1Pe 4:9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging. (KJV) 1Pe 4:9 And be ye compassionate to strangers, without murmuring. (Murdock)
I will attempt to share below a picture titled “How to Know that You Are Dying Spiritually.” It is basically correct. But it misses one major point also found taught in the Bible.
The visual concludes in its bottom line, “the church needs you.”
It most certainly does. But in my personal experience I have found that the people and the leadership in many local churches do not want me to be there!
My first experience of this should have been signaled when the pastor, on his first visit to my home, commented, “Jerry, you talk too much about the Bible, and too much about the Lord.”
What kind of a welcoming statement is that?
Not only that, I am by nature a very shy person, and I hardly speak at all! I am unable to engage in “small talk.” I do like to talk about the Lord and the Bible and spiritual things. But I guess this is not allowed in church, or after church on the way out, or at a church dinner, or anywhere else, like in Sunday School class discussion.
I assumed that given time, more people would get to know me, and I would eventually be welcomed among them. My assumption was wrong. After nearly five years of my regular church attendance there, the pastor suggested that I try another church that believed what I did. It is ironic that the central doctrinal issue the pastor thought I disagreed with is a major issue that I most certainly did agree with–he never bothered to ask.
So, when the visual above states “Frequent absences at the worship services (Hebrews 10:25),” and “No participation in the work of the church (Romans 10:1-3),” are a possible indication that an individual might be dying spiritually, an important problem is not addressed.
Many times, solid Christians, well-taught in the Bible, are shunned, and not permitted to have part in the local church. All the offices and jobs at the church are already taken. There is no room for newcomers to the community to take part. There is no genuine opportunity afforded for Christian fellowship. The church is simply not structured for fellowship. Just sit quietly in the pew and “worship,” pay your tithes and offerings, but do not talk about the Lord or the Bible to anyone. How contrary this is to Romans 15:7!
In such a case, I believe the church itself is already spiritually dead, not me.
For additional insight into 1 Peter 4:9 study the following cross references shared below:
1 Peter 4:9. Use hospitality. or, Be hospitable. Gr. philoxenos (S#5382g, T 1:8), fond of guests, that is, hospitable (Strong), friendly to strangers (Wuest). Ge 18:2, 6. 24:18, 19, 25. 26:30. Jg 19:20. 2 K 4:10. 1 Ch 16:3. Ne 5:17. *Jb 31:32. Pr 3:27, 28. 22:9. Is 21:14. 61:3. +*Ml 3:16. Mt 10:11, 40. *Mt 25:35. +*Lk 5:29. 7:44-47. 11:5-10. 14:12-14. Ac 2:46. 9:27, 28, 43. 10:23. 11:25, 26. *+Ac 16:15. 17:7. *Ro 12:13. +**Ro 15:7. 16:3-5, 23. 1 Cor 16:19. Col 4:15. +1 Tim 3:2. 5:10. +*Titus 1:8. Phm 1:2. *He 13:2, 16. 1 J 3:14. %2 J 10, 11. 3 J 7-11. one to another. ver. 10. +*Ro 12:5. 3 J 1:5. without grudging. or, murmuring. Le 19:18. +*Nu 11:1. +*Dt 15:9. %*1 S 25:11. Ac 6:1g. +*Ro 12:8. *2 Cor 9:7. **Phil 2:14. Phm 1:14. *James 5:9. +*Jude 1:16.