Hindered By Satan
By David J. Stewart
we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered
—1st Thessalonians 2:18
The Bible makes a fascinating statement in 1st Thessalonians 2:18 when the Apostle Paul states, “Satan hindered us.” This naturally raises the question . . . Why would God allow Satan to hinder, trouble and persecute God's children? Jesus said in Revelation 2:10 . . .
“Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”
Why would God allow the Devil to put Christians into prison? Hey, wait a minute, I thought God was watching out for us, to protect us and bless us. So why would God allow the Devil to have victory over His saints?
The answer is simple if we study the fall of man. The Bible teaches that God created mankind upright (Ecclesiastes 7:29); but mankind chose of his own freewill to sin against God. Romans 5:12 states, “Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” We are living in a fallen world of sin, where most men follow Satan, and it is those evil men who hinder the work of God. It was mankind, and not God, who ruined everything.
Ephesians 6:12 states:
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Our warfare is NOT physical; but rather, spiritual in nature. We are fighting against multitudes of demonic influences in society today, and against demonically inspired unsaved people. Ephesians 2:1,2 teaches:
“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.”
Most unsaved people don't even realize that they are being led by Satan through worldly philosophies, lust and greed, false religion, self-righteousness and an evil heart of unbelief. The New Testament Church has many enemies in the world today. Dead churches have little to fear, because they are not obeying the Scriptures and aren't a threat to Satan. However, faithful churches who are on fire for God publicly preaching the Gospel, publicly taking an uncompromising stand against sin, and are publicly uplifting the name of Jesus Christ, are being horribly persecuted by the Devil's crowd.
“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” —2nd Timothy 3:12
If your church is not being persecuted by the Devil, then you need to leave and find a Biblical church that's serving God.
Acts 26:18 speaks about THE POWER OF SATAN . . .
“To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”
All power that Satan possesses is given to him by God (Luke 4:6), and that power is limited. Howbeit, Satan has the power to HINDER our labors in the Lord and to persecute us for our Christian faith. This is a result of living in a fallen world of sin and woe. Ever since Adam took that first bite into the forbidden fruit, mankind has been embattled in a raging spiritual battle for the souls of men. Satan hates mankind and the Bible calls him the father of all liars and murderers (John 8:44). Jesus said in John 10:10 that “the thief” (i.e., Satan) comes for one sole purpose . . . to kill, steal and destroy.
The Bible tells us in 2nd Corinthians 2:10,11 that unforgiveness gives Satan an advantage over the church . . .
“To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.”
Conversely, this also means that Christian forgiveness is a powerful weapon that we have against the Devil. In 1st Corinthians 5:1-5 the Apostle Paul rebuked the church at Corinth for allowing a man to live in open fornication in the church. In response to Paul's rebuke, the church took care of the matter. The man repented, but nothing is said about the woman. In 2nd Corinthians 2:10,11 Paul stressed the importance of forgiveness, and offered his forgiveness as well, so that Satan wouldn't have an opportunity to destroy lives within the church. Paul calls unforgiveness a “device” of Satan.
The Scriptures prepare us for spiritual battle against Satan in Ephesians 6:12-18 . . .
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”
These are the Christian soldier's battle gear: truth, righteousness, the Gospel, faith, salvation, the Word of God and prayer. The Bible DOESN'T mention the latest New York Times Best Seller, nor a crucifix good luck charm, not a statue of The Virgin Mary for protection, nor any of the other gimmicks passed off nowadays as necessary for victory in the Christian life. Everything that the Bible mentions doesn't involve money or donations.
The Bible warns us that Satan often hinders lost souls from being saved . . .
“Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.” —Luke 8:12
There are numerous videos, websites, books and presentations available today that Satan is using to take away the Word of God from people's hearts, including the blasphemous lie of Evolution which robs children of their faith in God's Word.
Paul's preaching caused people to stop committing idolatry, which made the local idol maker very angry . . .
“Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works” —2nd Timothy 4:14
Paul met perverse and corrupt men during his time, just like we do today, who think Christianity is all about making money and prospering in this greedy world . . .
“Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself” —1st Timothy 6:5
“Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith” —2nd Timothy 3:8
“And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith” —2nd Thessalonians 3:2
Satan is working relentlessly today to HINDER the work of God—through corrupt Bibles, greedy ministers, churches that fail to stand against sin, unforgiveness, perverse and corrupt gospels, false christs, and other increasing forms of apostasy. Our best defense is to live in the Word of God, walk with Jesus, pray continually, live righteously, contend for the Christian faith, rejoice in our salvation and trust upon God.