First Thessalonians 2 explains Paul’s ministry to the Thessalonians and its results. Paul was called by God to preach the gospel. Not everyone was open to the preaching of the gospel. The Jews had opposed Paul before and Satan was continually hindering Paul and his companions.
Enemies of the church (14b-18)
a. Their persecution at the hand of their countrymen just as the Judean churches suffered at the hand of the Jewish leadership (14b-16)
…for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: 15 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: 16 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins always: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.
b. Their opposition at the hand of the devil (17-18)
17 But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavored the more abundantly to see your face with great desire.18 Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.
If we desire to obey God and witness for Christ, there will be opposition. Satan refuses to relinquish one soul to Jesus. Opposition comes in many forms.
Political correctness. Sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ might offend someone else’s belief. The Church. Some churches no longer believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. They no longer preach it. Timid. No boldness to tell others about Christ. The things of this world. Worldliness limits the gospel outreach. Hippocrates. People know Christians who say one thing and do another. Organizations that directly oppose preaching the Gospel. Of course there are many more.
We must continue on in spite of the opposition.
Tomorrow we will find out why.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001