Friday, July 23, 2010

An international Sunday school lesson commentary

For Sunday July 25, 2010

(Never tire of doing what is right)
(2 Thessalonians 3)

With the issue of eschatology now handled, Paul closes out his second letter to the Thessalonians with a final warning to always do that which is right in the eyes of the LORD. In order for us to build our spiritual foundations on the Most-High Faith, we as Christians must show the world, through our behavior, that Christianity does indeed, produce the best men and women. We must be able to do the right thing, even in times of hardship, struggle, and persecution.
Everyone in this present time needs prayer, in fact, prayer is something that has always been needed by every generation that has ever lived on this earth, and Paul himself, in his time, was no exception. Paul understood fully that GOD always answers the prayers of those who righteously seek HIM, and that HE will deliver them from the clutches of the evil one, who seeks through his demonic forces, to destroy the work of Christianity.
I myself experience attacks almost every day from antichrist elements who seek to sabotage my online Sunday school ministry, and scandalize my name by linking it to pornography, sex-enhancement drugs, vulgar you tube videos, etc. and then, sending them through the e-mail to many of my readers. And while most of my readers are not fooled by these disrespectful attempts to stop my Christian teachings, there are some who do buy into it. And since these cowardly attacks comes from various places around the world, and can’t be traced, it would be foolish to let such things discourage my work. I refuse to try and track down cowards who wish to attack people that they don’t know, and then, hide behind their P.C.’s and laptops. It kind of reminds you of the C.B. era when cowardly closet racists would use a lot of racial slurs while hiding behind their C.B.s. And so I will persist, continuing my work, just as JESUS did, and just as Paul and other Christian workers did, who followed HIM.
Suffering for the faith is never easy, and we should never allow suffering to force us to surrender. Our best response to difficulty is to continue to do what we know is right according to the GOD of Heaven and earth, remaining confident in HIS eternal love for us, and long-term commitment to us. GOD will always bless those who suffer for the sake of CHRIST JESUS.
In 2 Thessalonians 3, verses 6-15, Paul shifts gears a little bit and delivers a final exhortation to those who insisted on waiting idly on the onset of the “Day of the LORD”, refusing to see the need to continue working and earning their own way in life.
One of the key reasons why Paul would work in his vocation as a tentmaker when he visited a city for an extended period of time is that, he wanted to give Christian converts a model of a good work ethic that they could follow. He understood that a leader must lead by example and be sensitive to the influence that their own behavior will have upon others who might be watching them.
It was very disturbing to Paul that some ignorant and lazy believers spent the majority of their days looking up in the sky, saying “We’re waiting on JESUS to return any minute now, so we don’t need to work because the end of the world is at hand”. Those who were idling themselves also became busy bodies who meddled into the affairs of others. Paul admonishes the church that “anyone who doesn’t work should not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10-11). In fact, Paul commanded them to get to work so that they might earn their own living and quit freeloading off other Christians. They should spend their time wisely, working for a living, and thereby eliminating some of the spare time they were misusing to interfere in other folks business, gossiping, and stirring up trouble.
Christians are called to a higher standard of proper living, seeking to do what is good and right, according to the word of GOD, even in times of stress and difficulties. Whenever Christians irresponsibly take the easy way out, and seem to prosper by doing so, it becomes a discouragement to those who are trying to do things the right way, and they themselves may be tempted to join in, in wrongdoing.
Paul closes by advising us to never grow weary of doing what’s good and favorable in GOD’s eyes. And we should pay close attention to those professed Christians who refuse to honor Christian values, so that we may understand clearly what NOT to do. And while we should not seek to permanently ostracize them from our lives, or the church, we should perhaps stay away from them for a while, if necessary, if for no other reason than to give them time to think about what they are doing, so that hopefully they will become convicted by their own behavior (verses 13-14). But we should never see another Christian as our enemy, instead, we should see them as we see ourselves, we’re all just Christians, who will always have to contend with our own sin nature and struggles, and also, will always have to share in the struggles and problems of others.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

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