EPIKOS CHURCH - REAL PEOPLE. REAL STORIES. AMAZING GOD.
You know how badly we had been treated at Philippi just before we came to you and how much we suffered there. Yet our God gave us the courage to declare his Good News to you boldly, in spite of great opposition. (1 Thessalonians 2:2 NLT)
The back story here is that Paul and Silas had been beaten severely for preaching the Gospel and had been bound in chains and thrown into jail. Ones natural inclination would be to "recover" from the trauma of what had just happened. Get them into some counseling to deal with post traumatic stress and being disappointed with God for allowing such a painful experience to happen to them when they were doing God's work. Perhaps they should hold a press conference and demand justice because of the violation of their first amendment rights. At any rate, no one would blame Paul if he just took some time off to heal from his physical and spiritual wounds.
No- not Paul, not here and not now - not ever!
Philippians 1:21 "For me to live is Christ, to die is gain"
Paul's conviction and life motivation was to spread the knowledge of Christ, preach the Gospel of Christ and expand the kingdom of Christ. He preached in synagogues, when they threw him out he preached in the streets when they beat him and locked him up he preached in jails. They couldn't stop him from preaching Jesus. He actually lived out what he wrote. They couldn't shut him up and they couldn't shut him down. The most dangerous man is the man who has nothing to lose. It is his conviction that the worst thing they could do to him would be to take his life and as he already stated, that is a grand slam for him, the big win, the great victory and final reward. How do you scare a man into silent obedience who is not afraid because he has nothing to lose and everything to win? The answer: you can't.
When all logic would say "take a break and recover" Paul went on to the next town, still bleeding from open wounds and started it all over again. Cowboy up Get up and ride Timex man!
Pastors Phil Harris of Epikos Church in Bend, Oregon.