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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

2 Thessalonians 3

Verses 1-5


Stability amid persecution (2:13-3:5)

From considering the terrible judgment that awaits the wicked, Paul turns to look at the bright future that awaits the Thessalonian believers. God will destroy the man of lawlessness and his followers, but the same God loves the Thessalonian believers. Their salvation is certain because God chose them as his from eternity, called them to himself through the gospel, and will in due course give them a share in Christ’s glory (13-14).
In view of the security that is theirs through the gospel, the Thessalonians need not be frightened by persecution or worried about future events. If they hold firmly to the apostolic teaching given to them, they will find that God strengthens them with courage and hope (15-17).
Paul asks for prayer that his proclamation of the gospel in Corinth will bring the same fruitful results as it did in Thessalonica. He desires also that God will protect both him and the Thessalonians against the attacks of Satan (3:1-3). He is confident that they will continue to stand firm, and that they will obey the important instructions that he is about to give them (4-5).

Verses 6-18

Work to earn a living (3:6-18)

Thinking that Christ was about to return, some believers in Thessalonica stopped working for a living and were being supported by others in the church. Paul says that the church should not support such people. By their selfishness, these idlers are denying the teaching they have received concerning Christian brotherhood (6). They should follow Paul’s example. As a teacher Paul had the right to be supported by those whom he taught, but instead he worked hard to earn his own living, so as not to be a burden to others (7-9).
If people refuse to work, others should not support them, because this only encourages them to remain idle (10). These people are not only an unnecessary financial burden, but because they have nothing to do, they become nuisances and busybodies. They must stop annoying others and start working to earn their own living (11-13). If any ignore these apostolic instructions and persist in their idleness, the believers should not show them sympathy. In fact, a brotherly warning might bring them to their senses (14-15).
In conclusion Paul prays that the Thessalonians, instead of being unsettled by misunderstandings concerning the return of Christ, may experience the calmness of God’s peace among them (16). Paul then takes the pen from his secretary and, following his usual practice, writes a few words himself to prove the genuineness of the letter (17-18).

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Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on 2 Thessalonians 3". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". 2005.