REVERSED GREAT COMMISSION
The Refugee - Christian Relationship
April 28, 2019
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20 )
With the current surge of asylum-seeking refugees crossing our border, the mission field is now coming to us, and many of them are from nations closed to traditional missions. Isn’t it just like God to turn a bad situation into something good and full of glory!
- All Christians should be able to agree that the issues surrounding the refugee crisis are more complex than the rhetoric on social media would have us believe.
There may, in fact, be more than one Christian view on the matter of refugees.
- As we move forward in ministering to the refugees, we should acknowledge that forming personal convictions concerning these people in need is a separate matter from setting governmental policy.
We need to strike a balance between our (God-given) personal responsibility to show compassion and the (God-given) state responsibility to protect its citizens.
- Government mandate: 1980 Refugee Law; United Nations on the Rule of Law (1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons; 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness)
- Biblical mandate: (Exodus 23:9 ; Leviticus 19:33 ; Mark 12:31 )
- Our Christian mandate:
Ask yourself: What does the Bible/my faith say about how I am to treat strangers, aliens, others who are in need?
“Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt.” (Exodus 22:21 )
“Do not mistreat or abuse foreigners who live among you…” (CEV)
Jesus replied: “Love the Lord God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandments. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39 )
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to ALL people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” (Galatians 6:10 ) “So then, while we have the opportunity, let us do good to everyone…” (NASB)
“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.” (Colossians 4:5 )
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me … Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”... (Matthew 25:35-46 emphasis added)
“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk only, but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:17-18 )
Three Ways To Love the “Least of These”:
Pray = everyday!
Participate = volunteer/serve!
Provide = give!
Before donating an item, first ask yourself: “Would I use this item in its current condition?”
If not, do not donate!
LOVE HAS NO BORDERS!