HomeBro. David Chancellor
5/22/2005 11:00 AM
For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward: He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
This showed the people what God likes, how he is, and how they should be. God is just and fair to all mankind. He loves the stranger; he loves all people. Whether they are of a different heritage, a different nationality or race, God loves them all. America doesn’t have a corner on the gospel. God loves people of all nations. He isn’t a respecter of persons. God was telling these to care about everyone. We should care about everyone, because God does.
And the word of the LORD came unto Zechariah, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and show mercy and compassions every man to his brother: And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart. But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.
The prophet was showing them that they’d ignored God and this is why God wasn’t answering them. They took part of what God said and ignored the rest. God cares about the stranger. He doesn’t want them to be mistreated. It’s easy for the one who is different to be singled out and picked out. Kids do this, but often it doesn’t stop when they’re grown. We need to focus on being kind to others and treating them well.
Ephesians 2:11-13, 18-22
Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. … For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
At one time, you were a stranger. We were aliens from the household of Israel. The people of Israel, to this day, consider themselves the children of God. However, if they don’t accept Christ, and know him as the son of God, they’re not the children of God. We who were not of that heritage are now included through Jesus Christ.
We were strangers, but we aren’t strangers anymore, because of Christ, to the household of faith. Everyone is a part of something and a stranger to something else. When we were part of the world, we were strangers to God. Now that we’re part of God’s household, we’re strangers to the world. We fit with the saints, but not with the world. We want to love the strangers. We want to reach out to others.
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
These had seen some things and confessed them. Although they didn’t get to see the promise fulfilled, they believed it. They wanted what Christ would bring. They lived for more than this world. Many people today are focusing only on this world. The child of God focuses on heaven, where he will really fit in. We seek another country – our home. We can live for God here, and have a life of purpose and value. It’s like the foreigner that comes to American and lives a good life, but for that one, no matter how good it gets, it just isn’t home. We can live a good life here, but at the same time look forward to going to heave – our home.
Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Entertained here doesn’t mean entertainment. It refers to showing hospitality. There is no reason our nation couldn’t get the gospel out, but instead it focuses on being entertained. In times gone by, people depended on townspeople to take them in when they were traveling. We can still show hospitality to people although there are places now for them to be taken care of where they don’t have to rely on the townspeople to do so. Show hospitality to people that are around you.
Abraham showed hospitality to angels, not knowing at first that they were messengers from God. We need to be kind to everyone. Be ready to help others. Work at being friendly. Take time to be hospitable, and get acquainted with people you meet. We want others to become part of the household of faith. Interact with others outside of the church. If you don’t, the gospel won’t get out.
When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
This is how it will be when we stand before God. The existing separation will be finalized. How would it have been if you had lived when Christ was on earth? Would you have accepted him or would you have been with the other bunch? If you care about people now, and do whatever you can to help, you likely would have accepted him then. If your focus is on self or material things, you likely wouldn’t have helped and followed Christ. We never want to think, "EWWW a sinner!" We should know what it was like, and seek to help others find something better. We’ve found the best country, the kingdom of God, and in this country, there is no quota on immigration. We want others to become citizens of the kingdom of God, too. They can be included because God loves strangers.