There is a Plan - 2 Thessalonians 3: 6,12-18
November 4, 2022, 8:00 AM

6 In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. 12 Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat. 13 And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good. 14 Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed. 15 Yet do not regard them as an enemy but warn them as you would a fellow believer. 16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. 17 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand, which is the distinguishing mark in all my letters. This is how I write. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Church discipline has a plan involving 4 things:

1) Keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. Ignore him for the purpose of discipline. The Bible speaks of the importance of personal and church responsibility. If they are unwilling to abide by the Scripture, then do not associate with them. Leave them alone. Let them recognize that their friends in Christ cannot help you, then maybe they will repent and change their ways.

2) Command and warn. Paul wants the church to take a strong stand and command people who are idle at others’ expenses to get busy and earn the bread they eat. We need to take lead in helping, but also in teaching and instructing and with authority to people that are not living right.

3.) Never tire of doing what is right. Be persistent in obeying the Lord. Do not be weary in well doing. It is easy for the faithful Christian to be discouraged by the conduct of the careless saints and it is easy to think, "Hey, since they're not working, then I won't either. Why should I work hard when they don't?"

We do not work to please our earthly boss; we work to please our heavenly Lord. Any persecution that comes from it is also religious persecution which He will honor in due time.

Another part of the plan is not to treat a brother as you would a non-Christian. They are still part of the family. They are to be warned, but they are not our enemy to be mistreated, or unloved. There is a point to be made to help them find correction, not condemnation. Speak the truth in love. Withdraw, but be there to reconcile, assist, and bring them back into the fold and family.

Application: Paul concludes this book with a benediction. This is also the plan, as we recognize and confirm that God's blessing and grace is upon us - we make all things a service and praise unto Him.

Prayer:  We pray with Paul, Lord of Peace, give me peace at all times and in every way. I pray Lord that you will be with us all and lead us to follow Your plan. 

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