Summary: This simple outline focuses on Paul’s experiences with the Thessalonians and Bereans and conflict and recognizing sides in a conflict.
At times, the right and wrong of an issue which divides is not clear. Often, we can use this checklist to determine who is acting in an ungodly manner.
Character of Ungodly Opposition
1) Ungodly opposition is characterized by being emotionally driven.
The Thessalonian Jews were "Jealous" and this was the whole driving force behind their opposition to Paul’s ministry.
2) Ungodly Opposition is characterized by the ungodly allies it chooses.
The Thessalonian Jews went down and found loafers and brigands that they stirred up to riot.
In modern-day church settings, such opposition is characterized by gathering allies from people who haven’t been to church in months, but come to a business meeting for a big "showdown." They don’t care enough about God’s work to come and participate in the kingdom work, but they’ll come for a fight. Such ungodly "ally-gathering" cannot be the work of God.
3) Ungodly opposition is characterized by untruth.
There are three types of untruth.
1. Half-truths (1/2 truth always equals a whole lie)
3. Downright lies
The Jews used all of these before the magistrates. Paul and Silas hadn’t caused the rioting. While advocating Christ’s kingdom, they also had not opposed Caeser.
The Honor of the Bereans
The Bereans were honorable because:
1) They received Paul’s message
2) They eagerly examined Paul’s message and proved it to be true