Illegal immigration is a hot topic, both politically and socially, for there are millions of people in America who want the benefits and privileges of citizenship without going through the proper channels. Though they blend in and look in a way to be citizens, they really aren’t citizens. They don’t really enjoy the benefits of citizenship. They’re illegal aliens. This brings to mind a spiritual lesson.
There are those who want to be Christians, but are unwilling to do what the Bible says to correctly obtain citizenship. The Scriptures speak of a citizenship in the kingdom of God (Philippians 3:20) and those who are outside as aliens (Ephesians 2:12). So, the analogy is quite appropriate.
How many people today bypass the proper channels of admission into the Lord’s church and begin seeking any way to receive the benefits and privileges of citizenship? Some will clean up their life morally and think that’s sufficient. Others will start “going to church” somewhere. While still others may pray the ‘sinner’s prayer,” admitting their guilt and professing their faith in Christ to forgive them, and think that gets the job done.
But the Bible says a man who believes the gospel of Jesus Christ and is then immersed for forgiveness of sins is saved (Mark 16:16). Elsewhere the Bible teaches repentance and confession of Christ’s lordship are also prerequisites of citizenship (Acts 2:38; Romans 10:10). Many people have not complied with all of these requirements and are thus illegal immigrants in the kingdom of God.