Temple Baptist Church - 4-30-2017
2 Thessalonians 3:13
A. By way of introduction, I want to take a short look at another verse of Scripture. Paul, when writing to a young pastor—Timothy—said, “This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.” (2 Timothy 1:15)
B. Asia Minor was originally called Asia. As the great Apostle Paul planted churches in this area, they soon began to apostatize. Churches like Thessalonica, who continued to “hold the lines,” no doubt felt the pressure to let up also. Paul understood the possibility of this great church getting spiritually weary in the work of the Lord.
C. We, in the Bible Belt, also feel the same pressure. Whereas good churches were the norm in the South, today they are an anomaly. Good churches have become like “hen’s teeth,” scarce. The clear majority of Protestant churches in our area are long gone along with most of the SBC ones. Independent Baptist churches are also giving in to the peer pressure of worldliness and the push for “numbers.”
D. Though I hate this for our families, community, and nation—there is nothing that I can do to change them. Paul’s concern was more for the church at Thessalonica than for the churches of Asia that were already gone. My concern is more for Temple Baptist Church!
E. We often sing the little chorus “I Have Decided To Follow Jesus.” One of the verses says, “Though none go with me, still I will follow.” To stand fast in these last perilous times, we must be willing to stand alone if necessary. Discouragement and peer pressure are the enemies of well doing. Years ago, at a preacher’s fellowship, a friend of mine preached on the subject of “Nobody Gives A Rip!” He has been out of the ministry for years! I have news for him and you: there are still good churches and good people that care. You and I are not alone in this thing.
F. Our verse uses the phrase “be not be weary in well doing.”
1. “Well doing” indicates a desire. I believe that the church at Thessalonica had a burning desire to do well. True Christians and good churches have a desire to be obedient to the Word of God as the love of Christ constrains them.
2. “In well doing” indicates more than just an acknowledgement of what “well doing” consists of. The church at Thessalonica was certainly doing well. Well doing is well doing! (2 Corinthians 8:1-5)
3. “Weary in well doing” shows the spiritual attrition that takes place over a long period of time. When writing to the church at Ephesus, John indicted them with having “left their first love.” This is not something that takes place in an instance of time but over an extended period.
4. “Brethren, be not” brings the plea down to an individual church over which the pastor and flock have control. Thessalonica could not control the churches of Asia but could control their own church.
G. The phrase “well doing” is found six times and these references in the New Testament.
1. Well doing takes patient continuance. Romans 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: (Patient continuance! Stay with the Bible; stay with the stuff; stay with patience. Our reward is eternal, not temporal.)
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; (18) While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2. Well doing silences the critical tongues of the unsaved. 1 Peter 2:15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: (Do not quit doing well because of what people say about you. I have found that most people know what right is and know that you are doing right. This makes them uncomfortable when around you. The world must see Christ in us as were are epistles, written of God and read of men.)
1 Peter 2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
3. Well doing can bring about persecution in the will of God. 1 Peter 3:17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. (Though none of us like persecution, it is a reality in the life of all of God’s children.)
Matthew 5:10-12 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (11) Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecuteyou, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. (12) Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
4. Well doing has a reward. Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (Temple, you are doing a great work. You love God; you love the Bible; your love your pastor; you love each other; you love and support missionaries; you have been a lighthouse on the side of the road for the past 30 years. You have not wavered; you have not faltered; you have not quit!)
Isaiah 40:29-31 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. (30) Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: (31) But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
5. Well doing places the child of God in the protective realm of God’s faithfulness. 1 Peter 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator. (I had rather be in the will of God in the jungles of Africa than out of the will of God in Laurens, SC!)
Proverbs 21:31 The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.