Summary: The Bible teaches us that it is important for the leaders and those they lead to love and respect each other
TEXTS: 1 Thess. 5:12-13;
Stephen Hawkins is one of the finest scientist in the world today, with a mind so brilliant that he has been compared to Einstein and others who have shaped the world with their keen intellect. Yet, with his mind in perfect working order his body is ravaged with a disease that has left him totally immobile ... now he cannot even speak. Though nothing is wrong with his mind his body is horribly paralyzed by a disease that makes each part ignore the other parts, nothing works in sync, his mind is thus trapped in a useless nonfunctioning body.
This is sometimes the picture of the Church, called in the Bible the "BODY
OF CHRIST" ... Jesus Himself is the head of that body.
As the Head, Jesus is always perfect. But sometimes the body doesn’t
function well, the results can be crippling for the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Paul in writing to the church in Thessalonica reminds them about the importance of church organization and the attitudes toward one another within the body of Christ while they are watching for His return.
One of the responsibilities of the church watching for the return of Jesus Christ is to maintain a healthy love and respect for its leaders and for its leaders to have a healthy love and respect for those they lead. So Christ’s body will function well and the Gospel of Christ will be promoted!
The Bible teaches us that it is important for the leaders and those they lead to love and respect each other in order for the body of Christ to be functional and coordinated.
1 Thess. 5: 12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;
This is written here is primarily the Elders and the Pastor.
There are 3 areas mentioned concerning their roles in the church:
“...who work hard among you…” 5:12a –The work of these leaders is that they make themselves available to the body of Christ.
“...who are over you in the Lord...” 5:12b here is LEADERSHIP, ruling by EXAMPLE.
"...who admonish you." 5:12c they gave counseling and teaching to the church.
ILLUS: In the British Weekly a letter was published about the preaching ministry of Pastors: "Dear Sir, it seems ministers feel their sermons are very important and spend a great deal of time preparing them. I have been attending church quite regularly for 30 years and I have probably heard 3,000 of them. To my consternation I discovered I cannot remember a single sermon. I wonder if a minister’s time might be more profitably spent on something else." For weeks a storm of editorial responses ensued, ending with the following letter: "Dear Sir, I have been married for 30 years. During that time I have eaten 32,850 meals, mostly my wife’s cooking. Suddenly I have discovered I cannot remember the menu of a single meal, and yet I have the distinct impression that without those meals I would have starved to death a long time ago!" – Source Unknown
The word “admonish” is a correction or rebuke.
Some in the church had decided that since Jesus was coming at any moment they would quit their jobs and just wait ... and since Jesus hadn’t come before their savings ran out they were now sponging off others in the church by appealing to their love as brethren!
Paul had instructed the Elders to “admonish” or correct those who were idle in the church. (see 2 Thess. 3:6-10)
They had done that but with HARSHNESS
Because of the manner that some had abused the people, the people were not respecting the leaders the way they used to.
Paul could see what was coming -- separation and internal strife ... these verses were written to prevent an escalation between leaders and lay people, to get the church back on a healthy track.
The possibility of doing this is made possible by the added "IN LOVE."
Leaders are quite capable of errors but “love covers a multitude of sins!”
The point here is, leadership is more effective when it is appreciated!
Ministers (Pastors) are a gift to the church.
Eph. 4:8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
Eph.4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Due Double honor
1Tim. 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
Danger in Disrespect
2 Kings 2:23,24 And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.