Life-Study of 1 & 2 Thessaloniansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we shall consider 3:6-18. In 3:6-15 we have Paul’s word of correction of the disorderly walk, and in 3:16-18, we have Paul’s conclusion.
The concluding sections of this book surely sound like a word spoken to young believers. After speaking concerning profound matters in 2:13—3:5, Paul goes on to give a word concerning correction of the disorderly walk. In 3:6 he says, “Now we charge you, brothers, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother walking disorderly and not according to the tradition which you received from us.” A disorderly walk is not only according to the flesh (Rom. 8:4), but is also against the building up of the church life (1 Thes. 5:11; Rom. 14:19; 1 Cor. 10:23).
It may seem that walking disorderly is a small point. Nevertheless, it certainly is practical. I believe that the disorderliness in Thessalonica came from the misconception regarding the Lord’s coming back. Some believers thought that the Lord Jesus would be coming back soon, and therefore it was not necessary for them to work. Their concept may have been that as long as they had something to eat and could survive, that was adequate. Those who have such a concept become “superbelievers.” They go above the level of proper spirituality.
Several years ago, a number of the young people thought that as long as they loved the Lord Jesus and were living the church life, it was not necessary for them to have a higher education. They thought it was adequate to do some kind of simple work. I came to know the situation and realized that this concept is absolutely wrong. We live in an age when it is necessary to have an education. In order to live properly in this age, we need a good education. Without the right kind of education, it would not be easy for us to make a living. I gave a strong word to the young people encouraging them to complete college and, if possible, to go on to graduate school. Furthermore, I encouraged them to study subjects such as medicine or law. I am thankful that this word was widely accepted by the young people. During the years that followed, many completed their education. Now they can testify how much help they received from that word.
Do not think that as long as we are spiritual, seek the Lord, and are for the Lord’s testimony and recovery, there is no need for us to be prepared for work through good education. We live in an age of education, knowledge, science, and industry. If the young people do not have a proper education, it will be difficult for them to have a proper human living. Therefore, I encourage all the young people to gain a good education.
In verse 6 Paul charges the believers to keep away from any brother who walks disorderly. This indicates that Paul considers it a serious matter to walk disorderly, for this is a damage to the church life.
At this point I would like to say that it is better not to do anything with which the brothers would not agree. If you want to do a certain thing and the brothers do not feel good about it, you should hesitate and reconsider. The fellowship of the brothers is a protection and a safeguard. It will preserve you in the church life. Perhaps you think that you know more than the brothers. This may actually be the situation. Nevertheless, it is always safe to listen to the brothers. This is a good protection and safeguard.
Paul tells us not to keep company with one who is disorderly. If you keep company with such a one, you may encourage him to continue in his disorderly living. Staying away from him will serve as a warning to him. It will also help to keep you from making the same kind of mistake.
Walking disorderly is upsetting to the church life. If we would have a proper church life, we need to learn to walk in an orderly way and to stay away from anyone who walks disorderly.
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