Thursday, October 30, 2014

How does Jesus see illegal immigration?

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. Andwhosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

Matthew 22 King James Version (KJV)

22 And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,
The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,
And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.
Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.
But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:
And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.
But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.
Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.
10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.
11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
There has been much talk of late about illegal immigration. Many are against it. Many are for it. Some, to try and bolster their argument, say that Jesus is for illegal immigration. But, is this true?
If you take Revelations 22:17 alone, this would seem to bolster their argument. But, Matthew 22 may tell a different story.
Here, the king invites all the somebodies to come celebrate his son's marriage. All of them declined. 
Skipping down, he has his servants go and invite the nobodies, the down and outs. In fact, he told his servants, to invite "as many as ye shall find." 
So, is this immigration without borders or requirements? 
Let's go on. 
The wedding is full of formerly unworthy people. Did illegal immigration win? 
Notice this: 11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
So, the king surveys his gathering and noticed a man who didn't have on a wedding garment. 
This tells us several things.
a) Even though many people were invited, they still had to submit to the king's rules to enter the wedding and become an active member of the party.
This doesn't sound like the open borders, do as you like policies of our liberal friends. This sounds like closed borders, certain entry points, and rules that they must follow in order to be admitted legally. 
b) They had to wear certain garments. It didn't matter their culture. It didn't matter their backgrounds. It didn't matter how educated they were (or not). They had to set their cultural habits aside and willingly submit to the rules of the kingdom. 
Again, this is not open borders. This is not feel good, arms open wide, everybody come and do what you will. This is closed borders and assimilate yourself into our culture. 
So, what happened to this illegal immigrant?
Was he given free health care? Was he given free education? Was he given free housing, a drivers license, EBT cards, etc? 
13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
No, my friends. This illegal alien was summarily arrested, taken away (not of his own free will), and kicked out of the king's lands. 
It's also worth noting that he was cast into outer darkness, where there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth. These phrases "outer darkness" and "weeping and gnashing of teeth," indicate imprisonment and punishment. (literally, spiritually, we're speaking of hell. Those who refuse to enter in God's way- Acts 2:38, will find themselves in hell: darkness and torment.) 
This illegal alien was caught, arrested, cast out of the kings goodness. He was imprisoned and punished.
So, how would Jesus handle an illegal immigrant?
Catch them. Arrest them. Imprison them. Punish them. Cast them out. It's really that simple. 
Please understand. Just as Jesus has no problem with LEGAL immigration, neither do we. 
It is the flaunting of our laws, the thumbing of their noses, the crass disregard for the legal route, that we (and Jesus) have a problem with. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Love is an action verb, not a noun that sits there.

John 3:16King James Version (KJV)

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
There's a lot of talk about love in "church" today (rightfully so). However, much of it is used like this: "If you love Jesus you will give to his church," "If you love God you will be here every time the doors are opened," or, "If you really love him, you will help clean (or repair) this beautiful building he's blessed us with."
In this well known (and often misused) verse, the Bible says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave...." Who did he give to? Did he give to build a church building? Did he give to line the preacher's pocket? Did he give to create another possible vocation for us to be paid for? NO!!!!!!
And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

He could not find anyone who would make up the hedge to protect Israel (and the world). So, this is what God did:

And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm broughtsalvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.

God became a man. His love moved him to action. He became the lamb of God to open up the windows of heaven for "whosoever will." 

He looked and saw our need and his love caused him to feel compassion. His compassion moved him to action. Love is an action verb. 

When we feel the love of God and we look around us, we will be moved with compassion. That godly compassion will move us to action. "God so loved the world, that he gave..."

We need to do likewise. 

Contrary to popular opinion, the giving in the new testament was not to build up a church building. It was not to build up an organization and keep up their headquarters. It was to help with the needs of real people. It was to help those in need of the body of Christ and also of the world. 

We are supposed to BE the church to each other and the world. We are not supposed to GO to church. WE ARE THE CHURCH. 

Let's stop playing church and be the church. Let's stop lifting up men and organizations and start lifting up Jesus and being about his work. 

Revival will never happen until we get wrapped up in him and allow him to get us wrapped up in the real lives of real people. It's that simple. 

It's not about a building. It's about people that God loves and feels compassion for. May he be able to use us as his hands and feet. Through that, people will see his heart. 

Anything short of this is not real Christianity. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

God can work with just a little. Thank you for the reminder, Reagan.

Luke 21:1-3King James Version (KJV)

21 And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.
And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.
And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:

Luke 9:12-17King James Version (KJV)

12 And when the day began to wear away, then came the twelve, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals: for we are here in a desert place.
13 But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people.
14 For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company.
15 And they did so, and made them all sit down.
16 Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude.
17 And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets.
Yesterday, I heard an amazing thing and God used it to reteach me something I knew years ago. 
I was listening to the radio station, K-LOVE. If you're not familiar with them, they are a Christian radio station based in California (I believe). They do not play commercials. Rather, they are 100% listener supported. They have 2 "sharathon's" a year to try and gain the support they need to carry on. If you can afford to give to support them, I highly recommend it.
Anyway, a 6 year old girl, named Reagan, kept bugging her mother. She wanted to give her entire savings in her piggy bank to help the radio station. Her mother kept telling her to keep it and she and her dad would help K-LOVE. Nevertheless, Reagan kept pushing. 
She finally convinced her mom. When they counted Reagan's piggy bank, she had $16.39. They called and pledged it all. When the station reported on it, it ignited a firestorm of pledges. Many folks called and pledged the same $16.39 (only per month) in honor of little Reagan. Others gave $163.90. Some gave $1, 639.00. One even made a matching challenge pledge of $16,390. It was amazing to listen to God working. 
And that's exactly what it was, God moving his sovereign hand to inspire his people- all through the unselfish gift of a 6 year old girl.
That's when the Lord reminded me of the widow's mite. In God's eyes she gave ALL- much more than the rich men had given to the temple treasury. 
And the five loaves and 2 fishes that were brought to the gathering, was used by Jesus to feed 5000 men PLUS women and children- and there were 12 baskets of leftovers!
You see, the enemy has a favorite trick. We see needs around us every day. Sometimes our hearts are stirred with compassion. But, the enemy shows us the enormity of their WHOLE need and whispers, "you can't afford to do all that, can you?" When we honestly answer, "No," he responds with, "Then why even bother? You can use that money for (x)."
Sadly, many times we submit to the devil's suggestion and the need goes unmet. 
What he doesn't tell us is that, if we give our little, God can use our little for much! He can inspire others through our selflessness and the person's whole need can be met. Not by us as individuals, but by the whole body of Christ. And we don't get the glory, God does. 
That's what we need to remember. We are a part of the whole. We are not the whole. If we each do our part, then God can accomplish what he needs to accomplish in the lives of people in need. 
James puts it this way:

James 2:14-17King James Version (KJV)

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
If we truly have the faith of God in our lives, then our hearts will be stirred with compassion for the needs around us. Then, our question becomes, "Lord, I don't have much, but how do you want me to use it?" If we all lived this way, the needs of the body of Christ, and the needs of many unbelievers, would be met. 
It's not the governments job to help those in need, it's the job of the church.
Remember, the words of the Apostle Paul in Acts 20:35
I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

So, thank you Jesus, and thank you, Reagan, for the reminder!