My wife and I recently visited Niagara Falls for a quick vacation. We flew to and from our destination, and both times we presented documentation and were screened before we were able to board the plane. It was inconvenient, but in the age of terrorism not unreasonable. From the New York side where we stayed, we crossed into Canada twice, once with our rental car, and once on foot. We paid a small toll at the bridge, and both times we presented our passports and were briefly questioned by border patrol agents on both sides of the border. This is exactly what should happen when one crosses an international boundary; crossing without proper documentation should be allowed only rarely for limited reasons and with intense scrutiny.
The Canadians were happy to have us as American tourists. I am confident we could have stayed in that country for an extended period of time if we wished to do so and followed Canadian law. Every time we might make a financial transaction, we would pay taxes and support an employed Canadian selling us a product or service. Should we have required emergency medical care, I am confident we could have secured it. Beyond that, I have doubts as to our eligibility to receive Canadian welfare-state benefits or “entitlements” at the expense of the Canadian taxpayers. I have not investigated it, but I am confident that I could not secure employment there without some sort of additional documentation or work permit. I doubt that I would have been recruited to vote in the next election. Canada is a sovereign nation of which I am not a citizen.
Meanwhile, hundreds of undocumented aliens pour into the United States each day, from who-knows-where, for who-knows-what reasons, carrying who-knows-what contraband. Most are simply poor and uneducated and seek to come to a place of affluence. They are not scrutinized, almost welcomed into the country, and recruited to claim their “entitlements” from the American taxpayers, settling into sub-cultures that continue to divide society. Most remain in the country permanently to bear or father children who will be financial wards of the American taxpayer. The social and economic costs are enormous. Progressive politicians seem to favor open borders, almost as if they wish to profoundly change the country according to their vision, through a flood of illegal immigrants. Progressive religious leaders seem to be in favor of this as well.
Something is not right here.
There is no illegal immigration into the Eternal Kingdom of God. All who enter God’s kingdom are immigrants. No one is born a citizen, and entrance into eternal life is not universal. All who enter into God’s kingdom must submit to the One who is Sovereign over that Kingdom and enter in by the manner He has proscribed. Jesus said, recorded in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” The body of Scripture affirms this. Peter spoke, as recorded in Acts 4:12, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Romans 3 spells out the necessity of faith and repentance, predicated by God’s grace, made possible by the atonement that Christ has made for us. The gospel – the good news of eternal life – is that Jesus has atoned for the sins of all who acknowledge their sin and inability, repent of their sin and call out to God for salvation. And the Scriptures tell us that He wants us to come. He seeks us; He has commissioned the church to actively proclaim the gospel and take it to all the world, near and far. But without the proper “documentation,” if you will, we are not citizens of God’s kingdom and cannot enter into eternal life. We must enter on His terms.
The American church is forgetting this message. There is much talk of God’s love, much about health and happiness and about what He wants to give us in this life. We hear from liberal churchmen of the universal fatherhood of God but not much of the unique fatherhood of God toward those who believe. This is a deficient message, leaving out a biblical view of the saving gospel. The same liberal post-christian religion that seeks to facilitate illegal immigration into the country deceives people into believing that they can enter into an eternal kingdom of God that is without borders, with no entrance requirements. Increasingly, this message is permeating evangelicalism.
The writer of the New Testament book of Hebrews wrote, in chapter 11,
13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
One thought on “Crossing An International Border”
Mike, I have enjoyed all your commentaries, but this is the best yet. Great comparison. Thanks for puttingit all together.
LikeLiked by 1 person