Gain in Satan’s hindrance – Part 1
“Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.”
Why did Paul plan to visit the Thessalonians again? He had been there before, and they had received the Word of God and were already converted. Saved by the Lord and separated from the world, they were shining lights for the Lord, sharing the gospel with their neighbours.
Paul planned to visit them so that they “might have a second benefit” (2 Corinthians 1:15), so that he “may impart unto (them) some spiritual gifts, to the end (they) may be established” (Romans 1:11). He desired to establish them in the faith and strengthen them to resist the tempter (1 Thessalonians 3:1-3), to perfect that which was lacking in their faith (1 Thessalonians 3:10), to establish their hearts unblameable in holiness before God (1 Thessalonians 3:13), to reassure them concerning their brethren who had died before the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), and to prepare them for “the day of the Lord (which) cometh as a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-6).
“But Satan hindered us.” Satan, the great adversary, tried to hinder the Saviour from paying the price for the salvation of the world (Matthew 16:21-23). He fought relentlessly to hinder the Jews from receiving their salvation through Christ (John 8:24,34,44; Acts 13:45,46; 28:27; 2 Corinthians 4:3,4). Now he, Satan, works tirelessly to hinder the free, full, final salvation of the Thessalonians and the Gentiles (1 Thessalonians 2:16; Acts 13:45-50; 14:2; 22:21-24).
Paul and the other preachers overcame all hindrances by persevering supplication, perpetual self-sacrifice, pledged servanthood, passionate stewardship, purposeful steadfastness, prevailing strategies and peculiar singleness of heart.
Although Apostle Paul was hindered from going to Thessalonica, he had trained and trusted representatives he could send to do what he would have done. One of these tested and trustworthy partners was Timothy. He was a humble, honest, holy believer, “well reported of by the brethren” (Acts 16:1,2). He was also a competent, well-equipped fellow-laborer known to be “faithful in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 4:17). Paul testified of him that “he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do” (1 Corinthians 16:10). Paul had trained many fellow-labourers, fellow-servants and fellow-workers, who could be sent to do the work he could have done whenever and wherever they need arose (Romans 16:3-7; 2 Corinthians 8:23; Philippians 2:25; 4:3; Colossians 4:7,8,10-12; 1 Thessalonians 3:2).
Similarly, the Lord Jesus Christ trained and reproduced Himself in many apostles and disciples He could send to preach and minister effectively (Mark 3:14,15; 6:12,13; Luke 10:1,2,17-20). Paul also trained and equipped many dedicated evangelists, pastors, and teachers that could be a mighty extension of Christ’s commission.
Timothy was to teach and train faithful leaders, who would be able to keep the gospel light shining in the darkness of their generation. Training workers and leaders is critical in overcoming Satan’s hindrances against the spread of the gospel. Those who are trained and equipped must be faithful, willing and available to serve anywhere, anytime “lest Satan should get an advantage of us” (2 Corinthians 2:11).
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