By: George Zellar
America is divided over the matter of immigration and over the question of who should be allowed to enter the country. Some believe that almost anyone should be allowed to enter the country, with very few restrictions. Others believe that it is a national security risk to have open borders and they do not want foreigners entering our country unless they have been very carefully vetted. They believe that welcoming new citizens into our nation should only happen through the legal process, and that people should not enter illegally.
When it comes to the heavenly country (Heb.11:14), the living God exercises extreme vetting. While the Saviour has compassion on all, yet only those who accept His gracious invitation are made fit and allowed to enter (Col. 1:12; 1 Cor. 6:11). A perfect righteousness is required (Matt. 5:20; 1 Cor. 1:30).
No one will see that land unless they are born again (John 3:3,5). No person will ever inhabit the eternal city unless he is a proper citizen of Heaven (Phil. 3:20 where “conversation” means “citizenship”). Also, God is not opposed to having a great wall and gates in the new Jerusalem: “And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates” (Rev. 21:12). God’s people will enjoy perfect security, the Lord Himself providing the protection: “Violence shall no more be heard in thy land…but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise” (Isa. 60:18).
There are many bad characters who are absolutely denied entrance: “And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie” (Rev. 21:27; compare 21:8). The redeemed ones who enter are properly registered, having their names in the Lamb’s book of life (Rev. 21:27). May we rejoice that our names are written in Heaven (Luke 10:20).
George W. Zeller has served on the staff of the Middletown Bible Church for more than 40 years. He is a graduate of Grace Theological Seminary where he studied under Dr. John Whitcomb. He has written numerous Sunday School lessons, Bible study materials, doctrinal booklets, and various papers on a wide range of Biblical topics. These studies are accessible at www.middletownbiblechurch.org.
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