What is meant by, “Entertain Strangers that may be Angels unawares?”

Where you find genuine Christian love, you find hospitality.  This was an important ministry in the early church because persecution drove many believers from their home.  There were also traveling ministers who needed a place to stay (3 John 5-8).  They did not have the money to stay in a local inn; and since the churches met in homes (Rom. 16:5), it was customary for a visitor to stay with his host.  In my early years as an evangelist, I usually stayed in the home of the pastor or a member of the local church where I was preaching.  All saints are to be “given to hospitality” (Rom. 12:13).

This is why the Bible says, “Let brotherly love continue.  Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”  (Heb. 13:1-2)  You and I may not entertain angels in a literal sense (though it is possible); but any stranger could turn out to be a messenger of blessing to us.  (The word “angel” simply means “messenger.”)  My wife and I have often had guests at our house that became a messenger of God’s blessings to us.

These verses in Hebrews do not teach that when Christians see a man holding a sign begging for money they should take him home for the night.  It was written to Christians and instructed them how to treat other Christians that needed lodging.  Many of which were strangers they had never met.

About Dr. Mike Harmon

Dr. Harmon began preaching at the age of 15 while living in southern California. He has conducted over 600 revivals and evangelistic campaigns nationwide, and has served as Senior Pastor at seven churches. Dr. Harmon has degrees from Central Baptist College, the University of Central Arkansas, and a Ph.D. From the Christian Bible College and Seminary. He has served as trustee for Southeastern Baptist College and Chairman of the trustees for the BMA Theological Seminary. He also served as Chaplain for the Mississippi Highway Patrol, the Arkansas State Police and the Arkansas State Senate. His many sermons and articles on Christian Apologetics are widely published. He is married to one wife of 43 years; has two sons, and seven grandchildren. He considers the simple pleasures of cooking, dining with family and friends, and liesurely rides on his Harley through the Texas Hill Country to be some of the most enjoyable blessings from the Lord.
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