Why is a proper understanding of the gospel so important to properly applying it to all of life?
While I’m not an expert on all the refugee stuff, I can at least apply the gospel to my thinking about this subject…
I was an enemy of God. I rebelled against Him and His rule over me. Thus, by both my thoughts, actions, and nature, I deserved His full wrath. I was without hope and without God in this world.
But God demonstrated His love towards me while I was still a sinner through the death of God the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, for sinners. Because of repentance for my sins and by grace through faith in His finished work, the righteousness of Jesus has been credited to me so that I’m now an adopted son and no longer a rebel.
One of the important thoughts here is that this salvation was neither earned by me or deserved by me. Jesus sought me when a stranger. He saved me when a rebel. He died for me not while I was a good person, but while I was a sinner.
So how does this help me with the refugee question? As a Christian being conformed to the image of Jesus, and armed with the truth of the gospel, I see all things in life through those lenses. Yes, there are legitimate political and security issues when dealing with these questions. But primarily I see the responsibility, and the privilege, to show care and concern through the gospel lens.
Therefore, at the very least, I should seek to show Christ-like compassion, even to those who are my enemies, because Jesus taught me to love my enemies and to pray for them, as He did. I should seek to share the gospel with them knowing that while I was a sinner and enemy of the Lord, the gospel was shared with me. I should pray for and support missionaries who are “boots on the ground” where the refugees currently live as they build bridges to share Christ. I should seek to help meet their basic humanitarian needs as I am able.
To be very clear, what I should do doesn’t change depending on which side of the border these refugees reside. Whether here in the States, or in other parts of the world, the gospel still compels me to act.
Because Christ has shown me mercy and grace, I should show that with others for His glory as I let my light shine. The gospel compels me to do nothing less and much more.