At the heart of Christian love for one another is frequent hospitality. Consider the life of the early church as described in Acts 2:42-47. They were frequently in one another’s homes breaking bread together and engaging in Christian fellowship. Does this look like your lifestyle? Does this describe the life of your local church?
If you were asked to list biblical marks of a true Christian, what would your list look like? There are certain marks that should point to an inward conversion—one such mark is hospitality. If you were to talk to many Christians about the fruit of a believer, you would often hear about a love for the Bible, an affection for the local church, a passion to reach unbelievers with the gospel, the use of spiritual gifts within the local church, and a pursuit of holiness. Why is it that we often fail to see hospitality as a mark of true conversion? Consider the importance of Christian hospitality as revealed in the Scriptures.
Christian Hospitality Rooted in the Old Testament
When we read the Old Testament, we find that hospitality is rooted in the proper care and love for others. In Leviticus, according to the law of God, the people of Israel were to care for the sojourner in a specific manner.
Leviticus 19:33-34 – When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong.  You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
We see this type of hospitality put on display when Abram entertains three guests, he hosts them and provides hospitality to them. We know the story—one of the guests was the Lord himself—a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ (Genesis 18). Hospitality was put on display likewise when Rahab protected the spies. She provided proper lodging and care for them (see Joshua 2). David and his men are the recipients of hospitality from Abigail (see 1 Samuel 25). We see a widow who was enduring massive hardship, and yet she provided hospitality for Elijah—not exactly the best of conditions for her to offer such care (see 1 Kings 17).
Christian Hospitality Essential for a Pastor’s Qualification
It should be no real shocker that when we come to the New Testament, in examining the qualifications for the men who are called to lead God’s Church—one of the qualifications is hospitality. In 1 Timothy 3:2, we see the word hospitable as a mark of qualification for the office of elder—interestingly enough it’s listed right before “able to teach” in the list. In other words, it’s very important.