Editor’s Note: Once again I welcome David Hundert as guest blogger this week! Thanks David, for filling in for me. In this four-part series, David concludes our Advent 2021 series, Ready for the Return, in which we studied 2 Thessalonians.
Consider this irony: In 2019, if you stayed home and did nothing, you were considered lazy, irresponsible. In 2020, If you stayed home and did nothing, you were considered a responsible individual? Even my laptop goes idle every now and then. After 10 minutes, an image of the Lord appears when my laptop goes idle. It’s my screen savior.
As we continue studying 2 Thessalonians chapter 3, Paul warns us to keep away from believers who are idle. What does he mean? We’re taught that when reading Scripture, we need to read it with one foot in the original text, with the original author, and the original intent that the passage was written for. The other foot needs to be right here, right now, asking “how is this relevant to me today?” As we study 2 Thessalonians 3, let’s try that out.
Imagine with me, if you happened to discover the cure for Covid, or the cure for dementia, or cancer. What would you do with that? What would you do with kind of information? What does it take to get to that point where you can say that the cure works? You have double blind trials, and testing on the medications to make sure that the cure isn’t worse than the disease. You make sure that the public would be able to gain easy access to it. What if this cure, was as simple as taking a single pill, once! Or, for those that have issues swallowing pills, they make a liquid form that comes in your favorite flavors. One dose, and that’s it! No more cancer, no more dementia, no Covid.
Now, you run into a neighbor that you’ve waved to from time to time. You see him across the fence in your backyard or working on his car in the driveway, He’s barbecuing or you are, and you just found out that he has prostate cancer. Do you continue to wave at him? Are you afraid to tell him about the cure, because you think that he might look at you weird? Do you avoid the topic, because you don’t want him to think your one of those “cure all, nutjobs” or a snake oil salesmen? Or do you tell him that he needs this cure because it can extend his life?
What does all this have to do with Advent and 2 Thessalonians 3? We’re about to find out!
In verses 1-5 Paul begins by asking for prayer that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored. Experts put the date of this letter somewhere around the year 50. This makes this letter pretty close to 2 thousand years old and less than 20 years after the resurrection of Jesus. There would still be a lot of people that had witnessed Jesus’ walking around after His crucifixion, if not having witnessed the event itself. So what is this “message of the Lord” that Paul is talking about? Read about it in 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, the message of the good news of Jesus, which we call the Gospel. Is the message from his day, any different than the message for today? No!
Paul was asking for prayer, that this message, this gospel, be spread quicker back then, so I would ask, how much more important is it, that it continue to be spread quickly today? In the King James version, we read that “the time draws nigh…” We are closer to the 2nd advent or the 2nd coming now, than Paul was back then. Even then, Paul states that there were evil people without faith and they still persist today. Should that deter us? No!
Without that 1st Advent, there would be no 2nd Advent. The return of Jesus Christ is closer now then ever and it gets closer by the minute. Who do you know that needs to hear the message? Who do you know that doesn’t have faith? Who will you be praying for in the coming year, that they accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior? Who needs this permanent cure from the effects of sin, that only Jesus can deliver? What keeps us from sharing that?