What does it mean to receive Christ? It means to receive his messengers who bring his Good News. The real ones, as distinguished from false teachers, bring a vigorous message of conversion. It means (1) hearing; (2) turning; (3) changing; (4) serving; and (5) waiting:
For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
1 Thessalonians 1.9-10 ESV
Here is a wonderful description of what conversion is — a turning. We may not have a visible idol. Ours may be invisible, such as covetousness, Colossians 3.5. It may also be ambition, rebelliousness, or licentiousness.
True conversion focuses on the Afterlife with God, into which we will be ushered at the coming of Christ. So the focus of the converted person turns to his manifestation.
What comes for the world is wrath. True conversion to God saves one from his wrath. It applies to oneself, in immersion, the sacrifice of Christ, who gave his life to save ours eternally. His resurrection is God’s guarantee that we will also be raised and saved on that day.
In the meantime, our life on earth is described as service. We not only hang on as faithful people, but we live as servants who do God’s work of sharing the Good News together with all the saints.
For more information see this short study.