2 Thessalonians 3
6 But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us.
13 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. 14 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. 15 Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
People in the church who are not following the Lord’s teachings is nothing new. Within a few years of the start of Paul’s churches there were good people who were tolerating disobedient people. The church today is not much better at this than the church then was. We are way too tolerant of those who walk disorderly and not according to the clear teachings of God’s word.
I had boys at Victory Homes who if we did not correct them would tell us that they assumed we were OK with what they were doing. The funny thing about these situations was that the boys knew they were breaking the rules but were waiting to see if we would correct them. I think church people do the same thing. When they begin to live outside of the teachings of Christ they look to see if anyone notices. If no one says anything they assume that what they are doing must not be that bad. But if someone takes the time to lovingly and accurately correct them they might change their ways.
The difficulty is that we don’t like to confront one another. Since when has being a friend involved letting one another go into painful sin? Since all sin is painful we should be quick to help one another through loving correction. If the correction is received we have deepened our friendship. If the correction is rejected we may have lost a friend for a moment but we have done right before God and have protected the church.
One thing Paul says here that the church has had trouble with is not treating a straying believer as an enemy but admonishing them as a brother. Paul did not believe in excommunication; Paul believed in correction and admonishing while still caring that the disobedient one stay under the preaching of God’s word. We have had people living disobedient to God whom we corrected but they still came to church. I was always glad that they still came and prayed that the Word given would speak to their hearts and they would repent of their sin.
Brothers and sisters do not grow weary of doing good. We must diligently do what is right before God regardless of how tired we become of the response of others.
Tomorrow night is our annual adult Christmas party. I hope you are able to come. We are doing a Yankee Swap gift exchange which is a blast with lots and lots of laughs. Don’t miss out.
Sunday morning I will continue the series asking the why and how questions of Christmas. This week we will look at the question of why did God need a nation to bring His Son to earth.
Have a great day in the Lord ,