Several years ago I had a man call me and he told me he was interested in joining our church, but before he did, he wanted to know what kind of ministries we had for feeding the homeless. I told him at the time we didn’t have any of those type of ministries, but that we would certainly being willing to support any biblically based ministry to the poor if we had someone to lead it. The man then told me that he would not be coming to our church, because he believed that any church that didn’t minister to the homeless was not a church at all.
Look, I’m all for the church helping the feeding and sheltering the poor, but that is not the primary mission of the true church. As we will learn in our study today in 2 Thessalonians, the best way to help the prodigal find his way home to the Father isn’t by feeding and clothing him, but by directing him through the Word of God to the love of God in Jesus Christ. In fact, sometimes by meeting the physical needs of certain prodigals, we are only enabling them to continue their rebellion against God.