I drove a Chevrolet Cavalier while I was in college that had a standard transmission. It was not uncommon for me to coast to a stop with it out of gear so I could leave my foot off the clutch. I was thinking about that and recognized that automatic transmissions have the ability to coast. By putting the car in neutral you can coast but obviously it would serve no benefit in an automatic transmission. In fact, neutral is seldom ever used. If the car is functioning properly there is not a good reason to ever use neutral. Can you imagine what it would be like if your car was stuck in neutral? Your car would be worthless. A car stuck in neutral may coast for a while but eventually you will find yourself at the bottom of the hill going nowhere. It would require the help of other vehicles to do anything.
In 2 Thessalonians 3, Paul warns the church at Thessalonica about those in the church who are living idle lives. They are just coasting and having to use the energy of those around them to accomplish anything. The idle believer does not take part in the work of the ministry yet expects to receive from the ministry. Paul says, “Now we command you…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). Paul calls such people “busybodies” in verse 11.
Paul ends with an encouragement for those who are serving within the church. He tells them, “do not grow weary in doing good.” (2 Thessalonians 3:13). Growing weary is common when we help people. Serving is hard and the reward many times is not immediately noticeable. That is when we can let our guard down and begin to coast. There will be a time for coasting in heaven. But until Christ returns the work is too great. An idle life will not take you where Christ wants you to go. Stay in gear and press on for the glory of Christ.