(1 Thessalonians 1:9 KJV) For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;
Here is one of the key expectations of the Christian life. Real believers have “turned” (1994) from the “idols” (1497). This is one of the aspects of repentance. This is why many people fall away; they don’t want to abandon their old way of life. They cling to their habits, schedules, friends, leisures, sins. They make Janus their God instead of turning to Jehovah. Janus was the god that had faces turning in two different directions. Too many like the claims of Jesus but really don’t want those claims to interfere with their lives.
They reject their old priorities to “serve” (1398) God. People do not need to remain what Proverbs 6:12 calls a “naughty” (KJV) or “worthless” (NASB) person. Once they turn to Jesus, repent of their sins and receive the Holy Spirit, they begin to cement that decision in place by a change in behavior. It all doesn’t happen over night. It is a process of growing in grace and wisdom. It is the process of sanctification. No one needs to stay evil.
Do you pick up the contrast? On one side you have the false idols; on the other the “living” (2198) and “true” (228) God. Wood, gold and stone stand contrasted with the dynamic creator of wood, gold and stone.
So? Rejoice in the God of your salvation if you have turned and serve. If you haven’t, there is no time like the present to call upon His mercy.