This week we will be looking at Paul’s letter to the church at Thessalonica. Chapter 5 and verses 11-28 was to counsel and comfort the church. Paul’s purpose in writing these verses was to encourage the Thessalonians to live holy lives. Paul encouraged the Thessalonians to warn, comfort, support, and be patient.
Warn (V 14-15)
14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. 15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
Paul exhorts the brethren. Exhort means to strongly encourage or urge someone to do something. He wanted them to warn those within the church, the body of believers that were unruly or disorderly. This is a problem in many churches today. The result is hurt feelings and church splits. It also ruins the testimony of the church and its members.
Paul exhorts them to comfort the feebleminded. Feebleminded means a person unable to make intelligent decisions or judgments. He wanted to make sure that these people were being shown comfort.
Paul exhorts them to support the weak. There are those in the church who may be aged, physically challenged, who need our support.
Paul exhorts them to be patient with all men. Patience is a character trait that is hard for most believers to attain. If things are going our way, no problem. However, when there is a deadline to meet, a person that rubs us the wrong way, or a situation we are uncomfortable about, we find our patience tested. That is when we need to go to God and ask for His help. Patience in interpersonal relationships is a key to well running church. Verse 15 tells us how to do this.
Tomorrow we will look at seven things we can do to create harmony within the church and with our fellow men and women.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001