Immigration is a hot topic in U.S. politics with people drawing lines on both sides of the issue. Some feel all illegal immigrants should be forced to return to their country because they have broken our laws and others believe the U.S. owes all law abiding people the path of citizenship because the U.S. was a country built on immigration. It is my desire with this sermon to bring forth the biblical position and hopefully build a bridge between both positions. For I believe the U.S. can once again stand by these powerful words found in the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
2 Timothy 4:1-5, “1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage —with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.”
TODAY’S SERMON TEXT
Matthew 25:31-46, “31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ 44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
U.S. IMMIGRATION STATS
- 12.5% of people living in the U.S. were born in another country, compared to 5% in 1960 and 15% in 1890. (Source 1 & Source 2)
- There is currently over 11 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S. (Source)
- In 2010, the average unlawful immigrant household received around $24,721 in government benefits and services (public schools, health care, etc) while paying some $10,334 in taxes. This generated an average annual fiscal deficit (benefits received minus taxes paid) of around $14,387 per household, which is around $54.5 billion annually. (Source)
- If 12 million undocumented immigrants were given a path to citizenship it could yield up to $1.5 trillion in added GDP over 10 years as a result of increased consumption, job creation and additional tax revenue. (Source 1 & Source 2)
- 50% of all workers in U.S. agriculture are undocumented. (Source) If illegals were forced out of work in agriculture the labor shortages will result in losses of up to $9 billion, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. (Source) Not to mention if they would ever recover due to labor shortages. (Source)
- 73% of children of unauthorized immigrants are U.S. citizens by birth (Source)
- Below is a list of the countries that illegal immigrants have come from since 2000-2012. (Source)
HISTORY OF NATIONS, CULTURE, & U.S.
- CREATION: God created one race, “the human race,” in His image to live as one nation in the Garden of Eden, Genesis 1:27-31 & Acts 17:26.
- THE FALL & TOWER OF BABEL: Because of sin mankind was separated by language and this produced different cultures and physical traits, Genesis 11:1-9 & Source.
- ISRAEL: God choose Abraham and his descendants to be God’s example upon the earth. Israel’s immigration policy was, “anyone can be a citizen if they obey the laws,” Exodus 22:21 & Leviticus 19:33-34.
- JESUS: Jesus came and established a spiritual Kingdom to prepare His earthly Kingdom, but the promises of Israel are still for the Jewish people, Luke 17:20-21 & Romans 11:25-29.
- NATIONS: God has given nations the right to rule and govern the people as His instruments, however, if the leaders oppress the people they will be destroyed, Daniel 2:21.
- UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The U.S. was established on open immigration and Christian principles. (Source 1 & Source 2)
SOLUTIONS TO IMMIGRATION
- VERY CONSERVATIVE: Kick them out.
- VERY LIBERAL: Let them stay as is.
- BI-PARTISAN: Find a middle ground. Let them stay if they abide by the law, pay fines, and the U.S. enforces its immigration and labor laws.
We agree with the “EVANGELICAL STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM.” It reads as follows and can be found at, http://evangelicalimmigrationtable.com/#principles
Our national immigration laws have created a moral, economic and political crisis in America. Initiatives to remedy this crisis have led to polarization and name calling in which opponents have misrepresented each other’s positions as open borders and amnesty versus deportations of millions. This false choice has led to an unacceptable political stalemate at the federal level at a tragic human cost. We urge our nation’s leaders to work together with the American people to pass immigration reform that embodies these key principles and that will make our nation proud. As evangelical Christian leaders, we call for a bipartisan solution on immigration that:
- Respects the God-given dignity of every person
- Protects the unity of the immediate family
- Respects the rule of law
- Guarantees secure national borders
- Ensures fairness to taxpayers
- Establishes a path toward legal status and/or citizenship for those who qualify and who wish to become permanent residents
Luke 10:36-37, “36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
Ephesians 2:19-20, “19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.”