2nd Thessalonians 3:1-17
It is interesting to note that the context of this is that Paul is talking about the end times. A man of lawlessness will come. We do not know how or when, but it seems to me that at the time Paul wrote this, there were people who thought the end was nigh, Christ would return and so there was no need for them to work. They could live off other people and Paul was saying that was wrong. He and those who traveled with him had set a good example by working among them earning a living so that they were not a burden to others.

Holy Bible
He had heard that there were those who had stopped working and were gossips. Pauls instruction is to avoid such people. This was a form of discipline to stop others from becoming lazy and to encourage people back to work. They had a misunderstanding of the end times. They were not getting on with good works and guarding their hearts.
We also know Christ will return like a thief in the night. In other words when we least expect him. The lesson from this is that we need to be busy doing the work God has given us and we need to be ready for his return at any time.
I used to think that it was easy to tell when christ would return for I read in a book that christ would return when there were 10 Nations in the European Union. There are far more nations in it than 10, so I was wrong.
Likewise they believed Elijah would return and then Christ would appear. This did happen, but not the way they imagined. Instead God sent a man who was like Elijah and he was John the baptist.
We need to be careful that we understand God’s word correctly and not be deceived and to live in a state of readiness for his coming. In the meantime, let us be busy doing the good he has given us to do.
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