Sunday 13 November 2022

 The Epistle for Sunday is 2 Thessalonians 3 v 6-13

6 In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching[a] you received from us.   7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you8 nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, labouring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. 9 We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”11 We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. 12 Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat. 13 And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.

Paul commands in the name of the Lord, the people in the Church to keep apart from every brother who behaves in a disorderly, instead of acting manner as taught by Paul. The command was based on the teaching of Jesus in the first Letter.

The congregation in general was sound in faith and practice, but some were not working as they should have been because they believed Jesus was returning to earth in a short period, so there was no need to move themselves in work.  In addition, they were spreading that story and expected to be kept by the Church. They accordingly made it hard for the three missionaries, Paul, Silas, and Timothy, who had taken the course  of saying if anyone did not work they would not be fed. This was supported by other members, so it was felt necessary to segregate, meaning the unruly kept apart from believers.

Paul told them that they had been given clear teaching, not only in words but by example of himself and his helpers.  The men were acting in clear contradiction without making any attempt at working, so were a disgrace to the Church and Gospel.

The missionaries worked day and night to set an example to be followed and to not put any burden on the Church and members. Paul had by inspiration of the Holy Spirit given the order, no work no food, and his heart went out to the needy, but had no sympathy for those who would not work but caused disruption to others. We see there were people even in those days who wanted to laze around and be kept by fellowmen and women.

Finally, Paul calls on all to preach the gospel, and by its message help those in need.


I Have previously referred to people attending Church who are ‘almost Christians’, and if we are honest we must accept that some members have treated coming to Church a Sunday activity. If we are to live in a way worthy of our Lord, such is morally and spiritually failing. Personally, I would fear incurring the wrath of God in acting in a way which was in direct contravention to what God has laid down in the Bible. Yet we have ways of life which contradict God’s teaching being preached and endorsed in our Churches by leaders. Flagrantly opposing Scripture,  we wonder why God doesn’t bless his Church.

When the Bible was written it was in a world where Greek mythology was widespread. and work was secondary to leisure, as much of society today believes in and likes to adopt. Whilst it is necessary to care for those burdened by ill health, it appears unreasonable when there a millions of jobs to be filled, we pay money in the form of benefits to people who never intend to work.

Those people who were Jews had a God whose Son worked as a carpenter for most of his life, and who in the last three years of life worked even harder performing the work God his Father had given him to do.  Whilst rejecting Jesus as the Messiah, they have had God as their protector, and when they have obeyed him have flourished, and suffered when they forsook him. Whatever opinion you have of Jewish people, in all honesty it must be granted they are hard-working people, who have provided the world with much of the technology we have and many other inventions of our daily lives.   

In each generation preachers have referred to the end days of the world and even claimed it would happen in that age as outlined in Matthew 24. but as the years pass there is a growing tendency to see how close we are getting.  We must accept it will happen as the Lord has stated.

In 1838 William Booth formed the Salvation Army and called on Christians to serve as Christian soldiers and captured the world’s attention by devoted service of the members.  Paul uses in several Letters military language.  Some misguided people are affronted by such and oppose any such reference, even devastated that beautiful and tremendous hymn Onward Christian soldiers to Onward Christian pilgrims.

As  Christians, men and women but especially men, must work in a manner that would justify if working with Jesus.  The Lord  has promised he will return to earth one day, and when he comes he will expect to see his people working daily to his glory.

Of course, most people reject the belief that the Lord is now acting in this world.  But when a man holding high Office in the Church blasphemed the Lord’s resurrection and rudely mocked it, the Cathedral in which his consecration was held,                   a storm occurred after the service and caused enormous damage just to that Cathedral, no place else. The Church rejected it being God’s intervention, but a collection of meteorological experts, unanimously stated there could be no scientific explanation. It had to be an act of God. There are numerous other incidents where the same conclusion would be arrived at.

Whilst some people found it hard to hear senior Officers of the Church denying God’s intervention, I was not.  It is undeniable that they just don’t believe the Bible. Same sex marriage is now practised in the Churches, to state that marriage is only between a man and a woman, is now defined as ‘hate speech’.

Two thousand and twenty two years ago, a young Jewish girl named Mary was visited in a small Jewish village by an angel and told she was going to receive God’s favour and have a child. When she asked how as she had not been with a man. She was told the Holy Spirit would b upon her, for nothing will be impossible with God. Mary trusted in God and believed. That little Jewish girl had more faith than any collection of  Church leaders. She never doubted for a second that God could do what we find impossible.

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