Enemies of the Gospel 1 Thes. 2:14-19

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In 1 Thes 2:14-19, Paul commended the Thessalonians because they were suffering in their country the same way the saints were suffering in Judea [v.14].  The suffering resulted from the reproach that saints endure from the enemies of the cross [2 Thes 1:3-6; Gal 5:11].  It was a testimony that the Thessalonians were sticking with the true gospel and not some perversion of it to avoid tribulation [Phil 3:18-19].

The enemies of the cross that Paul mentions in this passage are “your own countrymen” [14], the Jews [15-16] and Satan [18].  We will examine each of these in the scripture to see how they affected the church in Thessalonica.

Their Countrymen 

Matt 13:54-59 a prophet is not without honor – Matt 10:34-36 a man’s foes of his own household – Matt 11:16-19 said Jesus was a friend of publicans and sinners – Jn 15:18-21 if the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you – Lk 6:26 Woe unto you when all men speak well of you – 2 Cor 11:30-33 through a window in a basket

The Jews 

If any group of people should have been favorable toward the gospel, it should have been the Jews because Jn 4:22 salvation is of the Jews and they had the covenants and the promises Rom 9:4-5 – but they are truly enemies of the gospel Rom 11:28 – they killed the Lord [15] see also Acts 2:36, 3:13-15, 4:10, etc – they killed their own prophets [15] see also Matt 5:11-12, Matt 23:29-35 – they please not God 1 Cor 10:5 [eventually he had to send the Assyrians and the Babylonians in to remove them from their own land] – they are contrary to all men – they tried to keep Paul from preaching to the Gentiles [16] Acts 13:50, 14:1-7, 14:19, 17:5, 17:13; etc. – as a result the wrath of God is come upon them to the uttermost – nevertheless they will not be consumed [Mal 3:6] and they will eventually be saved Rom 11:25-26


Satan hinders the work of God [18] – Mk 4:15 he steals the word sown in certain hearts – 2 Cor 4:4 he blinds the minds of those who don’t believe – 2 Cor 11:13-15 he counterfeits the work and ministers of God [2 Thes 2:9] – 2 Tim 2:25-26 he takes men captive who have not acknowledged the truth – 1 Tim 3:6-7 he condemns, reproaches and ensnares preachers – Acts 5:3 he can fill the heart of some believers to lie to the Holy Ghost – etc.

In spite of these enemies, be like the Thessalonians and endure the tribulation associated with the cross and tell others how they too can be saved!!