Temple Baptist Church - 4-23-2017
2 Thessalonians 3:6-12
A. The Bible is always relevant and our text for tonight clarifies questions concerning welfare and entitlement.
1. We live in the day of “Entitlement.” Such is the cracked foundation of a socialistic governments. I called it “Robin Hood Economics.” The character, Robin Hood, robbed the rich and gave to the poor and became a hero to many people. I remember watching Robin Hood on the TV many years ago.
2. In our day, we could change the spelling just a little and call it “Robbing Hood” or “Trickle Down” economics. The act of taking away from those who have rightfully earned (it matters not what you think about rich people, if they earned it or inherited it, it belongs to them!) and give to those who refuse to earn! You have the “makers” and the “takers” in a perpetual war with one another.
3. At this point, I may catch a little “flack” from the entitlement people but I want to see what the Bible says about the subject. Why is it so important to us in our day? Because we have been given the same ideology through the years.
B. Entitlement defined: the condition of having the right to have, to do, or to get something. The feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something. A type of financial help provided by the government for members of a particular group. (Merriam-Webster)
C. Socialism is a slow, creeping plague that begins slowly but brings a nation down quickly in the end.
1. Why, because a “welfare state” cannot work. Fully socialistic nations have proven this beyond a doubt. We have a hybrid “capitalistic-socialistic” state or nation. While a little more stable for a while, it will eventually become unsustainable. I do not want this to become a political sermon but the subject matter is important enough that God dealt with it.
2. As the dependent population grows, the productive population begins to decline and you end up with more takers than makers. You must begin borrowing money to feed the poor who will not work and, at that time, you have crossed the line. Eventually, money must be borrowed to sustain the economy and the economy begins to collapse. America? You got it!
D. Now, let us take the text to its context: Paul is writing to a local church.
1. I watch a local church in our city who has a “food bank” giving out free groceries all the time. On a certain day of the week or month, they bag up free food for all who come. The church parking lot is full of people who will not attend that church. It is also full of people who live off welfare and food stamps!
2. People call the church all the time asking for money for food, gas, utilities, etc. and I question them thoroughly. Very few ever get help because they have family or other sources from which to get help.
E. What does the Bible say about entitlement? Nothing!
1. We have seen the bumper sticker that says that the Christian’s “retirement is out of this world.” Heaven is not going to be saved people sitting on the bank of the River of Life with their feet dangling in the water while talking or just doing nothing.
2. I have often said that heaven will be a busy place and this eternal earth will be busy also. God did not make man to just do nothing but eat and sleep.
F. What does God have for us?
1. God established the principle of labor before the Fall. In Genesis, chapter 2, before the fall, God gave Adam a job! Genesis 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. (In the perfection and innocence of the Garden of Eden, God established the principle of work. Adam did not get a “free ride.” I do not know exactly what needed to be done in the utopia called “The Garden of Eden,” but Adam had a specific work to do.)
2. The Command of Labor. In Genesis, chapter 3, after the fall, God gave commandment that a man is to work for a living. This was not the establishment of a Biblical principle but a clear Biblical command to work. Genesis 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. (Not only was the man to work, he was to work hard [sweat] and long [till thou return unto the ground].)
3. The Satisfaction of Labor. Psalms 128:2 For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. (Someone said that if you work a job, in about two weeks, you will suddenly come into some money. I can honestly say that all that we have ever had came through hard and continual work.)
4. The Sleep of Labor. Ecclesiastes 5:12 The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep. (You do not have to rock hard working men and women to sleep at night!)
5. The Mindset of Laziness. Proverbs 26:13-16 The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets. (14) As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed. (15) The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth. (16) The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason. (A man who will not work has more excuses for not working that “Carter has little pills.” Constantly turning in one’s bed is because he/she has slept enough and needs to get up and go to work.)
6. The Curse of Laziness. Proverbs 24:30-31 I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; (31) And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. (A lazy person takes no pride in their home! The condition of what they have is a reflection of their character.)
7. The Poverty of Laziness. Proverbs 24:32-34 Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. (33) Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: (34) So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man. (Poverty comes slowly but surely to those who are too lazy to work a job.)
8. The Cure of Laziness. Proverbs 20:4 The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing. (He may beg but deserves to go hungry!)
1 Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
2 Thessalonians 3:10-11 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. (11) For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.