Saturday, June 17, 2023

Crossing the Channel

All photos courtesy of Unsplash

On the 14th of December 2022, we heard yet again the tragic news of migrants drowning in the icy waters of the English Channel as they were making the perilous crossing from France to the United Kingdom. On the 27th of November 2021, twenty-seven migrants perished in one of the worst maritime disasters ever in the Channel.

What is the attraction that lures many to pay extortionate prices to criminal gangs, to climb on board an over-crowded, unseaworthy dinghy and attempt to reach the other side of arguably the busiest and most dangerous stretch of water in the world? Some, admittedly, are merely economic migrants, but others are eager to escape war, genocide, persecution and famine to enjoy an easier life in what they perceive to be a better land. Illegal migration has become a problem of major proportions, and attempts to satisfactorily solve the problem have failed and floundered, with around forty thousand arriving illegally in the UK in 2022. Some gain asylum in the UK and live comfortably, but others discover that their dream was just an illusion, and it quickly became a nightmare.

In the spiritual realm, there are many who are prepared to do their utmost; pay over a lifetime to gain a place in Heaven; say daily prayers; and many subject themselves to a life of hardship, and asceticism, doing penance for years to be sure of arriving in the “land that is fairer than day” (words from a hymn by Sanford F. Bennett). The majority, alas, do this because they have been misdirected throughout life to believe that Heaven and eternal life are rewards for good works, religious observance, church attendance and several other things which raise false hopes. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” Proverbs 14.12.

The Bible clearly states that Christ did all that was necessary for us to be in Heaven, as He hung upon the cross at Calvary, where He died voluntarily and vicariously (in the stead of others). Just before He died, the Lord Jesus said, “It is finished” John 19.30, indicating that the work was done completely, that the penalty for sin was borne in its totality, and the price to procure our eternal salvation was paid in full. Now salvation is free to all who are prepared to take God at His word and rely solely upon Christ and His accomplished work to safely arrive on Heaven’s golden shore. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” Ephesians 2.8,9. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life” John 3.36.

We wonder at the risks many are prepared to take to reach the coast of the UK; we marvel that they are ready to forfeit their lives instead of investigating if there is not an easier, legal way of entering Britain. Sadly, all too many are willing to do almost anything to reach Heaven except obey the Word of God and do what the Scriptures say. They will listen to men instead of accepting the unchanging truth of God’s Word.

Regrettably, many asylum seekers are made to feel unwelcome when they arrive in another country, but you can be sure of a warm welcome if you come as you are to Christ. He has said, “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out” John 6.37.

Migrants can choose to attempt the dangerous crossing, or they can opt to remain in France or another country, but one day you will have “to go to the other side” Mark 6.45. Your life on earth will be over; you will have no option but to leave this world and make the crossing to the eternal night of Hell or the unclouded brightness of Heaven. You will never be sent back: how necessary then to ensure you arrive at the right destination.

Used by permission of Assembly Testimony


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