Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies. Hebrews 13:1-3 NLT
The writer of Hebrews, after presenting the theology of the second coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and ending Chapter 12 reminding the readers that our God is a consuming fire, he now turns to a discussion of Christians’ practical living. This emphasizes the fact that faith should affect our way of life. Once we understand that because of our relationship with Christ, we have a sure and great future, we should not take for granted our life here on earth while awaiting His return. Our relationship with Christ should be reflected in our relationship with fellow believers. “Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters” (Hebrews 13:1). Since believers are plagued with dissension from the Roman society, there will be a possibility for Christians to neglect caring for one another. Spiritual persecution could result to a decline in concern for the well-being of other believers. So, the admonition is to let their love for one another remain no matter what the circumstances are. Loving others is not a natural tendency but since we have a new life from Christ, we are being changed and one of those changes that occur is on how we grow in loving one another. “But we don’t need to write to you about the importance of loving each other, for God himself has taught you to love one another…Even so, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you to love them even more” (1 Thessalonians 4:9-10). Our salvation is proven by how we relate to one another. “If we love our brothers and sisters who are believers, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead” (1 John 3:14). When times of uncertainties come, one of the things that gets neglected is the fellowship of believers. There must be a volitional result that arises from God’s working within wherein God’s love has to be expressed. The beauty of the church is reflected on how believers treat brothers and sisters in Christs, those who are strangers, and how they show sympathy to those who are suffering for being mistreated. It is God’s love within that fuels our love for others. “Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God” (Hebrews 12:15a). If we will not take heed God’s command to love one another, then “bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many” (Hebrews 12:15b).