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Category Archives: 2 Thessalonians

2 Thessalonians 3 – Lazy Christians

So the largest part of this chapter is dedicated to convincing people that idleness isn’t becoming of a Christian.  What in the world is going on here?  Well here’s one possibility…

What would you do if you found out you just won the lottery?  Would you quit your job or keep working?

What if you found out you only had one month to live?

And what if you won the lottery the day before you found out you had one month to live?

Perhaps that’s something like what some Christians in Thessaloniki are experiencing.  They have just accepted the Gospel of Jesus Christ and understand that they are going to be part of an eternal Kingdom and that they are co-heirs with Christ.  They have also been hearing that “Soon and very soon we are going to see the King… Hallelujah!”  If you put these two things together you might decide to quit your job and become idle.  In a community, this can become a dangerous and embarrassing dynamic.  Certainly people are going to start looking down on Christians if they are becoming a burden to society.  So, Paul makes sure and tells those in the church that they are to work and be productive.  Don’t disengage and force others to provide for you.

That makes sense to me.

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2012 in 2 Thessalonians, Pauline Epistles

 

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2 Thessalonians – It’s the End of The World As We Know It…

2 Thessalonians has much of the same emphasis as 1 Thessalonians, largely because it’s written by the same guy to the same people and not a whole lot has changed.  So same song, second verse.  The three focuses of the relatively short letter are end times (eschatology for those of you who like big Bible words), encouragement for persecuted believers (this encouragement is mostly rooted in a good eschatology, which is the study of end times for those of you who like big Bible words), and encouragement to work for a living.  It is odd to me that both letters to the Thessalonians include encouragements to work for a living, making me think there were some seriously lazy folk in and around that church.

Chapter 1 begins with a greeting from Paul, Silas and Timothy to the believers in Thessaloniki.  He then immediately turns to encouraging those who have been persecuted or undergone trials and struggles because of their faith.  They should take great solace from knowing that God will bring justice to his creation.  While things feel wrong now, Christians can have hope because we know God will make everything right.  This faith and understanding should also inspire God’s people towards greater acts of obedience and belief.

One of the common objections to Christianity today is something along the lines of “How can God claim to be good, and all powerful and reign over a creation that’s so full of evil?”  Paul’s answer in 2 Thessalonians 1 is that God would completely agree with most of that sentiment with the caveat being that he’s waiting to fix it all.  For the time being, he has left his appointed people, Christians, here in his creation as forerunners to begin setting this to rights.  So don’t become discouraged, but instead begin declaring and actively transforming the redemptive work of Christ in all creation, reclaiming this world as God’s and promising with hope and faith that Jesus will eventually return to make things completely in accordance with the Creator God’s will once again.  Until then, persevere, stay hopeful, and keep doing the good work of the Kingdom.

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in 2 Thessalonians, Pauline Epistles

 

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