God’s Word is very plain in its declaration that men ought to work. Whether we consider the examples of Jesus—a carpenter (Mark 6:3), Paul—a tentmaker (Acts 18:3), or Peter—a fisherman (Matthew 4:18), it is clear that work should be a part of our lives. Making this point even stronger, Paul wrote: “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10).
It is also interesting to note that the Bible offers advice about how we do our work. Solomon wrote: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going” (Ecclesiastes 9:10). And Paul wrote: “Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men” (Colossians 3:22, 23).
But with all of that being said, Christians have the privilege of looking forward to a time that is free from work. This time is not merely the retirement that so many long for—it is eternal rest which results from being faithful to Jesus. Describing this John wrote: “Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, ‘Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’’ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them’” (Revelation 14:13). While the labor of the Christian on earth never ceases, the eternal rest which awaits will be worth it all. There is a rest waiting for those who faithfully serve God. It is found in heaven.
Author of Reasons to Believe and In God’s Image
Minister, Gloster Street Church of Christ in Tupelo, Miss.