04 February 2011

2 Thessalonians 3:8-12

Rob Carlson – Pastor, Golden Plains Baptist Church, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba

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2 Thessalonians 3:8-12 Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

God give us spirit-filled preaching, spirit-filled hearing, and spirit-filled heeding (James 1:22).

We are commanded to be separate from unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14-17), false doctrine (Romans 16:17), those who walk disorderly (2 Thessalonians 3:6). 

In the context, those who walk disorderly are “working not at all.”  They might be busy bodied (v. 11), they might be busy tongued (v. 12), they might be busy mooching (v. 12), but they’re not busy working. 

WORK is not a curse word.  You’re either a worker or a shirker.  You either have a work ethic or a shirk ethic.  “If any would not work, neither should he eat,” basically means, “If you don’t work, you ain’t fit to live.” 

1.  God expects every man to work.

God’s plan is not welfare.  God’s plan is workfare. 

Proverbs 14:23, In all labor there is profit.
Genesis 2:2, God works.
Genesis 2:15, Work is not a part of the curse, but a part of paradise.
Exodus 20:9, God instituted a six-day work week.

“Work as if your life depended on it…because it does.”

2.  God’s measurement of every ministry is by its work.

Great churches are not built by lazy people.

When God wrote to the 7 churches in Revelation 2-3, the one thing he said about every church was “I know thy works” (Revelation 2:2, 9, 13, 19; 3:1, 8, 15). 

Acts 13:2, Separate me Paul and Barnabas unto the work.
Romans 16:21, Timotheus my workfellow…
Ephesians 4:12, For the work of the ministry…
1 Timothy 3:1, The office of a bishop is a good work.
2 Timothy 2:15, A workman needs not to be ashamed.
1 Timothy 5:17-18, Elders labor in the word and doctrine.
Nehemiah 4:6, The people had a mind to work.

Acts 15:38, Mark went not with them to the work.
Matthew 20:6, Why stand ye here all the day idle?