The pope and presidential candidate, Donald Trump, are making headlines for their very different views on walls:
(CNN) “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not the gospel,” the Pope told journalists who asked his opinion on Trump’s proposals to halt illegal immigration.
Curiously, the Vatican is surrounded by huge walls with entry points monitored by guards and metal detectors!
The whole Bible book of Nehemiah is about building walls. Jesus’ parable about the sheep has a wall and a gate. And heaven has “broad and high” walls (perhaps 200 feet high) with 12 gates guarded by 12 angels. The word “bridge,” however, does not appear in Scripture!
If we look at the gospel honestly, it is about walls—separating wheat from chaff, sheep from goats, those inside and those outside the kingdom, believers and unbelievers . . . However, all are welcome at this time through the “gate” Jesus Christ (John 10:9).
So it is Christian to talk about walls with strict requirements for entry.
“I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”
Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn’t understand what he meant, so he explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures” (John 10:1-9).
Copyright © 2016 James N. Watkins
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