Thanks for coming all the way down here to share your message. Because we are all sinners, it is good to really know what God is telling us and that He does have rules for all to understand and follow. Your message helped to make his law clearer for my wife Kerrie and I. My question does not have to do with your message for the day but your opening statement, that to me had nothing to do with the Message of the day. That was about heaven not having Walls or Boundaries. I know you said it was not a political statement so I'll take you at your word. My wife and I both got the feeling you were saying open borders is ok and not to have a Wall and maybe we misunderstood? As you know the Bible tells us that the New Jerusalem will have Walls and Gates with Angels guarding them. You can take it literally or not but either way God is telling us you can not sneak into Heaven. God has rules and laws and if you do not accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior in your Heart you Do Not make it across the boarder. We are also told throughout the Bible that we are to respect and honor the laws of the land. So my question to you, I just wanted to make sure we did not misunderstand the comment about "walls" as it related to open boarders? Safe travels home! - Mike G.
Hello Mike - -and to your wife, Kerrie!
Thank you for your encouragement, for writing to share your thoughts and clarify what mine were. This is the kind of communication we need in community.
So, to clarify: The portion of the message you’re asking about was in the review section about the context of Jesus’ entire sermon that we’re studying and the vision it provided for the listeners then (primarily his disciples) and now—those of us who are followers of Jesus, now called “Christians.” [Matthew 5:1+] Since Jesus is teaching how to live in the Kingdom now, I made an application to contrast humanity’s current concerns with the transcendent realities about the Kingdom, which believers in Jesus belong to regardless of their current earthly residence. [Similar theme of the Citizenship Matters: God’s Kingdom First series, Oct-Nov 2016] The U.S. and many countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia are facing challenging circumstances and deep divisions within and among nations about the answers to those problems.
Here is that specific part of the message from my delivery notes:
… This is NOT just academic learning! As Dallas Willard said, it’s about HOW TO LIVE in the Kingdom of God BEFORE you die, not just after!
Let’s get relevant here: People in the United States and in nations around the globe are trying to figure out how to live with everything happening around us. There is fear and distrust and distress and unrest in many souls –no matter if your candidate won or lost, or if you even had someone to call “your candidate,” or if you even voted for anyone on the ballot, or voted at all, or were even allowed to vote! Jesus’ main message is about a Kingdom Made Without Hands, made w/o walls, a kingdom that exists in places all around the globe AT THIS VERY MOMENT 24/7, a kingdom whose citizens carry no passport, need no visa, are never restricted in their access TO THE KING HIMSELF, and regardless of the circumstances and restrictions brought upon them by others, the most powerful resources that exist are never far from them. Please don’t be confused: I’m NOT making a political statement here! I’m making the most important kind of statement there is: a spiritual statement of reality: Eternity Starts Now --- a statement of truth about life that is possible if we choose to enter this kingdom. Entry is based on trusting the sacrifice of the King to secure freedom for his citizens in this place. And here, AND ONLY HERE, will we find peace, and rest for our souls. Here we can truly live; we can THRIVE, not merely SURVIVE. …
I completely agree with you that God has laws and that there is one way to be a part of the Kingdom: by trusting in His saving sacrifice for us. What matters most is not the policy of any country but our citizenship in the Kingdom that begins now and never ends.
As for political statements in general: I believe that discussing policies among believers in any country is crucial, that there is an appropriate time and place for that, and that there are some issues that followers of Jesus have different perspectives on that can still fall within the teaching of Scripture. But the message on Sunday was not advocating any political policy.
Thank you for the dialogue!