Further Study: Keeping the Church Faithful
avatar

“The Thessalonian believers were greatly annoyed by men coming among them with fanatical ideas and doctrines.

Some were ‘disorderly, working not at all, but . . . busybodies.’ The church had been properly organized, and officers had been appointed to act as ministers and deacons. But there were some, self-willed and impetuous, who refused to be subordinate to those who held positions of authority in the church.”-Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 261.

“Paul was not wholly dependent upon the labor of his hands for support while at Thessalonica. . . . Philippians 4:16. Notwithstanding the fact that he received this help he was careful to set before the Thessalonians an example of diligence, so that none could rightfully accuse him of covetousness, and also that those who held fanatical views regarding manual labor might be given a practical rebuke.”-Pages 348, 349.

“The custom of supporting men and women in idleness by private gifts or church money encourages them in sinful habits, and this course should be conscientiously avoided. Every man, woman, and child should be educated to do practical, useful work. All should learn some trade. It may be tentmaking, or it may be business in other lines; but all should be educated to use the members of their body to some purpose, and God is ready and willing to increase the adaptability of all who will educate themselves to industrious habits.”-Ellen G. White Comments, The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 912.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How does our church keep its balance between hanging onto truths confirmed in the past and following the advancing light of God? How can we know when new “light” is, indeed, “light” and not deception?
  2. How do we deal with unruly and troublesome church members who always seem to be complaining about something? At the same time, what about those who are expressing concerns over real problems?
  3. Summarize in your mind the essential message of Paul to the Thessalonians in these two letters in a way that makes them relevant to the situation in our church today.

Summary: The two letters of Paul to the Thessalonians have taught us a great deal about how to be a church in a difficult environment. However different the immediate context he dealt with is to ours, the principles he espoused are enduring and eternal, because they are inspired by the Lord Himself.

Share Button

Comments

Further Study: Keeping the Church Faithful — 13 Comments

  1. An balanced spiritual life

    The lazyness of those believers, Paul is talking about, has probably to do with their view of the second coming of Christ. They had misunderstood a saying of Christ refred to by Paul: "For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord..." (1 Thess. 4:15 RSV) Christ had actually said: "This generation will not pass away till all these things take place." (Matth. 24:34 RSV) The context shows that a series of signs would lead up to the coming of the Lord. That generation, living at the climax of these signs, will be alive at the second coming. Paul was repeating this saying and explaining it further on the basis of the book of Daniel pointing out that the falling away in the appearing of antichrist must come first (2 Thess. 2:2; Daniel 11:36).

    Paul was correcting the misunderstanding of those believers along with their erroneous attitude to work: Since the day of the Lord is at hand or has already occured, there is no use working, they held, urging their views upon the church (2 Thess. 2:1-2; AA 261)

    When Christ was on his way to Jerusalem people supposed, "That the Kingdom of God was to appear immediately." (Luke 19:11 RSV) In order to correct this false idea, Christ told a parable. A nobleman was about to leave for a far country to receive a kingdom and then to return. Calling his servants, he gave them different amounts of money and charged them: "Trade with these till I come." (Luke 19:13 RSV) When he came back, he called on his servants to give account for their work. While most of them had traded with the money and gained more, the last one had hidden the entrusted money in a napkin doing nothing (Luke 19:20).

    Praying , studying scripture and discussing theological issues, must not crowd out every day duties. Being busy, must not crowd out prayer and studying the Bible. The latter would result in spiritual feebleness. The former would would ignore other people`s need waiting and longing for our action. This is calling for a balanced spiritual life.

    Winfried Stolpmann

    Like(0)
  2. Like Thessalonians of today we've faced many challanges that in one way have even disfelloshipped our beingness with God. Ours is to call back for forgiveness and we first have to accept our inquities, by just evaluating our lives in Christ, because in the world we are in today is apassway ours is the world to come. In fact, we ourselves can't keep the faith of the church, let the Spirit give us treasurer so that we can withstand tragedies and insults. Happy Sabbath as we share the health gospel according to His word.

    Like(0)
  3. I strongly believe in in one being busy in the work of Christ until Jesus Christ comes. I also believe, you may not be gifted in Ministry, but your talents may be of running or managing a company small business to make money you should also do so remembering that our labours on this earth is to keep us occupied till Jesus comes and help in the advancement of the work of the Church to preach the gospel to "all the world till the end shall come."

    Like(0)
  4. 1.How does our church keep its balance between hanging onto truths confirmed in the past and following the advancing light of God? How can we know when new “light” is, indeed, “light” and not deception?

    Ans: Isaiah 8:20 - "To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."

    2.How do we deal with unruly and troublesome church members who always seem to be complaining about something? At the same time, what about those who are expressing concerns over real problems?

    Ans: 2 Thes. 3:6,14-15.

    "We have need of constant watchfulness, for we are nearing the coming of Christ, nearing the time when Satan is to work "with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." We must study the Pattern, and become like Jesus, who was meek and lowly of heart, pure and undefiled. We should ever remember that God is near us, and all things great and small are under his control. We must obey his law, come to Christ in faith as to him who is a rewarder of all them that diligently seek him; thus we shall be overcomers, and at last have a seat with him upon his throne." (Signs of the Times, Apr. 20, 1891}

    3.Summarize in your mind the essential message of Paul to the Thessalonians in these two letters in a way that makes them relevant to the situation in our church today.

    Ans: This is God's church and we need to heed His voice in the decisions we make and how we do things. We must be hearers and doers of His word.

    Like(0)
    • I understand that we are to compare and search any "new" light to the law and to the testimony, but I have to ask with all due respect to Ellen White whom I strongly believe is and was a messenger of God, that in our Adventist Church, since Ellen White, has God spoken to any other person? Or are we as Adventist blind to see and hear what God is saying through other people because we are well satistfied with Ellen White's Writtings?

      Like(0)
  5. I tried to be a faithful servant and not hide my talent under a bushel. I attempted to use the gift as a drummer to spread God's word and the church has marked me a heathen and told me that the intrusment is pagan and unacceptable in worship enviroment. I am now trying to learn how to play the keyboard. I can only play by ear, and pray that the Lord will guide me as I continue to learn.

    Like(0)
    • I don't have any negative thoughts about drums for they are a passive instrument, that unless and until someone needs to play, they become active. Is it the drum that is evil itself? or the one playing with it with evil desire? Nevertheless all instruments can be used to glorify the enemy or like wise to glorify our maker. What I understand is the prejudice we have to this instrument in which at times when the church is not ready for it we need to be always considerate rather to push our own desire to the congregation that can germinate divisions inside the church. What if pagan use piano in the process which a lot of them are using? Did it transform the piano to a pagan solely for them? for sure no.

      Like(0)
    • Dear Don, It is unfortunate that the church you attend does not recognize that drums are not evil instruments, but can be used for the glory of God. It's a prejudice a lot of people seem to hold, but there's no basis for it in Scripture.

      In India, each new church plant in the poorer areas of the country gets a set of drums as a gift from the local Seventh-day Adventist conference. These are the only instruments they will likely have, because they cannot afford any others. (They are simple drums, not a fancy electronic set. ;) )

      May the Lord bless you as you learn to play the keyboard. He knows the intentions of your heart, even when others don't understand. He may yet open the door for you to play the drums as well--perhaps in another church. But you will find that the keyboard is a very versatile instrument.

      O do wonder from what part of the world you are writing ..

      Like(0)
    • Hi, Don. I commend your love of music. Drums can give you a lot of understanding of rhythm in music. Piano is great for learning music theory. I play keyboard some, but mostly guitar. I have played in groups and can vouch for the need for drums and bass instruments to help keep everyone synchronized and playing at the same tempo. I appreciate those who have the natural rhythm to accomplish that. I hope you don't give up on following your musical calling. The only things I would suggest would be to 1)learn to read music. It will open up a whole new world of possibilities to you. 2)practice every day, and 3)memorize what you are learning to play so you can play it anywhere. Blessings and best wishes.

      Like(0)
    • I commend you for your willingness to share your God given talents, even if it may be the drums! As you alluded to, you face the biases of those in your church (ie. "heathen", "pagan"). As you meet the call of God to share your gifts, consider a personal study of worship as described in the Bible rather than "tradition" (2 Tim 2:15).

      As for the keyboard, a couple simple tips:
      - most western music can be played using 3 chords [I, IV, V]
      - adding 2 additional chords will really "flavor" things up! [ii, vi]
      - as you start to learn the keyboard, find how to "support" the song much like you did as a drummer.

      Like(0)
  6. As a thes of today I've faced millions of challenges but I've never given up my Adventist church faith I always remember Jesus Christ's word to keep the faith in what I've accepted as the savior.

    Like(0)
  7. I am so happy to hear that playing the drums in the Adventist Church is not against God's will. I have been told by so many Adventists that it is Heathen and sinful to play drums in the Adventist church, but we have a drummer in our church that plays along with the piano and organ every Sabbath.

    Like(0)

What do you think? If you like a comment, just [Like] it or post a thoughtful reply. Please provide a working email address and your real first AND last name to have your comment published.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.