“Let love of the brethren continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body. Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”
---End of Scripture verses---
The author wraps up his letter with some exhortations that would have helped the struggling brethren stay faithful to Christ in their daily walk. He begins his list of “do’s and don’ts” by encouraging these Hebrew Christians (and us) to “let love of the brethren continue” toward one another (verse 1). Brotherly love is at the heart of every item on this list so it is not a coincidence that he begins with this appeal to the kind consideration of the needs and wellbeing of their (our) brothers and sisters in Christ.
“Hospitality” literally means “the love of strangers” or “friendship to strangers” (verse 2). It was very important and valued in this old, eastern culture to welcome travelers into a person’s house and provide them shelter, comfort and nourishment. It would be even more appropriate for Christians to accommodate their travelling brethren in Christ and show them the love of the Lord, and especially in this climate that was so hostile to believers, even if the visitor was a total stranger. Truth be known, there should be no strangers in the Lord’s church because we are all of the same “Spirit and blood” family.
Many brethren were wrongfully imprisoned for their forthright fidelity to Jesus Christ. People who suffer for the cause of Christ should be “remembered” (verse 3) in various and beneficial ways. Most importantly, we can and should pray for Christians who have fallen upon hard times because the fervent prayers of God’s beloved accomplishes much good (James 5:16). We should also set our prayers into motion with visits, calls, cards and assistance by using any resources that we have at our fingertips to help a needy brother or sister. If we just pray for them to “be warmed and to be filled, and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.” (James 2:16-17)
“Marriage is to be held in honor among all” (verse 4). Unfortunately in our current culture, the sanctity of the marriage vows has been reduced to the status of a “pinky-swear” made on a playground. Matrimony has become more like kids “playing house,” and when the children get tired of the game, they just quit. But Christians must remain loyal to the spouse of their covenant if they desire to please their Lord. If we choose to be unfaithful to our marriage vows then we cannot be faithful to the God who created the honorable union of marriage, and to cheat on our spouse is to cheat on Him. If we play the infidel or cast our spouse aside like yesterday’s news paper, God will “judge,” or literally, “condemn” us; and the Lord’s condemnation of “fornicators and adulterers” applies to “all” people whether they are Christians or not.
Please read Hebrews 13:5-7 for tomorrow.
Please come worship God with us today at the Taylorsville Road church of Christ.
We assemble at 3741 Taylorsville Road in Louisville Kentucky.
9:30 AM Bible classes for all ages. 10:30 AM and 5:00 PM worship services.
Have a blessed Lord’s Day!
- Louie Taylor