God is not an open border God. Heaven is not an open border place. That’s hard news for many modern Christians to hear, particularly as we consider nations and immigration in the earthly realm. There is a reason why Immigration is such a hot election issue: it’s spiritual. And what we believe about an open border actually reveals more about our sincerity and purity of faith than we’d probably like to acknowledge.
Heaven has diversity, you say. Diversity of surface things, yes, but not when it comes to faith. There’s only One God and He is not the least bit divided about borders and walls. They exist from Genesis to Revelation and God’s purpose with them is (1) security, protecting what is good from what is evil, (2) boundary for promise and preservation, and (3) separation. Even in creation, God began by separating.
I know some of the things I’ve written in this series have been provocative, even difficult, and you may have a certain umbrage at reading them.
I have been conflicted writing them and have many times thought of removing or softening certain things, to which the Spirit has said, “No. Leave it in.” Christians need to be provoked out of their comfort zones to see beyond the surface, the sentimental, and the sound-byte … and to set their eyes on the spiritual.
So for those of you Christians who think a wall is nothing short of sin, consider this:
Revelation 21:10 “And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. 11 It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12 It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates… 17 [The angel] measured its wall and it was 144 cubits thick, by man’s measurement, which the angel was using… 22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. 27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
Described here is a physical wall, capable of being measured. It has gates that are open, but it’s guarded by angels. Border security. No one impure will ever enter. Only those whose names are in the Lamb’s book of life will be able to enter. Immigration control.
Heaven: You can’t come in just because you want to. There is no open border.
Yes, there will be a diverse multitude of people… united by one identity, one singular belief: Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”
All genuine Christians belong to Christ…but not all people belong to Christ just because they’re human or just because they call themselves Christian all the while rejecting Christ’s supremacy.
Don’t you see that an open border kind of thinking parallels the false religious teaching of universalism?
That false doctrine that says what you believe isn’t important, that God doesn’t care how you live and what you do. The false notion that Jesus died so all men—irrespective of what they believe, how they act, and what they worship—can enter heaven.
It’s a resident thought in many of our churches. It’s preached from their pulpits. Some denominations even have that as their hallmark. Sin isn’t sin and their leaders lead the way in it.
Certainly regarding borders, we can all agree that the United States isn’t heaven. Not even Iowa. But even in the Field of Dreams, there were borders and ground rules. Heaven’s hallmark will be discernment of truth, belonging, belief, and action, not the color of one’s skin, the ethnicity in one’s DNA, whether one was an unaccompanied minor or a dreamer.
It comes down to this: Did you believe Jesus and show it by obedience to Him?
Consider the words of the Risen Lord Himself: Revelation 22:12 “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. 14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. 16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
What is the testimony of our churches? We are called as missionaries to go into all the world. And I suppose if the Church fails to go to the nations with the Gospel, God will bring the nations to us so they can hear it.
But what testimony will the nations receive from American Christians?
A Church proclaiming to those unrepentant sinners who will be outside the wall of heaven that it will all be okay, they’re in…that breaking laws and engaging in sin is no barrier? Uh, hello. That’s not the Gospel. God won’t bring the nations to hear that.
Or will it be to hold the Light of the Gospel to each person in darkness? Offering compassion even if no open border exists because practical help can occur on either side of a closed border, offering asylum for those yearning for the freedom of Christ, but most importantly by preaching God’s Word?
Frankly, way too many churches are happily demanding an open border with nothing to offer spiritual refugees by way of truth. Way too many Christians are happily proclaiming open borders for all nations and all religions as sanctified syncretism. God won’t bring the nations to hear that.
The first border in recorded history was keeping sin out of paradise (Genesis 3:24). The final border does the same thing (Revelation 21:10-27). Let’s make sure our preaching honors that principle so we don’t find ourselves outside the walls with a whole lot of weeping and gnashing in a spiritually, morally, religiously, and ethnically diverse hell.
Here are a few passages for further study. If you have time for only one, do John 10. Identify the “wall” in each instance and what it was designed to do:
- Genesis ch 6-9—Noah and the Great Flood (6:5-9)
- Genesis ch 10-11-The Table of Nations and the Tower of Babel. (Gen 11:6-7)
- Genesis 12:1-4—the Call of Abram
- Genesis ch 18-19—the Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. (Genesis 18:17-23)
- Genesis ch 45-47—Migrants to Egypt. Gen 46:31-34
- Exodus 14–The Exodus to the Promised Land. Exo 14:19-22)
- Lev 20:22-26 Be holy, I am holy…and judging the nations
- Numbers 20:12—Moses and the Rock at Meribah
- Deut 4:34-35 The Lord is God. There is no other.
- Deut 6:13-19 Do not follow other gods
- Joshua 2:14-20 Rahab
- 2 Kings 17:7-23 Israel exiled
- 2 Kings 24:20-25:21 Judah into captivity
- Nehemiah 2:17-18 Rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem
- Esther 8:11-17 Edict and witness
- Matthew 5:17-20 Jesus fulfills the Law
- Matthew 13, 22:1-14 , 25:1-30—a few parables on discernment, closed door, separation, and faith
- John 10—I am the door
- Acts 16:6-10. No Mysia for Paul
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Today’s was the final installment in the series which also contained:
- An overview of each party’s platform http://seminarygal.com/comparing-political-platforms-part-1/
- Part 2 Overarching principles of individual vs. state and rights of self-determination
- Part 3, on Freedoms of Speech, Religion, and Expression
- Part 4, Government Transparency and a Right to Privacy
- Part 5, Human Relationships, Sex, and the Law in a Divided America
- Part 6, Abortion
- Part 7, Education
- Part 8, Drugs
- Part 9, Criminal Justice
- Part 10, the Death Penalty
- Part 11, Guns and The Second Amendment
- Part 12, Taxation
- Part 13, the Environment
- Part 14, the IRS and the Size and Scope of Government
- Part 15.1, Immigration and National Security: the Platforms
- Part 15.2 Immigration and National Security: The Wall as a Spiritual Battle