Summary: What does it mean to live and work responsibly as a contemporary Christian?
No Work; No Food – 2 Thessalonians 3: 6 - 13
Intro: Woman and her husband had gone to the doctor’s office. The husband was having physical discomfort and not sleeping well. He was diagnosed by the doctor with “Severe Stress Disorder” The doctor asked if he could speak to the wife privately. Once outside the examining room the doctor said to the wife, “if you don’t do what I ask, he is not going to make it. You must fix a healthy breakfast every morning, a nutritious lunch every day and especially prepare a special dinner each night. You must be pleasant, not expect him to do chores around the house and do not share your problems of the day. You must do all the work and not nag him. If you do this for 1 year, he will be healthy again. When the wife re-entered the examining room with her husband he asked what the doctor had said to her. She promptly answered, “He said you’re going to have a difficult year.” – His wife was not interested in doing all the work. The same was true of the people in Thessalonica.
I. Important to understand the circumstances and influences on the church concerning work.
A. Some Jews believed only those who studied Scripture were doing worthy work. – Work fascinates me, I can sit and watch it for hours.
B. Some Greeks believed work was demeaning and belonged only to slaves. “Hard work may not kill you but why take the chance?”
C. Many believed work no longer necessary because Jesus was going to return any moment. ”I owe, I owe but off to heaven I go.”
II. Paul has a passion to promote a sound theology of labor to the young congregation in Thessalonica.
A. Verse 6 – “We command you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ” – the Commander-in-chief of the armies of heaven orders us to stay away from the idle.
B. Verses 7 – 9 – follow the example of hard workers – it is the responsible thing to do.
C. Verse 10 – “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” – Genesis 3:19 – those who WILL NOT work who are able.
III. Verse 11 – “We hear some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies.” – “Idle hands are the devils playground.”
A. Verse 12 – Paul calls the slackers to mind their own business and stop flitting around in the lives of others.
B. Francis of Assisi was hoeing in the garden when asked, “What would you do if Jesus Christ were coming back this very day.” His answer, “Keep hoeing.”
C. Jesus may come back tomorrow; but, that doesn’t mean we should stop working for God’s kingdom today.
Conclu: Verse 13 – “And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right.” – Don’t get bummed out when you see those who are not working. Keep on keeping on.