The Word This Week

2 Thessalonians 3:1…


Imagine being so troubled by circumstances going on around you that it sort of incapacitates your ability to do much of anything at all.

Life can be like that for the Christian - and it often is - because the born-again believer’s life runs contrary to the direction of the world. When the world is all going one way, the born-again Christian is called to head in the exact opposite direction.

Historically, this has caused great difficulty for the Church, because those in the Church refuse to worship the gods of this world all the world is worshiping. This refusal has caused a procession of persecution against the Church from the time of Adam until this day.

In such a great, (and even diminishing,) minority, individual members comprising the Body of Christ can come to sense their own inability to affect any sort of change in the fallen world they find themselves living in.

Couple that with intense mental, physical, and emotional punishments inflicted by the world against those who refuse any longer to worship Caesar, or to align their lives with observance of Jewish custom and practice, and you have the recipe for what the church at Thessalonica was going through.

What can one man do to change the world? Is there anything I can do to accomplish anything?

It is a tenuous balance to have hope in heaven while finding yourself mired in a hopeless world. For some, and perhaps many depending on the circumstances, this can lead to a lethargy of life.

Add in the promise Christ is going to return for His Bride at any moment, and the result may be - and sometimes is - to just disengage from the world entirely.

The fact is there is no hope in the world, and there is no hope I can do anything to change that fact. Why not just withdraw from society and interaction with this fallen culture and keep to myself? Some days I find it hard to get out of bed. Why should I? What difference does it make? After all, Jesus is coming soon, and I really believe that He is. All my hope rests in that fact.

It is obvious some in the church at Thessalonica lapsed into this kind of thinking, and it is detrimental to the church. Paul castigates those who have begun to think this way. I’m sure he could understand why they were acting this way, but he does not empathize with their inaction. Instead he gives them a good swift spiritual kick in the pants.

The Church is no good in the world when the Church no longer does good for the world. Get back to work. Occupy until Jesus comes. Languishing in disinterest in the world produces a kind of death within the Church.

Pastor Bill