During an international conference, my husband met a man who shared with him an experience he had while trying to enter the United States of America. My husband and I travel so much that I am very aware of how tricky it can be to enter some other countries, but hadn’t given much thought as to what others go through trying to enter my home country.
This gentleman had come to America many times as part of a mission organization. Once when he arrived in America and went through customs and immigration, he was interrogated thoroughly. The agent asked him, “Why do you come to America so much? Why don’t you just stay home?” The rudeness of this comment nearly took my breath away and I was embarrassed to think that this man had received that kind of treatment from Americans.
It got worse. The agent told him he did not have appropriate documentation and that he would be sent back to his home country on the next flight. He spent quite some time waiting for all the arrangements to be made when another agent came to him and asked, “Don’t you have any kind of paper that gives you permission to come here to do what you do?” The man opened his briefcase and pulled out everything he had. In doing so, he and the immigration officer came across a letter from Henry Kissinger (Secretary of State) that was addressed to “whom it may concern.” He asked that anyone representing this organization be given the best of treatment. Even though this man had never personally met Henry Kissinger, his name was on the list. The agent immediately said, “Why didn’t you give us this in the first place? We would have escorted you through ourselves without any problem.”
I could never enter through the gates of heaven on my own. Neither could you. Through Jesus our entry is guaranteed.
Jesus answered, “Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). “But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom (Luke 12:31-32).