Search Engine

Provide a keyword or phrase below to find blog entries relevant to your search:

Results For

No Results

1 Thessalonians

< Return to List

©Michael Player

Chapter 2:1-10 (ESV)

Posted on April 24, 2024  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 2:1-10 (ESV) - For you yourselves know, brothers, that our coming to you was not in vain. But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict. For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.

For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers.

Question to consider: Why did Paul work so hard to keep from being a burden to the churches?

In Paul’s letters to the church in Corinth, he was contending with those who proclaimed to be super apostles of Christ who preached a message of greed. Today, we would refer to such teaching as “health and wealth” or “word of faith”. Luther referred to these teachings as a “theology of glory”. The idea is that if you are a true believer in Christ, God would give you increases in your material wealth and physical health. Those who face affliction and hardship are said to be deserving of it for their weak faith.

However, the apostle Paul pointed out that like the Thessalonians, they faced tremendous suffering merely for speaking the good news of Christ. They didn’t try to deceive anyone but spoke the truth in love. They also went out of their way to earn their own income so no one could accuse them of trying to profit off of the gospel. They did their best to care for the Thessalonians rather than ask anything of them.

We can recognize charlatans today who demand a "seed offering" to perform a miraculous healing or use their authority to get people to serve them or protect them from critics. They’ll proclaim to be apostles so people won’t question their doctrine or get their followers to attack others for trying to test what they say in light of scripture. So many of them get swept up in their own authority that they use the people in their ministries. Think of how many self-proclaimed apostles and prophets over the years who have been accused of sexual abuse because they convinced their followers that God told them the affair was permissible or even necessary to the ministry.

This kind of behavior was also rampant among the pagan religions with priests and fortune tellers who demanded large sums of money from their followers or temple prostitutes which disguised open sexual perversions as worship. There were also those who sold religious trinkets and idols to prey upon people’s superstitions.

Paul emphasized that they were hard-working and served them with a sincere love in order that the Thessalonians would receive their message of salvation in Christ. The skepticism of the world against the church is warranted. Over the centuries there have been wolves and false shepherds who make merchandise out of the sheep, or power brokers who are willing to destroy a person's reputation in order to advance a personal agenda. I know so many people who have experienced heartache and wickedness in the church to the point where they wonder if there are any true churches in existence today. As difficult as they may be to find, I encourage you to keep trying to find a biblically sound church and use your gifts and talents in service to it. Along the way, you will connect with true brothers and sisters in Christ and find refuge for your souls.


Dear heavenly Father, please help us to deny ourselves daily, take up our cross and follow Christ into the afflictions and trials that point others to His glory and the hope of eternal life in Him. Amen.