For Christians who reject gays: Bible verses of love, hospitality, and the love story of two martyrs..

Do others find these teachings, verses, and love story as beautiful as I do?  I hope so.   

Matthew 5:43-48

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you only love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?

Romans 13:9

For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

James 2:14-17

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

1 Corinthians 13:1-2

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not show love to others, I am merely a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not show love to others, I am nothing.…

1 Peter 4:8-9

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.

Hebrews 13:1-2

Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

1 John 4:19-21

We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

Matthew 25:40

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Romans 15:7

Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.

Matthew 25:35

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.

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.

Exodus 23:9

You shall not oppress a sojourner. You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.

Exodus 22:21

You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.

Romans 12:13

Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

Leviticus 25:35

If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you.

Deuteronomy 10:19

Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.

Deuteronomy 10:18

He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing.

Philippians 2:3-4

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

1 John 4:11

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

1 Corinthians 13:13

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Proverbs 10:12

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

1 John 4:18

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

Mark 12:28-31

And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

1 John 4:7-8

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Ruth 1:16-17

But Ruth said, (to Naomi) “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. “Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the LORD do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.”

2 Samuel 1:26

I am heartbroken over you, my brother Jonathan. You were my great delight. Your love was more wonderful to me than the love of women.

The story of the martyrs Sergius and Bacchus. (died c. 303, Resafe, Syria; feast day October 7), among the earliest and most celebrated Christian martyrs, originally commemorated in the Eastern and Western churches:

The saints’ story is told in the Greek text known as The Passion of Sergius and Bacchus.

Sergius and Bacchus were Roman citizens and high-ranking officers of the Roman Army, but their covert Christianity was discovered when they attempted to avoid accompanying a Roman official into a pagan temple with the rest of his bodyguard. After they persisted in refusing to sacrifice to Jupiter in Galerius’ company, they were publicly humiliated by being chained, dressed in female attire and paraded around town. Galerius then sent them to Barbalissos in Mesopotamia to be tried by Antiochus, the military commander there and an old friend of Sergius. Antiochus could not convince them to give up their faith, however, and Bacchus was beaten to death.

The next day Bacchus’ spirit appeared to Sergius and encouraged him to remain strong so they could be together forever

Over the next days, Sergius was also brutally tortured and finally executed at Resafa (known in Roman times as Sergiopolis), where his death was marked by miraculous happenings.

Sergius and Bacchus were very popular throughout Late Antiquity, and churches in their honor were built in several cities, including Constantinople and Rome. The love between the two is strongly emphasized in their hagiographies and traditions, making them one of the most famous examples of paired saints.

Considerable posthumous homage has been paid the martyrs. In 431 Alexander, metropolitan of Hierapolis, restored the church over Sergius’ grave, and shortly afterward Risafe became a bishopric. The Byzantine emperor Justinian I changed the name of Risafe to Sergiopolis, making it an archdiocese, and in honour of Sergius he had churches built at Constantinople (now Istanbul) and at Acre in Palestine.

The church at Resafe became famous in the East as a major pilgrimage site. Sergius and Bacchus were designated protectors of the Byzantine army, and numerous Eastern sanctuaries and churches were subsequently dedicated to them. Their veneration is old, and a mass ascribed to Pope St. Gelasius I is assigned to them. Christian desert nomads regard Sergius as their patron saint.

The most beautiful thing to me are the words that Bacchus’ spirit said to Serge:

 (Translated from the Greek “Passio antiquior SS. Sergii et Bacchi Graece nunc primum edita,” AB 14, 373-395. This text is the Greek original of the Latin passion beginning “Imperante Maximiano tyranne, multus error hominum genus possederat,” printed in the Acta sanctorum, October 7, 865-79, and is more ancient than the more common account of “Metaphrastes.”)

Meanwhile the blessed Serge, deeply depressed and heartsick over the loss of Bacchus, wept and cried out,

No longer, brother and fellow soldier, will we chant together, ‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!’ You have been unyoked from me and gone up to heaven, leaving me alone on earth, bereft [literally, “made single”], without comfort.”

After he uttered these things, the same night the blessed Bacchus suddenly appeared to him with a face as radiant as an angel’s, wearing an officer’s uniform, and spoke to him.

Why do you grieve and mourn, brother? If I have been taken from you in body, I am still with you in the bond of union, chanting and reciting, ‘I will run the way of your commandments, which have enlarged my heart.’ Hurry then, yourself, brother, through beautiful and perfect confession to pursue and obtain me, when finishing the course, For the crown of justice for me is being with you.”

At daybreak when he rose he related to those who were with him how he had seen the blessed Bacchus in the night and in what sort of garb.

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