1 Thessalonians 2:2 KJV
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.
Sometimes preaching is attached with great liberty:
- It is obvious that the hearers are connecting with the message
- There is a spirit among the congregation as a whole that is conducive to preaching
- The preacher feels at home and senses an agreement among the congregation for his message.
Such was, I think, Paul’s experience in writing the book of Philippians. Here we are reminded that, though Paul had a genuine connection with the church at Philippi, it had not been an easy ministry there. He moved then to Thessalonica where Paul’s testimony was that he preached with boldness and much contention.
- Preaching there was a labor, a struggle.
- Preaching there incited anger among his hearers.
- Preaching there was not associated with great liberty but
- Preaching there did produce great results.
The greatest opportunities for the gospel are not in those places of the greatest ease and liberty. Paul said of Ephesus that a great and effectual door had been opened to him in there and that there were many adversaries. He did not say “but” there are many adversaries.
I believe that the kind preaching that will change the world will most often be of that sort.
 I recognize this was a letter and not a sermon.