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Hospitality or Entertaining?
Is there a difference between the two?
The following differentiation between “hospitality” and “entertaining” was made by Karen Mains in Open Heart, Open Home (Elgin, Ill.: Cook, 1976):
Entertaining says, “I want to impress you with my home, my clever decorating, my cooking.”
Hospitality, seeking to minister, says, “This home is a gift from my Master.
I use it as He desires.”
Hospitality aims to serve.
Entertaining puts things before people.
“As soon as I get the house finished, the living room decorated, my housecleaning done—then I will start inviting people.
Hospitality puts people first.
“No furniture—we’ll eat on the floor.”
“The decorating may never get done—you come anyway.”
“The house is a mess—but you are friends—come home with us.”
Entertaining subtly declares, “This home is mine, an expression of my personality.
Look, please, and admire.”
Hospitality whispers, “What is mine is yours.”
What do you do when someone just drops by unexpectedly and expresses a desire and need to talk to you or simply fellowship with you?
Keep them outside until the house is clean…entertainer...
Welcome them in, provide a road map through the legos, past the cars, over the stuffed animals and round the baby dolls, dodging the kamikaze pet a seat in your living room or at your dining room table…showing hospitality...
When someone needs your company what do you do?
Explain this series…Learning to One Another…winding down this series...
God is in the business of building His church…the picture we get of how this works is in the wonderful imagery of the body with individual parts contributing to the whole.
So for that to happen…every believer has to come to an understanding that to be part of God’s building program you can’t live in isolation…you have to be part of a group…a community…a community of people who are committed to their Savior and committed to one another and committed to the building process...
With that building process there is an understanding that God is going to bring people to us…and God expects us to treat them in a particular way...
So we understand that we need each other…every day and every week we have the potential for God to bring some new person into our life and to our church and He expects us to behave appropriately...
With those thoughts in mind please turn to 1 Peter 4:1-11 and let’s consider this next one another principle of Showing Hospitality to One Another...
God’s People Are to Be A Welcoming People.
read 1 Peter 4:1-11
From this passage, let’s think about three perspectives through which to view this important character quality.
Biblical Hospitality Welcomes Those Who Are Different From Us.
Before we can practice it, we must know what it is...
What is Biblical Hospitality?
Hospitality – “Philozenos”
let’s break that down…the word philo, or philew means what?…it’s one of the words for love in the Bible…which is why the name Philadelphia means “city of brotherly love”…
OK, what about zenos?...what does the word zenos mean?....
the word zenos means – stranger…(oh, man)…
Philozenos is a “lover of strangers”
God’s people are commanded to treat others in this way throughout Scripture
See this also in...Deut 14:29; Matt.
25:35-40; Luke 14:12-14
so let’s push the verse a little further – it also tells us…
Where is it practiced?
It is practiced in the church...notice it says “one another”
certainly you can be this way at work, you can be this way in your neighborhood, you can and should be this way practically anywhere…God does want us to be kind to everyone, but he is especially concerned with how we act towards our fellow community members...
Here in Peter, we see his first concern is that hospitality be shown in the way people function in the church of Jesus Christ…
the most welcoming place in town shouldn’t be the local bar where everybody knows your name…it ought to be the church of Jesus Christ…
At one point we were all strangers on the outside looking in…and now in the church, we become a community of former strangers welcomed into the family of God with open arms because of the powerful, cleansing, life-giving, life-changing blood of our Savior!
when we think about places this came up in the early church, we have to add this important aspect of defining a stranger –
A stranger is not “someone just like you whom you don’t know yet”, this could be somebody radically different than you…
practicing philozenos in the early church…and the contemporary church…means learning to love and welcome those who are different…
1. Different ethically
you remember what happened the day the church was born, right?
that was a powerful statement about ethnic diversity…
Samaritans, Gentiles and Jews and every other nationality are going to be a part of the church…so you are going to need to learn and develop your philozenos, because you’re going to need it…
It wasn’t very long when this began to happen…the very next chapter of Acts…Acts 2…the birth of the church...the Holy Spirit descends on them…and all were amazed at what they were experiencing...
This just screamed the message that the church of Jesus Christ was to be welcoming to people regardless of their ethnicity…
as you trace the growth of the church in find that it started with Jews, and then Peter was commanded by Jesus to go minister to and accept a Gentile, Cornelius, into the church…he was to practice…philozenos…
So we have to ask ourselves what evidence is there that we both corporately and individually practice hospitality with men and women of other ethnicities...
2. Different economically
loving strangers…even if they have far more than us financially, or far less…
James spoke of that – in what may have been the earliest book of the NT written…James 2:1–9…he warns of showing favoritism in your hospitality...
We have to be willing to open up and welcome those who are different ethnically and economically...
Take notice of the condition!
1 Peter 4:9 - Be hospitable to one another without complaint…(gongoosmos…murmuring, complaining)
isn’t that amazing…of everything Peter could have said after this command…why did he say this?
Because people, even believers, exist who will take advantage of your hospitality and may never say thank you or show appreciation for it...
The church would meet in various homes and I’m sure that there were some people who chose not to use a coaster for their beverage…or forgot to wipe their sandals when they entered…or whose kids ran amok…and it would be very easy for the owner of that home to develop an attitude towards those who chose to fellowship in their home…they may have even lost a priceless family treasure because of the kids in junior church being allowed to run around and it got broken in the process…they could have said “this is nuts, no one appreciates what I am doing here...” gongoosmos…murmuring, complaining....
ultimately this is a question of the heart…
Biblical Hospitality Operates Within A Context
The Context of Suffering
Peter is writing to people who have been scattered because of the growing persecution of followers of Jesus Christ…and because of the persecution often believers would be displaced because their homes were destroyed, they were forced to move out of their city or town and they had to go to another town and the hope was they would find some believer who would show them hospitality…there were no Ritz Carltons, or Holiday Inns…in fact the inns were often dangerous places to stay...
you see that at the very outset…1 Peter 1:1–2...and you see this throughout the book…1 Peter 2:21 - For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps,
in other words – suffering always has a purifying purpose…demonstrated most supremely by the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ…
it comes up prominently again in chapter 3 - 1 Peter 3:17–18 - For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.
For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;
it’s with that understanding that we have the beginning of our passage…1 Peter 4:1…Therefore...
Being identified with Christ means we must be prepared to endure suffering and be identified with others who must endure that same suffering, knowing we no longer live for ourselves, but for God...
Sometimes you may come across someone who is suffering a little more or a lot more than you are right now and need someone who is not living for themselves to show them what fervent love really is all about....
Peter did not share this principle and tell them to wait until your suffering is over…no...Showing hospitality to one another doesn’t wait for our suffering to end so that our circumstances are more favorable for benefiting others.
Showing biblical hospitality to others doesn't come from a fancy table that says "look at me and what I have".
It comes from the loving heart that says "what I have is yours".
so please don’t say – when this period of suffering is over, then I’ll show hospitality…often it’s in the crucible of suffering that the best philozenos is practiced…
The Context of Judgment
Peter speaks in verse 5 about those who are persecuting Christians and how they will have to answer for that someday…
then in verse 6 he speaks about those who will be judged for their response to the gospel message…
then in verse 7 he says -- 1 Peter 4:7 - The end of all things is near
…there is an eschatological premise behind our showing hospitality to one another…because Jesus could return at any minute, we are to be busy welcoming people into the family and caring for one another because the Judgment Seat is on the horizon...
We show hospitality to one another because we understand that a day of reckoning is coming…both for believers and unbelievers,
Believers, our day of reckoning is the Judgment Seat of Christ…and that judgment is on the way we chose to live…we are not judged to determine our salvation…
we are judged to determine the rewards we will earn and then cast at our Savior’s feet…
how you choose to show hospitality towards those in the church will be included in that judgment…and I would venture to say that some of our hospitality will be burned up like wood, hay and stubble while others will be judged of worth like silver, gold, precious stones...
Unbelievers — your judgment is coming as well, it is the GWT — rejection of Christ…Lamb’s Book of Life will be opened…your name will be missing…he says depart from me I never knew you and then you are cast into the lake of fire prepared for Satan and his followers and that is where you will spend eternity....GOSPEL
In light of that coming judgment, there ought to be an urgency from us believers to show hospitality…because that is part of what could be used by the Lord to draw another person to Himself…
A seminary student drove about thirty miles to church on Sunday mornings and he would frequently pick up hitchhikers.
One day he picked up a young man who noticed that he was wearing a suit and asked if he could go to church with him.
The student said, “Of course you can.”
The stranger came to church and afterward was invited over to one of the members’ home for lunch and fellowship.
While there, he received a hot bath, some clean clothes, and a hot meal.
In conversation with the youth, his hosts found that he was a Christian, but he had been out of fellowship with the Lord.
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