Rev. Sean Kilgo, pastor at the Northeast Kansas Lutheran Partnership, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study 2 Thessalonians 3:1-12.
Paul begins to bring his second epistle to the Thessalonians to a close by commanding the Christians there to pray for his ongoing ministry. Christians ask the Lord to cause His Word to be preached purely and to bring forth fruit in the lives of His people. Such prayers for our Father’s goodness also are directed against the evil one’s schemes. Paul is confident that the Lord will answer according to His promise, as He strengthens the Thessalonians by His love and steadfastness toward them. That love and steadfastness from God guard the Thessalonians against laziness and disorderliness, both spiritually and physically. They must not live in laziness, as if Christ’s imminent coming has nothing to do with their daily living. Rather, they must remember the Word and example that Paul had given them, that work is a gift from God for the purpose of serving our neighbors in our everyday vocations.
“Christ Is Surely Coming” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that journeys through the two epistles to the Thessalonians. Through these two letters, Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy encouraged the young church in Thessalonica to stand firm in the midst of persecution as they eagerly waited for Christ’s second coming. This Word of God still strengthens the Church today to live now with faith, hope, and love, even as we long for the Day of Christ’s return, the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
2 Thessalonians 3:1-12
Pray for Us
3 Finally, brothers,[a] pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored,[b] as happened among you, 2 and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.[c] 4 And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. 5 May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.
Warning Against Idleness
6 Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, 8 nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. 9 It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11 For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.[d]
- 2 Thessalonians 3:1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 6, 13
- 2 Thessalonians 3:1 Or glorified
- 2 Thessalonians 3:3 Or evil
- 2 Thessalonians 3:12 Greek to eat their own bread
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.