Historical and Biblical evidence that Jesus’ message of hope, redemption, and eternal life was offered to “everyone” is irrefutable. The message He preached and the radically different kind of love He demonstrated were presented to the entire spectrum of the society surrounding Him. No one was excluded. His invitation to come and follow Him was extended to “all who would believe,” regardless of their race, gender, age, social class, or any other human distinction. Though a few of the rich and powerful responded to Him, His message was most readily received and embraced by those who represented the weakest, most vulnerable, and most oppressed. The crowds seeking Him out and following Him were mainly comprised of society’s hopeless outcasts, the poor, the sick, the physically disabled, the emotionally broken, and the religiously rejected and isolated. Here are a few examples from the Gospel records:
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 (NKJV)
...Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.” John 7:37 (NKJV)
And in a parable about His heavenly wedding feast to come, He said,
Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding. Matthew 22:9 (NKJV)
An Open Invitation Quandary ~
Jesus, the One for whom “Christianity” is named, and the One that all of its proclaimed adherents claim to be following made His offer of life and hope available to everyone. But since America’s motto continues to be “In God We Trust,” does that also mean we should consider Jesus’ unrestricted invitation when it comes to questions about America’s immigration policies?
We know that a number of prominent Democrats and liberal news sources have vehemently opposed building or extending a protective wall on the southern border and have further declared that restricting free access to America’s benefits by anyone and everyone is “immoral.” Others are taking it yet another step further and are calling for tearing down the walls and fences that currently exist. The left in America is in lockstep when it comes to promoting an open borders policy regarding illegal immigration, and while the Biblical example is clear, some Christians seem confused about where to stand on the issue. Should Jesus’ open invitation be extrapolated to validate support for an “open borders” immigration policy? And if not, why not?
Invitation vs. Admission ~
I received an invitation to a banquet last year, not an unusual thing for most of us at some point. The event was promoted by a private agency, but it was advertised as “open to everyone.” It was, indeed, open to everyone, but . . . it cost forty bucks for a ticket, without which you couldn’t get in.
On another occasion, I was invited to a concert that was also open to the public, and that event also required a ticket. Because someone else had paid for my ticket and offered it to me for free, I don’t know how much the ticket cost in that case. It seemed like I was all set up and good to go, but when I got to the gate, I discovered that there were other restrictions. A lot of guys like me who were raised in the country don’t go anywhere without our pocket knives, so obviously, I had mine. All of us ticket holders had to go through special access doors to get in, guarded by people with metal detectors examining all our stuff. My bought-and-paid-for ticket didn’t mean a thing when they found my Swiss Army knife. They claimed it was a weapon, and said that I couldn’t come in with it.
Obviously, open invitations and bought-and-paid-for tickets don’t always translate into an open door with a sign that says “Come On In, Y’all!” The question is, what about the invitation that Jesus offered? Is it a cut-and-dried, done-deal issue, and does it suggest that we should apply the same philosophy to a national immigration policy?
Jesus declared, “I am the door…” (John 10:9). So does that mean that there’s a giant “Come On In” sign over His head, or are there other things to be considered? The invitation is open to all, but let’s see what else Jesus actually said:
- There is only “one” point of entry:
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6 (NKJV)
- Personal repentance of sin and confessed belief that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, and that His vicarious sacrifice and subsequent resurrection is the only means of redemption is mandatory for acceptance:
He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:18 (NKJV)
I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:5 (NKJV)
- Refusal to relinquish all allegiance to the world’s value system denies entry:
…And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. Matthew 10:38-39 (NKJV)
The “Personal Rights” Question ~
Jesus is the sovereign ruler over an established kingdom that will endure forever. Everyone is invited to come and share all the benefits of citizenship, but . . . entrance is conditional, and no one will gain access on their own terms. There are no bureaucratic processes to be manipulated and no internal resistance factions with which to be allied. Those who love to herald their self-proclaimed “rights” would be wise to consider that there is only one “right” that allows entry into His Kingdom:
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12-13 (NKJV)
Not a Matter of “Fairness” ~
Some may declare it’s unfair and discriminatory and thank God, that’s true. If fairness was applied, no one would be allowed into that Kingdom, because He declared that none of us meets His standard for acceptance (see Romans 3:9-20). Entrance is by grace, and through faith alone.
To state it simply, “open invitation” Christianity is an astounding exhibition of God’s sacrificial love, but “open borders, no rules, no standards, no restrictions” Christianity only exists in the fantasies of those who ignore what Jesus Christ, Himself, actually said.
“TWEETABLES” ~ Click to Tweet & Share from the pull quotes below. Each quote links directly back to this article through Twitter.
- “A number of prominent Democrats and liberal news sources have vehemently opposed building or extending a protective wall on the southern border and have further declared that restricting free access to America’s benefits by anyone and everyone is “immoral.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “Jesus is the sovereign ruler over an established kingdom that will endure forever. Everyone is invited to come and share all the benefits of citizenship, but entrance is conditional and no one will gain access on their own terms.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “Those who love to herald their self-proclaimed “rights” would be wise to consider that there is only one “right” that allows entry into His Kingdom: John 1:12-13 (NKJV) @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “Open invitation” Christianity is an astounding exhibition of God’s sacrificial love, but “open borders, no rules, no standards, or restrictions” Christianity only exists in the fantasies of those who ignore what Jesus Christ, Himself, actually said. @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
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Thanks for your very welcome and always uplifting, “Amen.”