US Citizenship and the Kingdom of God

Immigration has been a hot topic in the news lately. You can take a practice citizenship test to see how well prepared you are. I did pretty well, but I have a feeling if I hadn’t gone to law school I would have gotten about 50% correct.

The whole idea of a citizenship test got got me thinking – I sure am glad there’s no test to get in to the Kingdom of God. Now we could probably debate for hours about whether or not we have to verbally accept Jesus Christ in order to enter the Kingdom of God, but in the end I bet we’ll agree that the Kingdom of God, unlike the United States, is open to all. Can you imagine if we actually had to pass a test? Here are some of the questions we might have to answer:

How many books of the Bible are there?

What are the names of all twelve disciples?

What’s the family lineage of Jesus?

Name the ten commandments – in order.

How old was Mary when she had Jesus?

What year was Jesus crucified?

I shudder to think how many people would miss the mark (myself included!) It certainly puts a new perspective on how awesome God’s grace is. God’s love has no borders. God doesn’t put a wall up to keep people out!

Now I know there are valid reasons for limiting citizenship – but how might the world be different if we treated people the way God does? What would limitless love actually look like in the midst of this great immigration debate?

Crystal Rowe

wife to D, mama to A & E, sister, daughter, niece, aunt, follower of Christ, writer, book lover, beloved child of God

  • I just took the practice exam, and I really don’t remember it being that easy (I’ve helped friends study for the exam before now). lol.

    The thing about immigration though, and the thing about living in the Kingdom too, is that the US is a works oriented culture. We pick ourselves up by our bootstraps, God helps those who help themselves, you have to work and earn before you can be a part. Now God may not put a wall up to keep people out, but we do. How many times have people put conditions on being a part of the body? We want to make sure we associate with the right kind of people and that those people have the right kind of heart or the right this or the right that. And depending on the church it could be any number of different things.

    Anyways, I’m struggling with works oriented thinking right now so this really hit home for me.

    • Seiji,

      Thanks for your comment! You’re totally right … the US is a works-oriented culture – and I think that totally funnels in to our faith. You said it best – we hear said all the time “God helps those who help themselves” … but in all reality, God helps everyone – whether they help themselves or not. That’s the beauty of grace.

      And maybe that’s the horror of grace too – that it’s the same extravagance for everyone. Sometimes it seems like God’s grace is unfair!

  • Dang… this is a powerful concept! It really makes me appreciate God’s grace, and appreciate that there are no borders to cross or tests to pass. I study theology and can’t help but to wonder what it would be like if everyone had to pass a Systematic Theology exam in order to get into Heaven… our focus here on earth would be totally performance driven…

    Man, getting a hold of this idea just makes me want to stop everything and just worship Him right now…

    • I know, right?! As I was writing it I was in complete awe. In fact, I didn’t know the post was gonna end that way – I wrote the title before I had any idea what was gonna come out of my head. So you’re seeing pure revelation here.

      And I think the most awesome thing is that no matter how hard we try, we’ll never be able to totally grasp the idea of unconditional grace …. and yet that’s 100% who God is. There’s no other response but to worship!