“Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.” (1 Thess 2:18).
In this verse you see the apostle Paul himself was hindered from being able to minister to the the saints for a period of time. He literally says that Satan cut in front of him impeding the ministry of the gospel. Satan will stop at nothing when it comes to hindering the message of the gospel. Satan blinds the minds of unbelievers (2 Cor. 4:3-4) and he takes them captive at his will (2 Tim. 2:26). Only the gospel of Jesus Christ can break open the prison cells of those captive to sin and remove the darkness of their hearts by its all-powerful light. The gospel has power in and of itself; Paul calls it, “the power of God unto salvation.” (Romans 1: 16).
Satan is an enemy of Jesus Christ and anyone who serves him and many Christians today are being hindered by the devil especially those in ministry. The obstacles for unbelievers is one thing but hindrance of believers in Jesus is a much longer list. Today, divisions in churches, distractions of this world and depression of the emotions block the furtherance of the gospel. I also believe the gospel is being hindered because people are getting “spiritual” feeding from false ministers who have distorted the gospel rather than the personal study of the Bible under the illumination of the Holy Spirit (Gal 1). The gospel is an awesome power against the forces of darkness. Many people look at the armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-18 as something for personal protection but they forget that the armor has shoes that are called “the gospel of peace.” (Eph. 6:15). So what we stand upon; what we move in, what we walk in, what we run in-is the gospel. This understanding gives great clarity to our mission. Everything we live for is Christ and his gospel. As I’ve said before to others it’s time for us to use the weaponized version of the Bible (Heb. 4:12). This means to unleash the gospel in all its force and full strength by speaking clearly and forcefully the truths of the gospel and letting the Holy Spirit have his way.
I believe that The Lord whispered in my heart a few weeks back something to the effect that if we are going to stop the tide of evil that is sweeping across this land we are going to have to have the attitude “All for the gospel. All for Christ.” Only those that have surrendered to the gospel can call for the surrender of others to the gospel. And no doubt the gospel is an unconditional surrender of the sinner to the demands of the gospel.
Our strength, our fortunes, our very lives must be offered as a sweet smelling savor in sacrifice in order for the gospel to take its full affect. There is no other way. You don’t have to read the Bible for long to see that the men and women of the first century church were deeply and radically committed to Christ. The apostle Paul had a motto, “to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Phil 1:21). And I say, it is impossible for the gospel to be spread without a complete and total willingness to give everything for the gospel by every individual who calls himself a Christian.
The gospel is not just an idea but it is the idea of God. It is the genius of God that seems like foolishness to the world (1 Cor. 1:18, 25). There is nothing that can be compared to the gospel. The reason for the rise of Islam in the world today is because of the reasons that I’ve stated above. If the plain gospel is not preached it is giving Satan liberty and license by both spiritual and natural enemies to terrorize the world. Satan is a master at religion.
The Bible says he has his own ministers he even has his own churches. They appear to be Christian but they are not (2 Cor. 11:13-14). One man said years ago the one thing that’s worse than a world without the knowledge of God is a world with a perverted knowledge of God. We cannot defeat the foes of the gospel through the methodologies of man. It is ridiculous at best and satanic at worst! When Peter thought like men think he was called Satan (Mt 16:23). Jesus would say no less of those who garble and mangle the preaching of scripture and the gospel. This world system dominated by sin and Satan are much too powerful and only the Son of God could defeat them when he died on the cross and rose from the grave. We cannot lay claim to his promise, “I have overcome the world.” if we do not preach the gospel (John 16:33). We will be hindered and miserably defeated. May God help us today.
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