In Genesis 19, the two angels that had accompanied the Lord as He visited Abraham at the Oaks of Mamre (Genesis 18) went on to Sodom and knocked on Abraham’s nephew Lot’s door. 2000 years before Jesus is born, Lot shows hospitality to these two strangers – not knowing they were really God’s angels. He showed great hospitality to them, and the Epistle to the Hebrews has this in mind when it tells us of one of the basic missions of our Christian faith.
Showing hospitality to strangers is how we can show the love of Christ to others. Most likely, there has been a time that a stranger has knocked on your door. How did you respond? Did you show them hospitality?
What did you do when you found out that the stranger was a Mormon on his mission trip? What did you do when you found out that the stranger was a Jehovah’s Witness on her mission trip?
I know of people who slam the door in their face. I know of people who yell at them that they are going to hell! I know of people who tell them, “I’m a Lutheran and I believe in the Bible” and then get into a bit of a theological argument with them.
These may not be angels from God. They may just be ordinary people who happen to disagree with what you believe about God. But does that mean you can’t offer them a cookie or a muffin or a cold drink of water on a hot day? You may not want to hear about the Mormon Church or hear that the end of the world is coming. But does that mean you can’t offer them a chance to get out of the hot sun into a cool home and sit for a couple of minutes and rest?
I do not agree with Mormon Theology about Salvation. I believe that a person is saved only by faith in Jesus Christ – True God and True Man – and His death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins. (http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=2708) I disagree with Mormon Theology that salvation is conditional (http://www.mormonwiki.com/Plan_of_Salvation) and that “God is a glorified, perfect, all-powerful, all-knowing, resurrected man.” (http://www.mormonbeliefs.org/mormon_beliefs/mormon-doctrine-salvation)
But does that mean I slam my door in their face when they come to my house? No! Jesus said to love all people. He spoke and ate and listened to those He disagreed with. And sometimes Jesus was able to change their minds and their hearts by sharing the Truth with them. The Truth is not a door slammed in the face. The Truth is love and compassion that opens the lines of communication. Truth is best shared through hospitality!
Two young men or women, wearing black pants and white shirts and ties may knock on your door this week. Or someone from across the street may stop by to say hi. You can slam the door in their face or you can open your door, show them hospitality and share the love of Jesus with them.
Open those doors and share the love!
© 2010 True Men Ministries, Inc.