Paul had no home. For several years, he had travelled constantly between different towns and different countries to declare Godís message. Most people would consider that a hard and unpleasant way to live.
That was not, however, Paulís opinion. He considered it a great honour to declare the good news about Christ in so many different places. He even compared it to the greatest honour that the army of Rome gave to their military leaders.
After a successful war, there would be a great procession to give honour to the leader of the army. For the winning army, that was a very happy occasion. They would praise their leader as a great hero. Everywhere along the procession, people would burn incense (a substance which burns with a sweet smell). Its smell would fill the air.
To the people on the winning side, that smell was beautiful. It expressed their great joy. However, their enemies hated that smell. It caused them to lose all hope. They only expected to die.
Paul compared himself and his message to that smell. Many people had trusted Christ to save them because they heard Paulís words. God had given them a new kind of life which will never end*. That was a reason for great joy.
However, Paul had also seen the opposite reaction. Some people refused to serve God, and they hated Paul and his message. Paul had warned them that God was their judge. All people have offended against him, and we cannot save ourselves*. If people refuse to invite Christ into their lives, Godís judgement is against them. Such people considered that Paul was bringing a message of death to them.
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.