II Thessalonians 3: Request, Warning and Prayer

Tonight we close out our study of II Thessalonians. As we reflect on the letters that Paul, Silas and Timothy (primarily Paul) wrote to this faithful church, let us remain inspired by their strength. This church had no major issues and they had great strength and belief in Jesus Christ. Despite this, they still required guidance from Paul, so they could improve their service to God. It is a good reminder for us to never stop trying to improve our service and grow in our faith and understanding of His will for us.

The letter concludes with a request, a warning and a prayer. Paul asks that the Thessalonians remember Paul, Silas and Timothy in their prayers, that their efforts to preach the word of Christ be successful. They were aware that wicked men could hinder their work. Paul’s faith is clear as he remonstrates that God is faithful to answer this prayer for them also.

The warning is an admonition to stay busy working for the Lord and for their own livelihood. You will remember in previous chapters of the letters to the Thessalonians, some of them were not working, supposing that Jesus would return at any moment. Paul reminds them of the example that Paul, Silas and Timothy left through their hard work, teaching and preaching to earn their food. The idea is to not be a burden and to work hard for yourself. Being busy with work also removes opportunities to be exposed to temptation and sin.

Verses 13-15 instill an interesting directive from the apostle. If one does not walk in accordance with these ideas, admonish him to do the right thing with familiarity, yet do not regularly associate with him: ““But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.” And of course, we should never tire of doing the right thing, as the scripture says.

The book concludes with Paul praying that they have peace through Jesus. He proves that the letter is authentic by writing the concluding salutation himself. The rest of the letter was most likely dictated, and fake letters of this type had been intercepted before.

The Thessalonians remain a great example of a strong young church.

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