2 Thessalonians 2

2 Thessalonians 3

Busy Waiting

Every generation of Christians must face the dilemma of how to live in the tension between the possibility of Christ’s immediate return and the impossibility of predicting the moment. Many Christians unfortunately settle the problem by living as if Christ will not return. Meanwhile, others dabble in various fruitless but persistent schemes to “figure out” the time of Christ’s return.

The young Thessalonian church struggled with persecution from the outset. Facing such difficulties, many of them found hope in the promise of Christ’s return. Others misapplied the lesson by becoming lazy. After all, they reasoned, if Christ is already on His way, why participate in the details and responsibilities of life? Why sow if we will not be here to reap?

For those who had chosen to “coast” until Christ’s return, Paul had blunt words: “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” (3:10). Paul understood the strong temptation to hide irresponsibility under a cover of spirituality. The integrity of the gospel was at stake.

In his final words of encouragement in 2 Thessalonians, Paul touched on the daily challenge for every person seeking to live for Christ: “But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good” (3:13). Herein lies the secret of being ready for Christ’s return. If the hope of His arrival stirs up a wholehearted commitment to do good for His sake, we will be ready for Him. We must be busy waiting.

The Nelson Study Bible


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