Friday, June 23, 2017

The Apostle by Chapter 2 | Thessalonians Chapter 3

By Sam Nobles

As this letter draws to a close, the Apostle Paul felt the need to ask the believers in the Thessalonian church to pray for him in three distinct areas: (1) for the spreading of the gospel message; (2) for the success of the gospel message; (3) for the protection of those delivering that message (v.1-5).

It seems clear from the writing, that some of the believers in Thessalonica had stopped working because they were so wrapped up in waiting for the Lord's return. Paul does not encourage this as a spiritual attitude, but proceeds to give definite instructions as to how to deal with such brethren.[1] (v.6-15).

·      First, Paul told them to stay away from those who refuse to work, and sponges off others (v.6). The believers in Thessalonica were to show their discontentment of such a believer by not having anything to do with them socially.
·      Secondly, Paul instructs the Thessalonian believers to imitate them – the apostles (v.7-10). No one could accuse them of using someone's home and eating the food which someone bought. In fact, the Apostle Paul earned his own living while he was preaching the gospel as a tent-maker (Acts 18:3).
·      Third, using a play on words, the Apostle Paul tells the Thessalonian believers that there are “some who don't attend to business but are busybodies.” There are also “some that are not busy people but are busybodies.” Still, there are “some that are not busy in their own business, but are over-busy in other people's business; minding everybody else's business but their own”[1] (v.11-12).

As Paul closes his instruction to the church in Thessalonica, he does so with encouragement and warning for the believers. For those who had been working faithfully, they were admonished to keep on doing so, and not to become disappointed (v.13). For those who would refuse the instruction, a final warning is given for the rest of the church to have nothing to do with those people until they were ashamed of their behavior (v.14-15).

The final words of Paul to the believers of Thessalonica was that he genuinely loved them as brothers and sisters in Christ (v.16). Even through his apparent disability, he wrote this letter in his own handwriting, which was not always the case (v.17-18).

Scripture to Claim:

“But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.” (2 Thessalonians 3:3 ESV)

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