Romans 15:7 Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.
CROSS REFERENCES FOR FULL-TEXT STUDY, PART 2:
receive. Mt *10:14, 15, 40-42. 18:5. 25:35, 40, 43, 45, 46. Mk 6:11. *9:37-41. Lk *9:5, 48. 10:8, 10, 38, 39. 15:2. Jn 13:20, 34. Ac *9:26-28, 43. *11:25, 26. *16:15. 17:7. 2 C +*6:9. 7:2, 15. Ga 6:1. Ph 2:29. Col 4:10. 1 T 5:17. Phm 12, 17. He 13:1, 2. 1 P 2:17. 3:8. +*4:8-10. 1 J 3:14. 2 J %10. 3 J %8-10.
CROSS REFERENCE TEXTS
Matthew 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
Matthew 10:15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
Comment. It would appear from these verses that failure to receive one another is a very serious matter, serious enough to be addressed on Judgment Day.
Matthew 10:40 He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
Mat 10:41 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.
Mat 10:42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
Comment: Again, the issue of receiving one another is most important. To receive another brother or sister in Christ is to receive Christ, and to receive him that sent Christ, who of course is God himself. Jesus clearly promises a reward to those who receive others.
Mat 18:5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
Mat 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Comment: All of us who truly believe on Christ are considered children of God (Galatians 3:26). I think, therefore, that “receiving one such child in my name” applies to receiving another believer no matter what age. Jesus said that receiving “one such little child” in his name” means receiving Jesus himself.
Just think what not receiving another believer means.
Jesus describes the offense of not receiving “one of these little ones which believe in me” in terms that are most severe.
Mat 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Being accepting of, and welcoming strangers, newcomers to church, for example, is surely a part of “receiving one another.”
Mat 25:40 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.
The way we receive others surely reflects upon what we have done to Christ himself.
Matthew 25:43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
Here Christ is speaking of those who have not properly “received one another.” Our Lord speaks of this in a most frightening and serious manner, and we all need to wake up to the fact that this is not a small matter, but a most major matter with eternal consequences.
Matthew 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
The manner in which you or I treat “one of the least of these” is crucial. Jesus said the way we treat someone else is the way we treat him. If we fail to receive one another, Jesus said that is what we did to him.
This leads directly into one of the greatest classic doctrinal texts in the Bible that establishes absolutely the doctrine of eternal punishment for the lost or unsaved.
Eternal punishment is as everlasting as eternal life will be.
Unpleasant as this Bible doctrine is to some who think otherwise, eternal punishment is eternal not merely in effect, but in duration.
If we can successfully argue that “everlasting” does not mean “eternal” in the same sense as eternal life does, language has lost its ability to communicate accurate doctrine in the Bible. But this is not the case at all. The words “eternal” and “everlasting” translate the same Greek word. Elsewhere, this very same Greek word is used to describe God as eternal in Romans 16:26. Furthermore, grammatically, these words are used here in two connected parallel clauses, so the meaning for one must be the same as the meaning for the other. Don’t kid yourself by falling for false doctrine which argues otherwise. It is most dangerous to tamper with or diminish the warnings given by our Lord Jesus Christ.
Some go to great length to argue that the punishment threatened here by our Lord Jesus Christ is not truly everlasting or never-ending. Those who argue this way do so in an effort to bolster their mistaken notion of justice and their mistaken view of the character of God.
Some quibble over the meaning of “eternal,” arguing from the fact that the word in Scripture is sometimes used in a finite sense, and sometimes used in an infinite sense. From this fact they justify providing a limited sense to the duration of everlasting punishment.
The answer to this objection is simple. Jesus spoke of two ages, this age, and the age to come. In the King James Version these terms are translated “this world” and “the world to come” in Matthew 12:32. When the word “eternal” is applied to things restricted to this age it is used in a finite or limited sense. When “eternal” has reference to things in “the age to come,” it is used in an infinite sense. Clearly God is eternal and will continue to exist in the age to come, just as eternal life and eternal punishment pertain to and exist in the age to come, so “eternal” is used in the infinite, never-ending sense in reference to them.