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Sermon 012008

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Christians Are Willing To Work

Introduction

q       Paul addresses two major issues in this letter.  The 1st concerns the confusion & fear that the day of the Lord had already come.

q       The 2nd issue was idleness.  Paul devotes a large section of this letter to address this problem & he saves it for last = important!

I.       Counsel for Idleness

A.     Keep away from undisciplined Christians (2Th. 3:6, 13-15)

“idle” (ἀτακτέω) means to violate a prescribed/recognized order; be undisciplined.  This is a Christian who refuses to work for a living.  God has commanded believers to be financially disciplined = work, provide for ourselves & our family (Gen. 2:15; 3:19; Eph. 4:28; 1Th. 4:11-12).  Paul now commands them & us to keep away “withdraw” from any financially lazy or undisciplined Christian.  Verse 14 describes this withdrawal & purpose – no normal/social fellowship as in the past with them [Do not show support or approval of a financially lazy Christian].  The purpose is godly = to bring about repentance .  This is not complete withdrawal as in 1Co. 5:11 – willful, blatant, public disobedience.  To disobey this command is to disobey Jesus “in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”. (v. 6).  Remember this is a brother/sister in Christ (v. 15) = grace & mercy.  Our testimony as a church & as individual Christians is very important.  We must remember our love for Christ & our love for the lazy Christian as we obey this command.  The HS will give us grace & wisdom to be faithful (v.13).

B.     Follow the example of disciplined Christians (2Th. 3:7-9)

Paul demonstrates the value of our personal testimonies by pointing to his own life as an example of being financially disciplined during times of difficulty, trials & uncertainty.  He lived under the same conditions as they did, yet he worked & met his own needs & did not become a parasite presuming the church should take care of him (1Co. 11:1).  The grace of God enables us to be faithful witnesses & to follow the example of faithful Christians (1Co. 15:10).

II.    Correction for Idleness

A.     Change your attitude (2Th. 3:10)

This command is addressed to Christians who are unwilling to work, not those who are unable; those who will not work, not those who cannot work.  An unwillingness to work is changed by depriving a person of their basic necessities for life – food.  Remember this is what the bible teaches; this is what God commands.  Neither the church nor individual Christians should give financial assistance to a lazy, undisciplined Christian who refuses to work.  Christians must be willing to work & provide their own needs.  This is not addressing legitimate benevolent needs (Pr. 14:21, 31; 19:17; Rom. 12:13; Jas. 2:15-16).

B.     Change your actions (2Th. 3:11-12)

Some Christians were & are busybodies – busy planning ways to avoid work, scheming, complaining, reading bible, etc., but not busy at work.  After undisciplined Christians repent, they must find a job, avoid being a nuisance or para-site to other Christians & earn a living for the glory of God.

ILLMany athletes today are cheating & taking the lazy way of using steroids & other drugs rather than the way of hard work & discipline to develop their bodies.  This has negatively affected the reputation of individual athletes & the sports they represent.  Fellow teammates & organizations are attempting to restore their reputation by isolating the offenders, showing disapproval & calling for a change in their attitudes & actions.

APPLLikewise we must be concerned about the reputation of Christ, individual Christians & the church as we work to earn a living.  We must yield to the easy, lazy & undisciplined lifestyle of the world.  Though most jobs are unpleasant because we live in a fallen & sinful world, God has still made work the honorable & godly way to earn a living.  As a matter of fact, we are to work faithfully on our jobs because this is a way of serving the Lord (Eph. 6:5-8).


!! CONCLUSION

I don’t know of anyone personally in our congregation that is guilty of this sin.  But if you are guilty of living a lazy life where you refuse to work & earn a living, then I plead with you to repent today.  Even if you are being tempted to stop working & live a lazy irresponsible life, I plead with not to yield to that temptation.  My brother & sister, Christ has shown us the more excellent to live, provide for our own needs & the needs of our family.  We have the living testimony of witnesses from the scriptures that this can be done; witnesses from our own generation; witnesses right here in this church demonstrate this can be done.  God is faithful & He will make us a living testimony for Christ in the way we earn & spend our money; the way we love Him & love our neighbor; serve, praise, worship & adore Him…  Don’t you want to be a living testimony for Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit, living by faith, serving in hope, motivated by love?

And if you are not a Christian today, you could be a living testimony for Christ too.  But you must come to Him first.  You must call upon the Lord for yourself to forgive your sin.  Call upon Him to save you & He will make you a living testimony for Him.  Do it today; do it right now!

If you are not a member of a church or considering membership at a church, we would love to have you join us here & be a living testimony for Christ with us!

SUBJECT:  Christians Are Willing To Work

TEXT:  2 Thessalonians 3:6-15

LOCATION:  New Hope Baptist Church

DATE:  January 20, 2008

OCASSION:  Sun. Morning Worship

SERMON INDEX NUMBER:  885

FILE LOCATION:  BX4

Prepared by Willie D. Woodmore

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