Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Pastor Steven Grant: National Security, Immigration and God: Immigration is a major issue to God. One of the sins God lists in Hosea 7:8-10 is the sin of allowing the stranger to enter and devour the strength of the land - As Christians, we must stand against the wicked policies and lax security of our current regime in Washington, D.C. Those that will not do this first have no right to speak later about immigration policy. - Ezekiel 22:30 says, "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." ( The choice is yours. As for me, I am standing for the land.)

National Security, Immigration and God

           
When Satan tempted Christ in Matthew 4, it was not a simple provocation.  The enemy distorted Scripture by focusing on an isolated issue that catered to the flesh.  Jesus countered that attack with another Scripture, but it was from a completely different standpoint.  Satan used a verse dealing with God's protection; Christ responded using the theology of presumption.

Single issue use of Scripture themes can result in unbiblical outcomes.  Common core Christianity may favor single issues because it caters to the lowest common denominator and feels good.  In reality, it may create more problems and incur God's anger.  Why?  Because we forsake the full counsel of God.

Today immigration is a hot topic among Christians in America.  The United States admits more legal immigrants annually than any other nation in the world, and yet the pressure is on to legalize illegal aliens.  Groups such as the Evangelical Immigration Table even urge this in the name of Christ.  Does that make it a noble thing to do?  No.

Immigration must be counterbalanced against other biblical issues such as national security, border control, deportation, government assistance, and assimilation, all in adherence to the Bible.  Immigrants themselves must be separated into the three categories found in Scripture.  They are:  legal immigrants, illegal aliens, and refugees.  Today groups try to obscure the truth by lumping all of these together, but God does not.  What does the Scripture say?

Legal immigrants are acknowledged more than any other group of immigrants in Scripture.  Israel and his sons came to Egypt legally in Genesis 47.  In Acts, the Apostle Paul used his legal citizenship with Rome and Israel to further the gospel.  Nearly a million legal immigrants come to the U.S. annually, and are to be warmly received according to Scripture.

Illegal aliens are also found in the Bible.  They were deported in Ezra and Nehemiah.  Jesus states in John 10 that those that do not enter by the door are thieves and robbers; there will be no illegal aliens in the Kingdom of God.  Illegal aliens and those that would not comply with God's immigration laws were condemned by God Himself.  Those that supported them were condemned, too.

Refugees are a third element found in Scripture.  They migrate due to danger, economic threat or disaster.  Elimelech and Naomi moved to Moab due to drought.  Joseph and Mary fled from Bethlehem to Egypt, taking the young child Jesus with them.  Although they were refugees, they provided for themselves.  Both of these families returned to their nation of origin after life there had stabilized.

God commands us to respect subclasses (e.g., widows, orphans and strangers) in many passages.  (Zechariah 7:10; Jeremiah 22:3, and others.)  This should be the fruit of our heart, but it is not a legislative command.  When God commands that kindness be shown to the "stranger" in passages such as Leviticus 19:33-34, this references legal immigrants.  Many refer to Christ's statement in Matthew 25:35, where he says, "For I was hungry and you gave me meat: I was thirsty, and you gave me drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in."  This passage probably deals with refugees, but more importantly deals with personal conduct of Christians; not national policy.  The needy are among us, and we should minister to them in Christ's Name.  However, bringing them into our home does not make them family, and an alien or stranger coming into the nation does not give them legal status.

The bounds of nations are set by Almighty God (Deuteronomy 32:8).  Acts 17:26 reiterates this, stating that "...God has determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitations."  God determines boundaries and where people live, not man.  Therefore, the fact that people want to come to America does not mean they should or can live here.  Hundreds of millions globally have a lower standard of living than those in the U.S.  This does not entitle them to come.  Furthermore, if they are legally enabled to relocate, they have a strict Biblical criteria that must be agreed upon.  Every Christian should push for God's policies to be enacted.  What are these criteria?
  • There are to be no special government programs for the immigrant (Leviticus 19:9-10).  Business and private citizens should be the means of ministry to incoming immigrants.
  • Immigrants are to learn and speak the language of the land (Nehemiah 13:23-25).  This standardizes business, government and society.
  • Immigrants are not to bring in abominations before God such as homosexuality, idolatry, ancestral worship or other pagan practices  (Leviticus 18:26-28).  The framework of immigration is to be Judeo-Christian in ideology.
  • Immigrants must also assimilate into Christianity as the framework of society.  The Bible is filled with commands pertaining to this, and they are best summarized by Ruth's statement to Naomi in Ruth 1:16.  "Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God."
So what must be done about immigration today?  First, we must remove the lies, half-truths and double-speak.  One common argument among Christians is that we can't have all of these things in government.  If this is true, we have given up before we try.  Furthermore, we have thumbed our noses at God, telling Him that we won't stand for what He says in His Word.  We need to repent of this lack of faith.

Another common argument is that "we are a nation of immigrants."  This is not true.  We are mainly citizens, and so were most of our parents.  Although our ancestors may have migrated here, most came legally through sites such as Ellis Island, Castle Garden and other ports of entry.  They were screened for disease, criminal backgrounds and other issues.  Those that did not meet the criteria were not accepted.  The way to America was to come by the door, modeled after the words of Jesus in John 10.  The aim of this argument is to try and weaken commitment to the law, and use emotion to distort truth.

Others say that the government is deadlocked, and something should be done about immigration.  Really?  Nearly a million legal immigrants entered the U.S. last year.  This argument is being used as a false front by groups or people that want to change laws to suit their agendas.  The fact that the White House has chosen to ignore illegal immigration and break down our borders is hated by God Himself.  This is not due to deadlock; it is a political tactic.  Every Christian and leader in America should be standing up and quoting the many Scriptures about people who try to change boundaries and God's wrath upon them.

If immigration is broken it is because Christians have forsaken God's Word.  For years the United Nations has controlled the direction of U.S. immigration and refugee policy.  We used to admit more Christians; now the Muslims pour across our borders unchecked.  Deuteronomy 28:43 tells of a curse upon the land when, "the stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high, and thou shalt come down very low."  It is time to repent and change.

Christians have also ignored God's priorities.  God's priority is to secure the border first.  Just as Jesus told Satan that the theology of presumption took preeminence over the Scripture of protection, God wants closed borders before he deals with the immigrant.  The first practical step of revival in Nehemiah was to rebuild the wall; border security.  He began with prayer and a vision to make a holy nation under God.  To accomplish this, border security came first.  Dealing with immigrants came later.

After the border is secured, illegal aliens should be deported.  Ezra 9-10 and Nehemiah 13 illustrate God's deportation policy.  Those that will not serve God, but cling to their own ways and culture must leave.  We have sinned against God by ignoring this.  God condemned the House of Israel for this in Ezekiel 44:7.  They allowed the uncircumcised in heart and body to pervert the nation.  We are already reaping what we have sown.  More than 400 thousand illegal aliens were arrested and imprisoned for crimes committed in 2012 alone.  They did not enter legally, and perpetuated that ideology inside this nation.  This cannot be tolerated.

Christian refugees and immigrants should always be welcomed.  Isaiah 55:6-7 tells us that the house of prayer shall be for all people.  Christians around the world need a sanctuary, a place of refuge.  They should be welcomed and loved above all within the USA.

Immigration is a major issue to God.  One of the sins God lists in Hosea 7:8-10 is the sin of allowing the stranger to enter and devour the strength of the land.  The House of Israel would not repent of this sin, and God judged them.  As Christians, we must stand against the wicked policies and lax security of our current regime in Washington, D.C.  Those that will not do this first have no right to speak later about immigration policy.  Ezekiel 22:30 says,  "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."  The holes in border security had to be filled first.  Strangers and aliens were among them, destroying God's culture.  God's eyes were upon this issue first.  Then immigration could be addressed using deportation and godly immigration policies.  Will you secure the border first, or will you allow this nation to be attacked and destroyed?  The choice is yours.  As for me, I am standing for the land.


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