Gal 4:13-17 You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first, (14) and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. (15) What then has become of your blessedness? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have gouged out your eyes and given them to me. (16) Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth? (17) They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them.
The Apostle Paul was often maligned by enemies of the gospel who came in behind him and worked their evil spells to alienate the people he had preached to and who embraced him and his message of salvation in Christ. The goal of these enemies was to alienate the churches from Paul and, in the end, from Christ. They attributed selfish motives to Paul. They criticized his method and message. All the while exalting themselves. They want to shut you out that you may make much of them. There it is.
Wicked people (often parading as Christians) typically work their evil by doing all they can to alienate friends, family, other Christians from the wicked one’s target. Many if not most of you have experienced this very thing. Domestic abuse scenarios very often exhibit this painful dynamic. Children won over by the abuser, alienated from the abuse victim. Even long-time friends are poisoned by the venom.
2Co 10:10 For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.”
The “they” Paul is referring to here are the wicked ones who are at work to turn the Corinthian Christians against him. You find this thing evidenced in many of Paul’s epistles as he counters the lies and confronts people with their gullibility. Satan’s tactics are the same today.
We need to be wise. Wicked people disguise themselves as righteous and they lie in order to gain glory for themselves. You have heard me say it before – not everyone who says they are a Christian – is. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the majority of people who claim to be Christians – aren’t. MANY will come to Christ on that Day boasting of all their “christian” service, and He will pronounce them unknown to Him.