Editor’s note: “Matters of faith” is a column that provides local religious leaders a place to write about how their respective faiths provide hope, courage and strength in these modern times.
Of all the places in the world, one that so many would like to get into is the United States of America. Many want to do so because it is a place of freedom wherein they hope they can become citizens, or at least attain a good life for themselves and their family.
Many people try all sorts of ways to get into the U.S., both legal and illegal. They might use whatever resources they have in order to get here, and some even put their lives at great risk to do so.
I love this country, and even with all of its flaws I am proud to be a part of this great nation. So I can fully understand why others would like to come here to live, and especially seek the opportunity to become a citizen of the United States.
But when I consider all of the various reasons people give in regards to their wanting to enter this country, especially with the intent to become citizens, I am truly surprised that people don’t seriously consider seeking out a kingdom that offers even far more than does the United States.
This place I speak of has open borders. It offers citizenship to all who apply. It does not demand marketable skills, or a required level of education to get in, and everyone who enters has the opportunity to receive the same level of care as everyone else in that amazing nation.
Unlike the United States it does not have quotas that can be maxed out in any given year. It does not require that you go on a waiting list, nor does it require a waiting period to become a citizen once you get in. In fact, getting in and citizenship go hand in hand in this great nation I am speaking of.
Why haven’t you heard of this place? Why isn’t it advertised in every publication and on every form of digital media? It is! In fact, it has been blessed with the greatest promoter of all time. I am speaking of the Kingdom of God.
In God’s Kingdom there are no poor or disadvantaged; every person has the same inheritance and resources as every other citizen of God’s Kingdom. God not only grants you that inheritance, but He guarantees it for you by placing His Holy Spirit in you to keep you and ultimately usher you into His eternal presence, where He keeps your inheritance safe until you arrive.
Should you question what resources you have in this life as a citizen of God’s Kingdom, Ephesians 3:20 tells us that the Holy Spirit He places in you is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, beyond anything that you could ask, or even imagine, through the power that is already at work within you. In other words, God Himself is the resource you have available at any and every moment, once you are a citizen of His Kingdom.
In God’s Kingdom every single citizen receives personal and constant care from God Himself. They don’t have to wait in line, and they don’t have to apply for a subsidy.
In 1 Peter 5:6-7 God tells you to cast all your cares upon Him because He cares for you. In John 10:14-15 Jesus makes it clear that He cares so much for you that He laid His life down, and He did that in order that you might someday become a citizen of the Kingdom of God. How could He care for you more than that?
In the United States, and probably in many other kingdoms and nations, a person’s past can impact their status as a citizen. If you have been convicted of certain crimes you may lose some of the rights or privileges you would have otherwise enjoyed. That is not the case in God’s Kingdom. In fact, every single one of us in God’s Kingdom were guilty of rebellion against God and His laws before we became citizens, and yet He invited to be citizens of His Kingdom regardless.
Jesus preached about the Kingdom of God in His earthly ministry. Of the 55 times the Kingdom of God is mentioned in the gospels 50 of them have to do with Jesus preaching about the Kingdom. The arrival of the Kingdom of God is at the heart of the entire Bible.
Why wouldn’t a person want to be a citizen of God’s great kingdom? Why wouldn’t you want to receive the blessings and joys that accompany God’s Kingdom?
I mentioned earlier that God believes in open borders, but I must make it clear that you cannot sneak into His Kingdom. There is only one way into the Kingdom of God, and that is through the “door.” Jesus is the Door, the Gate, and the Way into the Kingdom. In John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
I suggest you apply for citizenship in God’s great Kingdom. All it takes is belief in the Person and finished work of Jesus, repenting of your sins, asking Him to forgive you and receive you into His Kingdom. God’s Word tells you He will never say “no” to anyone who asks in faith.
Jon McCartney is pastor of First Baptist Church of Tooele.