liturgical, so-called "high" churches, the tangible and physical are highly prized as the means of approaching close to God, as if those physical things - stained glass, vaulted ceilings, grand organ music, etc. - can make the truth about God somehow more real.
The wonder of the incarnation is, God became manifest in the flesh! In the body of Jesus, we can see God at last.
Away with idols! We have Jesus!
Notice how Israel whored after idols all their existence, but when the concrete, physical manifestation of God was sent by God Himself, they rejected Him!
But now, Jesus is ascended, so the saints do not see Him now. We long to see Him one day with our own eyes, and believe that we certainly will.
The Thessalonian believers gave up their idols to serve the living God, and to await the bodily coming of the Lord Jesus one day! Like the Hebrew believers, their culture and lost relations persecuted them for walking away from the concrete, but false, religion in exchange for the Savior.
But what of those Thessalonians who waited for Christ's appearing, and died while they were waiting? Paul declares Christ's own promise to them: the dead in Christ shall rise again!
Those who've fallen asleep in Jesus have not missed out - we shall all see Him!
John Pittman Hey was born in 1961 in Jackson, Mississippi, to Godly parents who from the beginning raised him in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. With child-like faith he came to Christ on his fourth birthday at his mother's knee. He received his education at church school,...