1 Thessalonians 1:7-10
So that you were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.…
Dr. Watts has left on record the fact that of all who have been led to a saving faith under his ministry, he could recall but one who had been first awakened by the amiable attributes of the Divine character. All the rest were first aroused by fear of the Divine anger. "The love of God," he said, "had been the suasive power, but the wrath of God had been the awakening power." The same succession of convictions in the order of time is confirmed by the history of conversions in the great revivals of the past. Before men discover in its saving power that "God is love," they discover in its condemning power that "God is a consuming fire." Dr. Bushnell has put this fact incisively. He says: "One of the things most needed in the recovery of men to God is this very thing — a more decisive manifestation of the wrath principle. Intimidation is the first means of grace. No bad mind is arrested by love and beauty till such time as it is balked in evil and put on ways of thoughtfulness. And nothing can be so effectual for this as a distinct apprehension of 'the wrath to come.'" There are of course exceptions to this rule. Wilberforce records that he never experienced a sense of the Divine anger till after he was persuaded to repentance by the love of Christ. But such cases are not relatively numerous in the histories of conversion.
Parallel VersesKJV: So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.