2 Thessalonians 3:1-18
We have reached the end of our study of the two books to the Thessalonians. These letters were written to the Church at Thessalonica but the Apostle Paul insisted that they be circulated throughout to every church as they are today.
God has now given us the complete canon of the Bible.
There are 39 books of the Old Testament and 27 books of the New Testament that are considered to be the Inspired Word of God.
In 303 AD the Emperor Diocletian demanded that all sacred books to be burned. It was at this time that the books that were considered the Inspired Word of God, including the New Testament, some called the Apostles Doctrine, were collected into what we now call the Bible and are the preserved Word of God.
What did God say?
Isa 40:8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: “but the word of our God shall stand for ever”.
What did Jesus say?
Luk 21:33 Heaven and earth shall pass away: “but my words shall not pass away”.
What did Peter say to the Church?
1Pe 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And “this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you”.
We have God’s complete Word to us and this not a book of suggestions, This Is A Book Of Commandments!
*****2Th 3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:
Finally after everything we learned in 1 Thessalonians and everything we have learned so far in 2 Thessalonians, Paul said to use our greatest weapon and that is prayer.
I hope that everyone realizes the importance of prayer.
Heb 7:24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
Heb 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost “that come unto God by him”, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
We would lose our salvation without Christ Jesus interceding between us and a Holy God!
Luk 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
We would have no payment for our sin and therefore no Advocate in Heaven without Christ Jesus interceding for us and in our behalf!
1Jn 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, “we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous”.
We could have no contact with our Father in Heaven without Christ Jesus!
Joh 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: “that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you”.
And we are all one “Body Of Christ”.
1Co 12:20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
1Co 12:21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
We must pray for each other and especially for those, like our own Pastor!
But, we see that Paul did not say to pray for his personal needs.
Paul asked for prayer that the Word of God have “free course”.
We should pray this same prayer every day!
Paul desired that his preaching be accepted and applied to all those that heard God’s Word wherever God sent him.
In last weeks lesson we learned that it the Holy Ghost filled Church that does not allow the “Man of Sin” to show himself in the Church Age.
The most important weapon we have are our prayers!
Paul asked for prayer that the Word of God be glorified where he preached the “Gospel”.
Paul sought nothing for himself and no glory for himself for his work for the Lord.
2Co 12:6 For though I would desire to glory, “I shall not be a fool”; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.
In everything we do we need to give God the glory!
Paul also knew that wherever he preached the “Gospel” he would meet with resistance.
The “gospel” still meets resistance everywhere it is preached and believed.
When the entire truth of God is preached and taught, there will be opposition from the religious, and even from many that call themselves Christians.
People do not want to hear the truth because the truth points out sin that should cause a change.
Most people love their sin to much to change and this is even more evident in the days we live right now!
Those that hate Jesus, those that do not care to hear the truth, and the carnal hearts of evil people all try to hinder the work of the “Gospel”.
Paul also requested for deliverance from such people.
*****2Th 3:2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.
These unreasonable men would be those who opposed the truth and had absurd principles.
These are those who are opposed to truth even when common sense, and sound judgment dictates the reality of that truth.
Today these are those who absolutely reject creation and honor evolution though there is absolutely no proof of evolution.
At least God describes His Own Creation through means that cannot be denied by true science.
These are those who reject the common sense of God’s Word.
These are those who strive to have their own way, regardless of the truth and regardless of the consequences.
These are those that practice evil and evil principles which is everything contrary to the moral law of the Bible.
These are usually those that are dissatisfied with there own miserable lives and want everyone else to be miserable just like they are, such as Stephen Hawking!
Those that say they have faith in only themselves are liars because “true faith” is a gift that can only come from God!
Any faith they claim is only temporary and changes with the circumstances in their lives.
But not that of the Lord!
*****2Th 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.
Faith on the part of man answers to the faithfulness of God!
For this reason the Word of God will never change!
Those that try to change and modernize the Word of God show their lack of faith!
When we walk by faith and not by sight, God will help us through all the events in our life because God is faithful!
When we fail Him, God will forgive us immediately when we repent because God is faithful.
When temptations overwhelm us, God will provide a way out because God is faithful.
When we are discouraged, God will comfort and encourage us because God is faithful.
Since God is faithful then the Word of God shows His faithfulness to us.
Num 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
This is why we can be so confident in the Inspired Word of God.
*****2Th 3:4 And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you.
Where is our confidence?
If we have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ we will be saved!
Col 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
It is a fact of the Gospel, when we place our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ we will be saved!
The fact that the Holy Spirit of God comes to dwell in each believer is good reason for our confidence.
What commandments was Paul referring to?
1Th 4:1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.
Our walk with God “after salvation” is our most important witnessing tool!
And this walk can only begin with our “faith”!
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
And with that faith we will be looking for that “Blessed Hope”, the return of Christ Jesus to take us home.
*****2Th 3:5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
Paul has given us the 5 things that we need in our walk with God.
1) Prayerfulness. Our greatest weapon.
2) Preservation. Deliverance from sin.
3) Protection. God is faithful to His promises.
4) Perseverance. If we trust the Lord, He will save us.
Heb 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
Heb 10:37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
In order to have patience we must “be set” in our hope of a better future.
This takes confidence, hope, and belief in our still future but perfect redemption!
But we must also be obedient to the Word of God and be humble in the things of God.
It is a privilege to be given such an opportunity to serve God!
Heb 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
And notice that we are to be waiting on the appearance of Jesus Christ and not be waiting to see when the Antichrist will show his ugly face!
Since we know all these things we must protect our ability to witness to the world and be examples of Christ Jesus to others.
*****2Th 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
2Th 3:7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;
2Th 3:8 Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:
What are the two greatest threats to the Church in our age? The same as it was in the days of Paul.
A disorderly walk with God and idleness!
Disorderly means confused. We cannot allow false teaching in the House of God because it will only bring confusion.
We must avoid those that cause confusion!
Disorderly means lawless. We must obey the Word of God. We must take God’s Word literal. God does not offer suggestions, God gives commandments.
We must avoid those that do not walk the walk of Jesus Christ!
Disorderly means unruly. We are sheep who know the true Shepherd, not a bunch of cattle on a cattle drive.
We must avoid those that are unruly!
There must be discipline in the House of God!
Notice this is also a command and not a suggestion.
Paul, Silas, and Timothy had presented themselves as examples of how to walk the Christian walk.
Were they perfect? No.
But they did not preach confusion, they taught the entire Word of God.
They preached the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” and not some other gospel.
They live holily.
They lived justly.
They lived unblamably.
They behaved themselves and they were never disorderly among those of the Church.
And they did not live an idle and inactive life among them!
They were always busy about the things God gave them to do!
These things were very important to the Apostle Paul and these things should be just as important to each believer.
1Th 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
Paul even gave up his right to expect financial help from this young Church so that he could be an example to these young believers.
In the synagogues of the Jews, the people were expected to support the preacher but these new Gentile Churches knew nothing of these things and they were very poor to begin with.
A truly dedicated leader will use his rights to build up the people and not try to build up himself!
The greatest influence we can offer is that personal sacrifice to the Lord.
Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
*****2Th 3:9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.
2Th 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
From the beginning, God has ordained that men should work for their own food.
Gen 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
Gen 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
This became even more necessary when sin entered this picture.
Gen 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Gen 3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
Gen 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
We will even continue to work serving the Lord after we move into our mansion in Heaven.
Rev 22:3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and “his servants shall serve him”:
It is inexcusable for Christians, when they are no longer children, to expect others to provide the things that sustain physical life, while they stand idle and have the ability to provide for themselves.
In fact it is inexcusable for anyone not to try to provide for their own selves in a legal and moral manner.
There is no spiritual excuse for this type of thinking.
But our government’s policies influences this type of behavior.
All of us may need some help sometimes, I can attest to that myself.
But God says those that refuse to work, when they able, then neither should they eat.
Again liberals refuse this Word of God!
Why? Idleness causes problems in society but especially in the Church.
Why are there so many protesters when something happens?
Most of those people do not have a job to go to.
They are idle and refuse to work!
*****2Th 3:11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.
What is a busybody? This is someone who does not look to their own business but they are overdoing in the business of others.
They are real busy about everyone’s business but their own!
The word disorderly is used 4 times in the letters to these Thessalonians.
The disorderly are those who refuse to obey civil laws and in this case also the laws of God!
In America today, we see a government that will not obey it’s own laws. This shows up in it’s people!
More than one fourth of people who call themselves Americans are perfectly willing to live off the backs of the taxpayer, those willing to work!
These same busybodies are those that refuse the truth of the Word of God.
Not only this, but they refused to work but they were perfectly willing to eat at the hands of the Church.
In verse 6 the Church, each believer, is commanded to withdraw from all such people.
We as the Church are not to entertain such people!
We of the Church should not get discouraged by the conduct of those that do not obey the Word of God!
Sin in the life of any believer will always affect the work of the Church!
These are some that are a plague to the Church and also to their own nation.
1Ti 5:13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.
*****2Th 3:12 Now “them” that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
These busybodies were now the “Them” of the Church.
Every Church has a “them”.
Every nation has a “them” and a “they”!
As always, these people know who they are and what they are doing!
Remember they have rejected the truth and have made up in their own mind what the Word of God says.
God’s Word is settled whether It is believed or not!
What does God say?
2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
When God inspired the writers of the Bible, He did not expect them to completely understand what they were writing.
So even when we do not completely understand the reason for God’s commands, we are still to obey God’s commands!
It was “those” who did obey by faith the Word of God that were to give “them” who did not obey the Word of God, this message and to all busybodies.
In other words, “here is God’s command to you (the them) and we will not have any part with you until you repent”.
1Th 4:11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
It “is not” our job to feed those that refuse to work and are able!
I saw a picture of a shoe store in Ferguson, Missouri that had been looted and not one pair of work shoes had been stolen but most all other shoes were completely missing.
It “is” our job to help those that have a real need!
Eph 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
We just cannot allow these things to wear us down in our labor for the work of the Lord.
*****2Th 3:13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.
Not to the “them” but to the rest of “those that gather”, not forsaking the assembling for the Lord, we need to be busy about the work of God.
In contrast to those “disorderly busybodies” who only God can fix, we are to give “our” very best to God.
Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Gal 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Gal 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
When we are able to help others, the first priority is to be given to those that are poor within the Church and then those in the world, as we are able.
But suppose these busybodies still reject the Word of God after they have received the warning from God’s people, what then?
*****2Th 3:14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.
These are those who have rejected the preaching of the “Gospel”.
They have been observed in their wrong doing and have been warned by the Church.
They have even rejected that warning and also rejecting the written Word of God, which is full of God’s truth.
Now the entire Church is to have no part with that person!
Each individual child of God will have to decide if they will obey the Word of God or remain in the company of this disorderly walking busybody!
We are to mark him in our mind as one to be avoided!
We are not to be busybodies ourselves!
That he may be ashamed. Sometimes when these people are shunned by godly brethren, they will come to their senses.
This person may have already been talked to by the Pastor or the Church Elders but the body of Christ must also be obedient to the Word of God and this verse exists just as all those that teach us about salvation.
But thank goodness we have a God of the second chance!
*****2Th 3:15 Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
We must still go to this person and explain why we can have no part with him or her!
Church discipline to the church member must be administered as a family would discipline a child!
Church discipline is not the pastor and some official board acting like God’s policemen to trap a sinning saint of God and kicking him out of the Church.
When the Church disciplines a “Born Again” child of God who has made a serious mistake and living in sin, “we are not to be like a judge punishing a criminal” but only as a father may punish his own children.
Mat 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
Only if that person refuses to settle the matter should any other saint of God be involved.
Php 4:3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.
When we can help each other, especially in these latter days, the Church can remain strong until the Lord returns.
Only God knows whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life!
And only the Lord is the “Lord of Peace” within the Church.
*****2Th 3:16 Now the “Lord of peace” himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.
This is the only place in the New Testament that Jesus is called the “Lord of peace”.
He is called the “God of peace” in 5 other places, this next verse being just one of them.
Php 4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
It is the Lord Jesus who “creates” peace.
It is the Lord Jesus who “sustains” peace in each believer.
He is not just the “Lord of Peace” and the God of Peace but He is also the “Prince of Peace”!
Isa 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
He is also the Author of Peace.
1Co 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
He is also the King of Peace.
Heb 7:2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;
Jesus Christ is our only means of true peace!
Eph 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
And one day in the not so distant future after the Rapture of the Church, Jesus will “speak peace” to all the heathen.
Zec 9:10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.
And in the very end of time, as we know it, and our own new beginning, there will be complete peace!
Isa 9:7 “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end”, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
True peace can only come through God, the Lord Jesus Christ!
*****2Th 3:17 The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write.
2Th 3:18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Possibly because of bad eyesight, Paul normally would dictate his letters to be written by those that traveled with him such as Luke but also others and maybe Silas or Timothy in this case.
Many times Paul was behind bars and had to dictate his letters.
Paul would place his personal signature on these documents but he may not have always mentioned this.
To these Thessalonians, Paul wanted them to be sure to know that this letter was from him and they were to always look for his personal signature.
They had already been deceived by someone writing to them, claiming to be Paul.
And Paul always reminded the Church that if not for God’s “Grace” there could be no Church!
Grace comes by the Lord Jesus Christ!
This will end our brief study of the Letters to the Thessalonians and next week we will begin in the Book of Psalms.