Open the Borders to Criminals?
NEWS REPORT: The government is fighting off calls to reverse its long-standing policy of detaining criminals who try to enter the country. Activists say the policy often bars entry to “otherwise good people,” for minor infractions.
Refusing to budge, a government spokesperson explained, “Every detainee will have the chance to state their case at an immigration hearing. However, we are disappointed they did not take advantage of the process for clearing their criminal records while still in their home country.”
At this point, if someone said…
- the government is that of the Kingdom of Heaven
- the border is between earth and Heaven
- the criminals are humans who break any Kingdom laws
- the policy of stopping criminals at the border prohibits anyone under condemnation of sin from entering the Kingdom of Heaven
- the immigration hearing is the great white throne judgment, and
- the process is claiming the pardon made available by Jesus, who paid the penalty for their violations of Kingdom law
…we start to get a picture of what the Bible says about crossing the border into Heaven.
A different way to tell the story? The Bible is clear on how one can gain entry into Heaven, when their time comes. Despite this, for billions of intelligent people in the 21st century, the requirements for entry into Heaven somehow remain a mystery.
Proclaiming the Bible, exactly as written, is undeniably powerful, though many are suspicious of religion, and of messages that use religious terminology. How might we tell the story of the kingdom mission to save the world, without being perceived as preachy?
Stories and drama? Jesus told stories beginning with, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like…” Ezekiel performed street drama [Ezek 4], and the prophet Agabus acted out Paul’s future in front of the believers [Acts 21]. Another story is Passport Please. It tells the big picture of the Bible without the using the words God, angels, sin, salvation, worship, etc. It tells the Bible story in geopolitical terms, following the example of scripture:
- Jesus identified himself to Pilate as a foreign Head of State (John 18:36-37)
- Paul said he was a citizen and an Ambassador of the Kingdom (Phil 3:20, 2 Cor 5:20)
- Jesus is the judge who decides the fate of the detainees (John 5:22, Rev 20:11-12)
- There will be a legal proceeding where humans will judge angels (1 Cor 6:3)
However you do it, today is a good day to talk with someone about what it takes to cross the border into the Kingdom.