2 THESSALONIANS 3
5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
The coming of the Spirit-Man is the thing waited for; and the teaching which creates this expectation is "the word of the patient waiting for."
Wherever the truth was received as the result of divine teaching, the earnest and joyous expectation of the return of the glorified Jesus became a prime article of faith. This appears from many places in the New Testament. When Paul went to Thessalonica he proclaimed the royalty of Jesus, and his return to rule the whole habitable -- that there is another King than Caesar, even Jesus.
Many of Caesar's subjects believed him; and, in consequence, threw away their idols, and waited for his coming. In writing to these in after years, Paul said, "Ye turned to the Deity from the idols to serve a living and true Deity; and to wait for his Son from the heavens, whom He raised from among the dead, even Jesus, who delivers us from the coming wrath." This became to them a matter of hope. They waited for it, and were taught to do so with patience and endurance.
It is, therefore, termed "the patient waiting of the hope of our Lord Jesus Anointed," in 1 Thess. i. 3. In both these epistles the apocalypse of Jesus occupies a prominent place. It is expressly mentioned at the end of all the chapters of the first with many important accompaniments; and, in 2 Thess. iii. 5, he says,
"the Lord direct your hearts into the love of the Deity, and into the patient waiting for the Anointed."
They had become impatient, supposing that the day of his appearing was at hand. But Paul corrected this error by telling them that it would not come to pass until the consummation of an Apostasy, which would be perfected under the Man of Sin: and that, when this power should be fully matured, then the Lord Jesus would be apocalypsed to destroy it, and be glorified in his saints. All who are "taught of God" understand this, and earnestly desire the event; because they know that there is no salvation till He appears.
The promises are to those who love his appearing. Paul teaches this distinctly. "There is laid up," says he, "a coronal wreath of righteousness for all them who love his appearing;" and in another place he says
"to them who look for him he shall appear a second time without sin for salvation" (Heb. ix. 28).
Only those who are watching and prepared will share in this salvation.
Time is necessary for all things, to build up and pull down. Interpreters are generally too much in a hurry. We must have patience as well as faith. Things are all working together well for the appointed end.
... the ears of the nations [will] tingle and their blood run cold. But what strikes them with terror is matter of joy to the believer in the kingdom of God; for the dragon, the beasts, and the image, must all be destroyed out of the way before the auspicious era of the world's blessedness can be introduced.
Elpis Israel 3.2.
6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
The doctrine of separation is a dominant theme throughout Scripture. To identify ourselves with unbelievers of varying names and denominations, and readily accept them as friends is absolutely prohibited (cf. 2Cor 6:14; Eph 5:11). The difficulty lies deeper in its application when separation involves errant fellow believers and ex-believers. Yahweh's directive for the believers is the same whether the leaven is found within or without. What does a believer, "the temple of the living God," [within] have in common with the idolaters [without] (2Cor 6:16)?
We must uphold this doctrine of separation in preaching and in practice. If we do not, we betray the ecclesia and the Truth! We are to be holy (separate), as our Heavenly Father is holy and has set us apart to be His (Lev 20:26; James 1:15,16). Separation from both aliens and ex-Christadelphians who are aliens of the commonwealth of Israel, as well as disobedient brethren/sisters (cf. 1John 1:5,6) is a Biblical imperative!
Faulty reasoning like a desire for unity without purity, trying to avoid being too schismatic or too negative at the expense of Truth are used to justify disobedience and further cemented using love and opportunity to witness as excuses. What we term "kindness," is really quite the reverse. It creates this false impression against the Truth, in that it is not that "big a deal," and not take seriously the rebellious nature of the apostates against Yahweh in having befriended them! Such an attitude discourages those who would be faithful, not to mention the example being set to the "babes in Christ."
Sis Valerie Mello [in isolation, TN, USA] Comment added in 2017
10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
GOD is kind to the unthankful and the worthless, and He calls upon us to be like Him (Luke 6:35).
Obedience in this matter is a trial to the flesh, but then this is a day of trial. To refuse help to the needy on the ground of their unworthiness is not justifiable, unless that unworthiness take the form of positive laziness.
"If a man will not work neither let him eat" (2 Thes. 3:10).
To close the hand of charity against the needy for any other cause is wrong. To feed the idle is to foster and develop their sin, and this God forbids us to do. But there is always a difficulty in the fulfilling of our duty. An idler never admits his sin. He is invariably profuse with excuses-"I can't get this" and "I can't do that."
That difficulties would arise was not unknown to the author of the command. We are required as intelligent beings to weigh and consider and to judge righteously. If there be a doubt, then we should give the one in question the benefit of the doubt. We may rest assured that God will not long allow those who are seeking to do His will to be imposed upon.
The character of an idler is sure to manifest itself in time. We need never guess or act precipitately. Better to indefinitely postpone a refusal to assist than to err upon the wrong side.
Bro AT Jannaway
The Christadelphian, June 1888
What God gives you by the labour of your own hands is much sweeter than what comes by the hand of another. Behold, therefore, the wisdom of the dispensation that makes nearly everything depend upon self-exertion. It may bear hardly sometimes, but sufficient experience will at last pronounce it blessed,-even in that form that commands us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.
The Christadelphian, June 1888
11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.
An ecclesia by position and profession belongs to the light of the day. That is the description of the high calling which has called it into existence; but it does not follow that all its members come up to the profession. It is possible that many of them may come short of the stature of the new man in Christ, and consequently fail in obtaining the promise.
It is even possible that in a whole ecclesia there may not be a single individual acceptable in the sight of God. We seem to discover such a case in the messages of Christ to the seven ecclesias that were in Asia.
To all, with two exceptions, he speaks of the bulk of their members in doubtful terms. Of one, he speaks as if it lacked a single individual of the true type; which affords matter for serious reflection for us who, living so long after the authoritative proclamation of the word, are in much more danger of being in that position.
To Laodicea he says,
"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot."
Bro Roberts - The day of the Lord