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Read Introduction to 1 Thessalonians


“…forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost“


forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved,

We now come to the sixth charge Paul levels against the Jews. The word “forbidding” means to hinder, restrain, withhold, forbid. The Jews prevented Christians from carrying the gospel to the Gentiles. The Jews did not want Christ as their Savior, and they did not want the Gentiles to come to Christ either.

so as always to fill up the measure of their sins;

The words “fill up” come from a Greek word meaning to fill up adequately, completely. The Jews so persisted in their antagonism and unbelief that they completely engrossed themselves in negative volition toward God. They rounded out their sin and brought it to completion. They sped up God’s judgment against themselves.

Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. “And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:
‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
And seeing you will see and not perceive;
For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them’
” (Matthew 13: 13-15).

but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost

The words “come upon” mean to anticipate, to reach, to attain. God’s wrath has reached them sooner than they expected it, and it overtook them. It is bad business to hinder the gospel. God establishes consequences to deal with those who would hinder the gospel from going out to the world. Hard-hearted antagonism to the gospel always incurs God’s wrath.


Those who oppose the gospel will get their comeuppance.


It is possible to fill the full complement of sin. God will suddenly and surely seal the fate of those who oppose the gospel. The extreme limit of God’s wrath will come down upon them. We can do absolutely nothing for them then. Unless they repent, they will finally get their comeuppance.