Idleness and the Second Coming

Last week our Wednesday evening Prayer and Bible Study finished 1 and 2 Thessalonians.  These two great letters are written by the Apostle Paul.  In both letters he addresses the issue of Christ’s second coming.  It seems there was confusion in the Thessalonian church over how those events would unfold.  There were even some who believed it had already happened.  What I find very interesting in 2 Thessalonians is that Paul’s discussion about Christ’s second coming ends with an admonition against being idle and associating with those who are idle (2 Thess. 3:6-15).  When we talk about the second coming of Christ it is very easy to begin moaning and groaning about how bad the world is getting.  Yes, it is bad, but this should not come as a surprise to any of us.  Scripture clearly states that persecution will increase as the day of His return draws nearer (Luke 21:9).  When thinking about Christ second coming, it is very easy to become passive – to just sit back and do nothing, but such behavior is rebuked in the New Testament.  In his letters to the Thessalonians, Paul calls the church to action.  He is summoning the troops to be ready and to march forward.  The world in which the Apostle Paul lived was much more hostile to the gospel than our own.  And yet, he commands the church to be about their work and to not grow weary in doing good to others (2 Thess. 3:13).  If all we do is listen to commentaries on the terrible state of the world, we will be discouraged.  Defeatism is not the voice we should be listening to.  We need to listen to the encouraging voice of the Great Shepherd telling us, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 ESV).  Find something to do for the one who gave it all for you!

-Pastor Corey Mitchell

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