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In the dark? Look for The Son

        We love to hang out with our friends. We associate with people who we identify similarities. So, begs the thought, why do we sometimes see good people make bad decisions regarding friendships? I am not speaking of going out on bad dates or anything like that, but rather people hanging out together.  The Bible is precisely clear on what we need to do as His children.

 

2 Thessalonians 3

 6In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us.

            What good is it to be a Christian in name only, hang out with those who do not believe, and generally take up space? The sharp, cynical critic always speaks up and says, “Jesus hung out with prostitutes, liars, and tax collectors.” Jesus did associate it with sinners because they, we, were the reason He came in the first place. Jesus came not to play the Xbox, Nintendo, and Playstation with sinners. He came to save us. Christian brother and sister, it is one thing to show Christ-like compassion, charity and love. However, hanging out with those unbelievers, the idle, in a social situation is something else altogether.

 

7For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, 8nor did we eat anyone's food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. 9We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow. 10For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat."

            Paul makes it clear that he and those with them were not lazy couch potatoes that ate all the food in the fridge. They weren’t the kind of person that drinks from the milk jug or soda bottle. They didn’t put the jug back in the fridge with only a swig remaining. They worked as it read in verse eight  to not be a burden. Verse 9 says We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow. Paul being a leader of the Christian movement obviously wanted to be a pillar of strength, a model in the Christian faith to all those who may have been stumbling in their walk with God. Paul wrote, "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." Times have changed. I’m not slamming or slurring social programs like the welfare, but too many healthy, lazy people abuse that system. Back originally, you got what you gave. Be sure of this truth. A man reaps what he sows. Those lazy people who feast today off someone else’s work will starve eternally unless they invite Christ into their hearts.

            11We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. 12Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat. 13And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right.

 14If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of him. Do not associate with him, in order that he may feel ashamed. 15Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

            Our culture today is a culture of waste. Unemployment rates are up primarily because there are not many jobs, but looking at the will and heart of the people, there exists a huge number of wastes of spaces that don’t want to do anything but exist. They could be more if they were to look upon the face of the Almighty, but they reject Christ daily. The other type of person Paul speaks about other than those who are idle/lazy, is the busybody. This is the person who doesn’t manage their own business because they are too busy managing everyone’s stuff. Paul said to settle down in verse 12. 13And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right. I cannot tell you how important it is as a Christian to never tire of doing what is right. We, Christians, are demeaned, poked at, discriminated against, and labeled intolerant, and we are supposed to never tire of doing what is right? Christ told us that we would be. He told us to in essence preach on to the end. So yes, we should always do what is right never tiring or wavering in the faith.

 14If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of him. Do not associate with him, in order that he may feel ashamed. 15Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

            Is Paul telling us to single people out and make a spectacle of their behavior if it doesn’t line up with scripture? No. Is Paul telling us to single people out and correct their behavior if it doesn’t line up with scripture.  Ultimately, we accept or reject a person’s behavior even if we do nothing. If you laugh or even if you don’t laugh at a dirty joke you accept it if you do not verbally denounce it and walk way from it. It is the same thing, same thought with Christianity. We either uphold Christ’s teaching and we are real washed in His blood Christians or we are Christians in name only. Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother. See, we are supposed to not regard our fellow Christian as an enemy when s/he messes up. Rather we are to with Christ’s compassion, lovingly correct them. We as it is taught are supposed to bear one another’s burdens, help each other out, and look out for one another. Remember what Jesus prayed to God the Father as He was crucified. “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” As we are new creations in Christ, we should do follow the leader.