2 Thessalonians 3:1-18 Warning Against Idleness and Freeloading

With he help of his fellow missionaries Silas and Timothy, Paul concludes his second letter to the Thessalonians meant to encourage the recently founded church made primarily of new, young believers.

In the closing section of this epistle, the apostle Paul warns against free loading and calls on believers to stand fast as we await the Lord’s return, toiling each day in His glorious name and holding each other accountable before almighty God, our heavenly father and creator whose truth and promises found in the gospel continue to be a driving force in the lives of those in Christ.

1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, 2 and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith.” (2 Thessalonians 3:1-2)

Once again Paul calls on believers to pray for him and his fellow laborers in Christ, that the word itself would continue to bear fruit. Unselfishly the apostle also requests prayer that he, Silas and Timothy would be able to continue spreading the good news about Jesus without persecution or harm from wicked unbelievers.

3 But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one. 4 And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, both that you do and will do the things we command you. 5 Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 3:3-5)

In spite of evil and those busy doing Satan’s work, Paul declares the Lord as faithful in that He will protect His servants along their walk on the narrow path which leads to eternal life. Believers should continuously watch out for the enemy and rely on the gospel for hope, and the holy Spirit for courage as we battle both temptation and sin.

6 But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us.” (2 Thessalonians 3:6)

Here Paul calls on believers to distance themselves from those among the church who stray from a path glorifying to God, choosing a lame, lazy road. Because such associations increase one’s exposure to temptation, the apostle’s hope for the Thessalonians was for them to stay in the word as they stay away from lazy sinners.

7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; 8 nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, 9 not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us. 10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:7-10)

Paul addresses freeloading which he describes as sinful and not at all in tune with his preaching while he and his fellow missionaries were among the Thessalonians. Such lazy behavior is not glorifying to God and likely to be punished by the almighty heavenly Father.

11 For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.” (2 Thessalonians 3:11-12)

Because God commands His children to strive to prosper for His glory, those who were idle in Thessalonica should concern themselves with His wrath and ultimate judgment of those who reject the Lord’s commandments. Instead freeloaders should dwell in the word where they will find courage and strength to redefine themselves as laborers for Christ, where rewards await according to each one’s works.

13 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. 14 And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.” (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

Paul calls on hard working believers to continue our travail to glorify God and advance the gospel of Jesus Christ, using ourselves as living sacrifices pleasing to the Lord, leading by example. Adversely those who disobey God’s commands living idle lives and freeloading off hard working Christians, such wrong doers should be avoided and not included in fellowship so to bring shame on them as they are rebuked and provoked in a Christ like manner, to get back on the narrow path that leads to eternal life.

16 Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all. 17 The salutation of Paul with my own hand, which is a sign in every epistle; so I write. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” (2 Thessalonians 3:16-18)

Paul conveys his blessings to the Thessalonians and signs off this letter of his own hand after addressing specific issues within the new church thereby cleansing both the body, the church family as well as each believer’s outlook as we await the second coming of our Lord. Let us pray!

Father God;
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.

Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.

God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.

May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.

We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.

Praise God,

This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre
Email: DanielStPierre@ThriveThroughChrist.com

Posted in Bible Studies.