Summary of 2 Thessalonians 3:
Paul requests prayer for the message of the Lord to be spread rapidly and be honored and for safety in essence (delivered from the wicked and evil men). The Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the Devil.
Paul commands them to stay away from idlers and who do not live according to his teachings. We were not idle. We worked night and day so as not to be a burden. For if a man will not work, he shall not eat. We urge you to earn the bread you eat and never tire of doing what is right. those who are not following our instruction.
BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 19, Day 5: 2 Thessalonians 3
11) Part Personal Question. My answer: Paul requests prayer for the message of the Lord to be spread rapidly and be honored. Direction for the future.
12) The definition of idleness is someone who is avoiding work, is lazy, without purpose, and is working for no point. It was important to Paul that everyone who is able earn the bread they eat. Plus, idleness led to busybodies, or gossip. Idle is choosing not to work when you can. Rest is recovering from work, whether that be mental or physical.
13) Personal Question. My answer: It allows me not to have to worry.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 19, Day 5: 2 Thessalonians 3
I love how we are to never tire of doing what is right. I know that is hard for all of us sometimes when we are tired and we just want to take the easy way out. Yet, we must remember Jesus took the hard road and died for us; nothing we face can compare.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 19, Day 5: 2 Thessalonians 3
The Power of Prayer
Paul constantly asked other Christians to pray for him (Romans 15:30, 2 Corinthians 1:11, Ephesians 6:18-19, Philippians 1:19, Colossians 4:3, 1 Thessalonians 5:25, and Philemon 1:22). Paul knew that the success of his ministry to some degree depended on the prayers of God’s people.
Paul’s prayer request makes us wonder how often the work of God’s Word is hindered by our prayerlessness.
God has promised that His Word would be free and perform its work: It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it (Isaiah 55:11). But as with many of God’s promises, we are expected to take this promise in faith, and in prayer, to ask God to perform the promise for His glory.
Paul wisely prayed for both love and patience (endurance) for the Thessalonian Christians. These were two qualities essential for the kind of spiritual stability and strength the Thessalonians needed.
The purpose in withdrawing from these disobedient was not so much punishment, but more so simply to deny these disobedient ones the aid and comfort of the fellowship of the body of Christ until they repented. It put them out of the church into the “domain” of Satan (the world), in hope that they might miss the fellowship of the church so much they would repent of their disobedience.
- Paul echoed the same idea in 1 Corinthians 5:4-5.
- Church is a place of love and comfort. One should be sad to be excluded from the church.
Rail Against Idleness
God’s plan is to provide for our needs through our work.
There is a play on words between the ancient Greek phrasing in the lines not working at all and but are busybodies. The idea is something like “busybodies who do no business.”
Perhaps these busybodies thought that if Jesus was coming soon, it made no sense to work.
The early church did provide for the truly needy among them, but only after being certain that they were truly needy and after putting them to work for the church (1 Timothy 5:3-16).
Be not weary in well doing. There is plenty of well-wishing in the world. Well-resolving, well-suggesting, and well-criticizing are also found in plenty. Many people are good at well-talking, but there is not enough of simple well doing.
“The intention of excommunication is not to drive men from the Lord’s flock, but rather to bring them back again when they have wandered and gone astray… Excommunication is to be distinguished from anathema.” (Calvin)
As was his custom, Paul himself wrote the final words of the epistle with his own hand. This was both a personal demonstration of affection and proof that the letter was authentic.
For Paul, God’s grace was the beginning and the end of the Christian life. It was appropriate that this letter – and most – of his letters began and ended with a mention of grace.