First Century Panhandling. Heir Conditioning 014

“Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.” (2 Thessalonians 3:6, ESV)
Many people who are able-bodied grasp at any excuse to not work, especially when there is any sort of charity to make laziness nearly painless. Many more don’t even bother to make excuses. They simply subsist on handouts – government or otherwise. We may think this is something unique to our current society. But we would be wrong.

At the very beginning of the church nearly 2000 years ago, new believers were overcome with generosity towards each other when they realized God’s generosity demonstrated in Christ. As a result “And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. (Acts 2:44-45 ESV)
Unfortunately, it appears there were some freeloaders even in the early church who took unjust advantage of this charity intended for those truly in need. That’s why the Thessalonians were told point blank to not tolerate anyone who abuses the generosity of others, whether the generosity came through individuals, churches, other charitable institutions, or government agencies. “Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. (2 Thessalonians 3:6)

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