Summary: This message reveals how the Apostle Paul reacted to his ministry being under attack, and why we should do the same.
Series for Hurting Pastors
"How To React When Your Ministry Is Under Attack"
Many of you have been involved in a study of
the book of 1st Corinthians in your churches, or
will be in the near future, if you are Southern
Baptist, in connection with the Winter Bible Study
emphasis this year.
I have been teaching a course in Seminary
Extension on 1st Corinthians, and God has revealed
some very important things to me, which I want to
share with all of you to whom they might be of help.
I want to deal with how Paul reacted to the
attacks on his person, and ministry, and to try to
help some brother who may be experiencing similar
situations in his own life.
Now I realize that there are some of you who
have never had a bad deacon meeting, or had your
ego deflated by some person or group that opposed
you in your church, but there are many who have,
and you may have to endure that someday as well.
How will you react when you are personally attacked
as Paul was, and have your calling and worthiness
to preach questioned? How will you respond when
you receive threatening mail, or phone calls?
Who will you turn to? Where will you find the help
you need? I believe we can find help, if we ever
face such a situation in same place Paul found it-
in the God he loved and served. Have you been
threatened with a lawsuit, or accused of an immoral
relationship? Have you been told you don’t visit
enough, or preach too long? Criticisms of ministers
are many and varied. The honeymoon doesn’t last
forever. This line of work is not for the weak and
cowardly. Paul was probably the greatest preacher
who ever lived, next to Jesus, in my opinion, and
he faced constant verbal and even physical attacks,
and opposition everywhere he ministered. Well, God
never promised us a rose garden, did He! With all
that ministers have to face, the ministry is still
the greatest calling in the world. I don’t believe
there is any greater thing we can do for our Creator
or our fellow man, than share with them the glorious
Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. How did Paul cope
with all that he faced? Let’s notice some ways.
I. First of all, PAUL HAD A PROPER VIEW OF HIMSELF
He knew who he was, and what he was put on this
planet to do.(1st Cor.1:1)
He was placed where he was, with the ministry he
had, by the will of God. So is every other servant
of God. There are no big "I’s" and little "Yous."
Every one in God’s service is his slave, gifted
with certain gifts of the Spirit for the glory of
God, and the building up of His kingdom. No one’s
calling is any less important than anyone else’s.
(1st Cor. 3:5-7). God gives some apostles, some
evangelists, some pastors, some teachers, etc.
for the edifying of His church and the glory of
His great name. We are not in this business to
receive glory for ourselves, but for the Lord.
"Them that honor me, I will honor," says the Lord.
Missionaries, world famous evangelists, Bible
teachers, the deacons of the church, the Sunday
school teachers, even the custodians, all work for
God, and His glory, and EACH WILL BE REWARDED FOR
THEIR FAITHFULNESS IN DOING WHAT GOD HAS CALLED
THEM TO DO!
A country preacher I knew years ago used to say
this to his children whenever they left home-
"Remember who you are, Whose you are, where you
are going, and who you represent!" That was good
advice for them, and it is good advice for any
II.Not only did Paul know who he was, and what he
was put here to do, but he also realized that
ultimately, HE HAD NO JUDGE OF HIS LIFE AND MIN-
ISTRY BUT GOD, for He would reveal all hidden
secrets of the heart someday and reward those
who truly deserve to be rewarded.
(1st Cor. 4:4-5)
He started the church at Corinth, but he was only
able to do this, because God worked through him.
He had nothing to glory of in himself, but he did
have a Master to account to as a steward of God’s
mysteries. Woe unto him if he did not preach the
Gospel, for God had called him.
III.Thirdly, Paul was able to cope with rejection, and
discouragement, BECAUSE HE HAD AN INTIMATE REALTION-
SHIP WITH THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.
He knew Whose he was, and Whom he served! When he
reached his lowest levels of despair, God would
always come through with an encouraging word of
success in his ministry, or commendation from the