1 Thessalonians 2:14-18 KJV
For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in
Judaea are in Christ
Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as
they have of the Jews:
Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:
Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.
But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire.
Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.
The Apostle is giving his description of the contest he had experienced in Thessalonica. Though the Gentiles there experienced oppression and persecution from their own countrymen Paul's trouble came from the Jews who had forbidden him to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles that they might be saved. Paul extended that trouble to a spiritual level and exclaimed that the problem was Satan's hindrance.
And so we may view any hindrance to getting the Gospel to a lost soul. It is the work of Satan.
- When a border prevents a missionary from crossing it is Satan's hindrance
- When a religious group refuses to welcome a missionary into a community it is Satan's hindrance
- When violence breaks out and missionaries are forced to flee (or worse) it is Satan's hindrance
- When economic problems prevent a once generous congregation from giving as they once did, it is Satan's hindrance
- When a people who used to support missions turn inward and selfish, it is Satan's hindrance