“Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles…”
Text: 1 Thessalonians 2:16
A SPECIAL SENSE OF ANTAGONISM
The Apostle Paul noted that the persecutors were particularly incensed against any attempt to preach the gospel of salvation to Gentiles.
“Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may
be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins;
but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost.”
1 Thessalonians 2:16
1. “Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved”
a) Paul had first-hand knowledge of this.
i) He was a former persecutor.
ii) He suffered much from those who continued to persecute the church.
b) The problem of Gentiles.
i) It was partly a racial issue.
ii) It was partly an erroneous theological thought.
iii) The common belief was that Gentiles were never part of God’s plan of salvation.
iv) Salvation should never be offered to them.
2. Paul’s assessment of the enemies of the faith
a) Those who persecuted the church had sinned.
b) Each act of persecution added to the gravity of their sin.
c) God’s wrath would be visited upon them one day.
THE WRATH OF GOD
The apostle Paul wrote about the wrath of God in Romans 1-2. Here is a gist of what he taught about the wrath of God.
1. God is angry with those who persisted in sin.
2. He reserves the right to judge sinful mankind.
3. God’s wrath is wholly righteous.
4. The wrath of God is to be feared because of eternal consequences.
5. God’s wrath would fall upon the persecutors.
THE GOSPEL OF SALVATION
The gospel of God is the means of salvation to both Jews and Gentiles. No one is to be excluded from hearing about the salvation that is found in the Lord Jesus Christ! Paul was deeply committed to preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles. He knew that God had appointed him to be the apostle to the Gentiles and thus he faithfully ministered to the Gentiles, despite the threat of persecution!