The “unruly” spread division and strife. They try to draw others to their point of view. II Timothy 2:14-17 speaks of these people as those who “strive about words” and engage in “vain babblings” which will “increase to more ungodliness.” Verse 17 says specifically, “And their word will eat as doth a cancer” or gangrene in the body of the church.
Therefore, the “unruly” are those who are out of step with the church and to one extent or another are causing some dissension within the fellowship.
Paul says in II Thessalonians, “Now we exhort you, brethren.” “Exhort” is from the Greek word, parakaleo, a common compound word. Para means “beside.” Kaleo means “to call.” This word means to call alongside. The common usage is in the sense of encouraging, beseeching, and begging. It implies earnestness and urgency.
Paul seems to be saying, “Now brethren, don’t let this thing go. Don’t be intimidated. Do what you should do. I beg you. I plead with you. Don’t put this off. Don’t ignore your responsibility.”
Who is the subject of this exhortation? It is “you, brethren.” Paul is writing to the same people he wrote to in verses 12-13, the people who were to “recognize” and “esteem highly” the leaders of the church. The same people who are to honor the leader are the ones who are to “warn the unruly.” Who is that? That’s you, the people of the congregation. The people is the church are to “warn the unruly.” What a challenge!