The Refugee Crisis and the Gospel
It seems the issues relating to the asylum seekers on board the Tampa in late August 2001 have polarised all Australians. The Lord Jesus Christ said, “ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times” (Matt 16:3). What He was saying was that we are experts at distinguishing the weather, but we can’t see the spiritual lessons when they stare us in the face. There is a Gospel message hidden within this refugee issue and we’d like you to examine it.
Seeking a Better Country
From one’s reading of the situation, it would seem the asylum seekers are seeking a better country. The world that they originate from is undesirable or unsafe, and they seek something better. The Bible tells us of some that did the same thing “But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly” (Heb 11:16). Australia is a great country; “we’ve golden soil and wealth for toil”, but are you aware that we’re living in a world cursed by the fall? One day this world of ours will be judged like it was once before. “Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment” (2Pet 3:5-11). Is it not time you made preparation for the better heavenly country?
As a sovereign country, Australia can close its doors to immigration and the refugee problem. Heaven can also shut its doors; and it has … to sin. When speaking of the heavenly city the Bible says, “there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth” (Rev 21:27). It has been said, that God hates sin, but He loves the sinner. That’s why He provided a Saviour.
The woman of Canaan fell before the Lord Jesus asking help for her daughter who was very ill. The Lord’s reply to her is very startling … “It is not [fair] to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs” (Matt 15:26). The implication is clear; she was shut out from blessing, but the woman’s faith in a merciful Saviour was strong and exemplary of what is required of us as she begged only for the crumbs which fell from the table. To any such child of faith, the Lord Jesus will surely respond.
We don’t have any right to heaven. We deserve judgment for what we are and what we’ve done, “for all have sinned” (Rom 3:23). But if we have faith to ask the God of Heaven to look down in mercy and save our unworthy souls… He will, today; because He is merciful … today!
A Merciful Refuge
Australia is among the top resettlement countries in the world and is seen and respected for the role it plays in offering a refuge to refugees. In the Bible we read of Ruth. She was an immigrant from the neighbouring country of Moab barred from entering Israel. Moabites were not to get “peace nor prosperity” there (Deut 23:3-6). However, when Ruth comes seeking for God, He responds and provides her refuge under His almighty wings (Ruth 2:12).
If it is claimed that Australia has limited resources to meet the needs of refugees, Heaven certainly has no such limitation …
Out of His infinite riches in glory,
He giveth and giveth and giveth again!
… and Heaven is today offering merciful refuge to all who want to escape from the judgment of sin. This offer will one day close!
The Way In
Every government has proper immigration procedures that must be followed. Out of desperation, these poor asylum seekers ‘queue jump’. This is a sentiment that the Gospel echoes.
The Lord Jesus Christ said, “I am the way: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved … he that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” (John 10:1,9). The only passport into Heaven is to know Christ as your Saviour from all your sins. Have you got that assurance? When Christ died on the cross, He died to put away sin. That finished cross work of Christ allows God to justify those who accept their sinnership and Christ’s atoning work. These are the terms and conditions for your acceptance into Heaven.
It has also been claimed that some of these asylum seekers wait months for their applications to be processed. Human inadequacies can cause human impatience. God isn’t limited by such problems, for the moment you place your trust in Christ, you are “translated [moved] into the kingdom of the Son of His Love” (Col 1:13). So why not accept Christ as your Saviour?
This is not a political statement. It is however an alarm clock … waking us up to the more important issue of our unsuitability for Heaven. None of us has a right to enter Heaven… to that land we are aliens. We need to ensure we have an entry permit into Heaven. For a short time, Heaven has an open door policy. “Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest” … “him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (Matt 11:28, John 6:37). Therein lies your responsibility…
Come to the Saviour, make no delay;
Here in His Word, He has shown us the way;
Here in our midst He’s standing today;
Tenderly saying “Come!”
Confess your sin, and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, and be assured of a home in Heaven.