Today, I finish up my look at the letters to the Thessalonians. Let’s take a look at the final greetings from Paul and his companions.
2 Thessalonians 3
Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will [a]spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you; 2 and that we will be rescued from [b]perverse and evil men; for not all have [c]faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful, [d]and He will strengthen and protect you [e]from the evil one. 4 We have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command. 5 May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.
6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you [f]keep away from every brother who [g]leads an [h]unruly life and not according to the tradition which [i]you received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to [j]follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you, 8 nor did we eat [k]anyone’s bread [l]without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you; 9 not because we do not have the right to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would [m]follow our example.10 For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. 11 For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread. 13 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good.
14 If anyone does not obey our [n]instruction [o]in this letter, take special note of that person [p]and do not associate with him, so that he will be put to shame. 15 Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but [q]admonish him as a brother.
16 Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every [r]circumstance. The Lord be with you all!
17 [s]I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand, and this is a distinguishing mark in every letter; this is the way I write. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
Oh, yes, finally, I have some answers to my question, Who should a true believer associate with. According to these verses there are people a true believer should not be spending time with. The unruly, the lazy, the busybody, and and anyone who doesn’t obey the teachings of the apostles should be avoided. But what an encouraging word verse 15 is. IT says don’t make these people an enemy rather speak the truth in love to them with hope that they will repent and turn from their ungodly ways.
So, now that I know who a true believer should associate with, what is it that the apostles taught the early churches to obey and how should they walk? Here in this passage we clearly see that men of God work hard and do what they can to provide for themselves and their families. But what else? What is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Word of God, that they taught. I think to find this answer I need to go to the Gospel according to MAtthew. So, in my next post we will go there and see what Jesus Christ, himself taught the people.