2 THESSALONIANS 3:1-5 How only could the gospel spread rapidly? (v.1) Only if God blessed the preaching of his Word.
2 THESSALONIANS 3:1-5 In what ways do Christians honor the message of the gospel? (v.1) First, we honor the message when we believe it. (Trusting God’s promises honors him.) Second, we honor the message when our lives change. (Living in love, as God defines it, gives honor to God.)
2 THESSALONIANS 3:1-5 “The Lord is faithful.” Why was that truth a great comfort for Paul and for the Thessalonians? (v.3) Both Paul (in Corinth) and the Thessalonians were facing serious persecution. But God never abandons his flock. If we must face persecution, that will also work for the good of the church.
2 THESSALONIANS 3:1-5 Even when it came to staying faithful, where did Paul’s confidence lie? (v.4) In the Lord. No one is as faithful or certain as God. He will not abandon his own.
2 THESSALONIANS 3:1-5 God’s love and Christ’s perseverance would give the Thessalonians the hope and strength they needed. What is God’s love and Christ’s perseverance? (v.5) God’s love is the grace that sent Jesus as our Savior. Christ’s perseverance is the way he stayed on course: he didn’t turn back in the garden, in his trials, or on the cross.
2 THESSALONIANS 3:1-5 Agree or disagree. Mission work will always be hard and dangerous. Agree. The devil does not want to lose and the world does not want to hear the gospel. That’s what truly makes it hard and dangerous. Disagree: But it is not our work. It is God’s work, and he is doing it. God protects us; he is still faithful.
2 THESSALONIANS 3:6-9 Why were some of the Thessalonians idle? “Not living according to the teaching you received from us.” (v.6) Eating other people’s food without paying for it. (v.7) Not following Paul’s example, who “worked day and night so that we would not be a burden to any of you.” (v.8,9)
2 THESSALONIANS 3:6-9 Agree or disagree. Paul’s primary concern about loafing is to keep the congregation from getting a bad reputation. Disagree. He’s worried about sin. He’s concerned that Christians will fall from the faith because they live in a sinful way. That’s why he calls on the congregation to exercise Christian discipline.
2 THESSALONIANS 3:6-9 The Smiths’ teenage son has been sitting around all summer, doing nothing. His parents threaten him with Paul’s rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” Are they right or wrong to do this? Assuming there is no good reason for their son not to work, they have every reason to use this passage. Their son needs to understand this and not give in to laziness.
2 THESSALONIANS 3:10-18 Is Paul addressing the fact that some were not working, or was he addressing the attitude behind not working? Why is that important to note? (v.10) Attitude. The Bible calls us to love and help the poor. Those who are unable to work due to economic conditions or physical hardships do not fall under the heading of lazy people.
2 THESSALONIANS 3:10-18 Of what additional sin were the idlers guilty? What does this show about sin? (v.11) They were “busybodies,” gossiping and interfering in other people’s affairs. One sin leads to another. What two things did Paul urge the idle to do to show their repentance? (v.12) Settle down and earn the bread they eat. “Settle down” refers to minding their own business and seeing to their own God-given responsibilities.
2 THESSALONIANS 3:10-18 Why did Paul immediately warn the other believers never to tire of doing good? (v.13) It is easy to be influenced by the sinful attitudes around us—especially when they come from fellow believers. Laziness, like all sin, is contagious.
2 THESSALONIANS 3:10-18 Explain how a Christian can refuse to associate with someone and make him or her feel ashamed and yet treat that person as a brother or sister and not as an enemy. (v.14- 15) When we refuse to associate with someone, we are trying to get that person to reflect on his or her sin. Our goal must be repentance. We never give that person the impression that we hate him or her. We call him or her gently but firmly to return to the faith.
2 THESSALONIANS 3:10-18 Paul prays that God would give the Thessalonians peace in every way. Give examples of various kinds of peace God can bless us with. (v.16) Peace between himself and us in Christ. We pray he will bless us with continued peace in our consciences. We ask for peace in our Christian congregations. We ask for peace between us and the world.