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God bless you and greetings in the name of Jesus Christ who always did what pleased his Father (John 8:29).

Paul successfully and ethically operated his ministry regardless of how he was treated.

I Thessalonians 2:1-5:
For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain: 2 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention. 3 For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: 4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. 5 For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness:

Paul often ministered the gospel amidst much contention. “Contention” is the Greek word agōn, which was literally used of the conflict, struggle and fight of athletic contests. Friberg says it is used of exertion and self-denial in the face of opposition. It is used figuratively of intense nonphysical struggles with intense labour and earnestness. Paul certainly worked hard to take God’s Word to God’s people. Although the contest was intense, he never succumbed to unethical tactics.

His action never came from deceit, uncleanness or guile. Instead, when he spoke, he spoke in a manner that would please God not men. He was so honoured to bear the ministry of reconciliation that he operated it in a manner that would reflect honour upon God. He did it right, and he spoke the truth and he did not use gamesmanship. He did not do it because he wanted something from them. He did not use flattering words to manipulate or coerce them. He was simply valiant for the truth by proclaiming the truth in a manner that was in accordance with the truth. Whether or not people were won was God’s business.

II Corinthians 4:3-4:
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world [age] hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Ultimately that is who we are fighting against, the god of this world. We know the ultimate source of the evil, lies and deception is the god of this world. Jesus called him “the prince of this world” (John 14:30; 16:11). Paul called him, “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). He currently exercises his power is this world (1 John 5:19; Revelation 12:12-13). He is a deceiver, “a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). People do not realize that they are obeying Satan and worshipping him (Ephesians 2:2); they are just going with the flow of society.

It is important, however, to realize that Satan does not have a right to this world! He is a usurper, seeking to encroach on what is rightfully God’s (Psalms 24:1; John 10:10). Do not allow him to take what God wants you to have. You have a right to every promise in the Book.

Satan’s strategy is deception, blinding men’s minds. “Blinding” means to deprive of sight. People think they see clearly, but “they cannot see the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God.” However, God’s use of even figurative language is precise. Satan blinds them, so God makes us a savour of life to them.

II Corinthians 2:14-17:
Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. 15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: 16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

Even if their eyes have been blinded they can still smell. God makes us a savor, a fragrance, of life so that those who want the truth of the glorious gospel of Christ can receive it. The devil blinds their eyes and deceives them with lies, and there is only one remedy―love of the truth.

II Thessalonians 2:9-10: [NIV]
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, 10 and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

They refused to grasp, receive or take hold of the truth. As a result, they become victims. They are not innocent unbelievers, but culpable and responsible for the truth they have heard. How do we counter Satan’s strategy? What should we do in the face of this deceptive, spiritual blindness that is maintained over lost mankind by the evil one? We do what Paul did:

1. We fight with prayer and spiritual weapons (II Corinthians 10:3-6; Ephesians 6:10-20). We undergird our ministry of reconciliation with earnest prayer and intercession.

We are open and honest in our own communication, not deceptive or manipulative. (II Corinthians 1:12,17; 4:2; 11:6; I Thessalonians 2:3-5)
3. We declare the good news of Jesus Christ concerning the mystery with clarity — even if it is met with disdain (1 Corinthians 1:17-18). We fight falsehood with truth: the “belt of truth” and “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Ephesians 6:14, 17). There is spiritual power in the gospel for those who are being saved! Paul said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).

We love with great intensity. “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son….” (John 3:16), and we so love that we give, too. That means we will have to be bold, courageous, intrepid, brave and stout-hearted.
Nobody said ministry is easy, friends. To minister to the lost is to engage in the spiritual battle as a determined participant, rather than a bystander — or worse, a spiritually blinded and neutralized believer.