Southaven, Ms

By: Mike Upchurch

Let’s talk about immigration for a moment. No, not the illegal immigration of people across our borders that has our country up in arms and divided, but immigration pertaining to the Kingdom of God. This is, after all, a column devoted to the Lord and to the Christian life.

Webster’s defines an immigrant as follows:




a person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country. 

Since we’re speaking of Heaven, let’s say you would like to immigrate to the Kingdom of Heaven and dwell there permanently when you die. Who wouldn’t, right?  However you can’t enter there illegally as in the case of the United States.   There’s no crossing that border in the dark of night.  And you can’t slip under the gates when Peter isn’t looking. No sir, you’re simply not sneaking in!  Ever!  You will immediately be deported if you attempt to enter illegally.

So, if we agree you can only enter legally, what would be the process for entering, and where would it be written? Well, since the Bible speaks of Heaven, it would be found in the Bible, would you agree?  So let’s see what Immigration rules apply in the Bible.

“Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”‭‭John‬ ‭3:3‬

You’ve heard that before I’m sure. To be born again is to confess your sins to Christ and have them forgiven.

There is more…..

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.”‭‭1 John‬ ‭1:9-10‬

And there’s this…..

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”‭‭John‬ ‭14:6‬

Well, from that scripture, it would appear you can only obtain your citizenship papers through Jesus, would you agree?

What did Jesus Himself say concerning those trying to enter without proper credentials?

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:21-23‬ 

What IS the will of the Father that He spoke of, exactly?

“For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”‭‭John‬ ‭6:40‬

So, in summary, if you want to enter Heaven you must do so legally.   And the only way in is through Jesus and in believing that He is God’s Son, and also believing He died in your place to remove the punishment for your sins.

And be very aware of this fact: there’s no applying for citizenship at the Pearly Gates once you arrive. If your name is not already written down in advance of your arrival, you will be deported.

Can you guess where you’ll be deported to if your name doesn’t show up?  No sorry, it won’t be back to earth.  The book of Revelation tells us exactly what your fate will be…..

“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. AND IF ANYONE’S NAME WAS NOT FOUND WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE, HE WAS THROWN INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE.”

‭‭Revelation‬ ‭20:11-15 (emphasis mine)

Wow, talk about a horrible place to be deported to!  Best get your citizenship papers in order now while there’s time.  Your name must be written in the book of life BEFORE you leave this earth!  Remember the fact that you’re not promised tomorrow, and if you leave this earth you won’t want to be denied entry into Paradise!

And that’s the way I see it!

Pastor Mike