The days when nothing really ever changes have long since gone. The world with its complexities has come to us in a number of ways – welcomed or not. One such way is reflected by the recent debate over immigration. The complexion of America is changing daily and is presenting challenges that are unprecedented in our history. While the debate continues, there remains one truth that you will never hear uttered by Congress. God is Sovereign. Therefore, this international flood of people into the United States is well within His ability to control.
The first Christians faced challenges of their own, and like the 21st century American church, they wanted to hang on to the familiarities of their cultural identities. It took approximately ten years before the church in Judea spread beyond Samaria into the frontiers of the Gentile world. Acts chapter ten illustrates the lengths to which God went forcing Peter and the church out of their Jewish comfort zone. This was a huge step into the mission field that was followed by an explosion which to this day has not ended. Even then the Jewish-Christian community underestimated God’s ability to take matters into His control.
Times have changed, we say to ourselves consolingly, and so has the world. The question is – are we (the church) choosing to become equipped to tackle these changes, or are we building fences to keep them away? Jesus said to his visually-challenged disciples, “Do not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” (John 4:35) The vision of Christ toward the present international flood must be viewed with an eternal purpose. Where else could God send millions to hear about the saving power of Jesus with greater success than to the United States – providing that we are not so filled with His knowledge that, because of our abundance, we have become complacent?
When we view flow of people into our part of world from God’s position, the issue isn’t immigration. The issue is – how are we going to reach and teach these precious souls about Jesus’ salvation? May God grant us the ability to accomplish His work effectively and quickly. But most of all, I pray that we can take on a vision for the not-so-distant future when we are capable of dealing with every cultural challenge we face.