Wednesday, February 13, 2019

"Heaven Has a Wall"---"Hell Has Open Borders"

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Reggie McDaniel owns a grocery store chain with stores in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi.

Last week his media ad included this: "Heaven Has A Waal, a Gate and a Strict Immigration Policy. Hell Has Open Borders. Let that Sink in."

Well, it did sink in. The ad went viral on social media. People have reacted. And Reggie has responded.

The Reaction.

Reggie McDaniel, owner of the store chain "Mac's Fresh Market," with stores in 3 southern states says he wasn't prepared for the backlash online after he posted the Heaven and Hell message.

People have been calling out the stores and its owner since the ad appeared---some calling it "disgusting" and vowing to never shop at the stores again.

Some of the angry sentiments:

"Nice ridiculous political message. I guess y'all don't have foreigners in your heaven. Disgusting."
"Y'all just had to get political, huh?"
"Christian values??...What does this mean sir?? I'm so confused. You have MILLIONS of people from every walk of life who support this business. If a Christian would conduct themselves like this I'd hate to encounter a sinner!!!! Shame on you Mac's, SHAME!!!! God said THOU SHALL NOT JUDGE!!!! He also said to treat people the way you want to be treated. I'm so disappointed."
"I find your mixture of religion and politics disgusting."
"How about we build a wall around your store?"
"Ad is very disrespectful and pure hateful will no longer spend my money on any of your products!"

And there was this:

"Wow, what a horrible message."

Reggie's message is actually taken from the Bible. And it's only horrible for those who reject God by refusing to accept Jesus Christ, His Son, as their personal Savior.

Jesus said (Matt. 7:13,14):
"Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction [hell], and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are a few who find it."

Since we are all born in sin, all we have to do to go to hell is "nothing." Drift through life and do it our way. Reject God's love, forgiveness, and restoration in favor of your own plans and desires---you end up in hell.

That's kind of like open borders.

Heaven's gate is narrow because God has a policy about who will, and will not enter. And God's desire is that all will accept His Son (John 3:16) and enter the "narrow" or difficult gate.

That message was once preached from most Christian pulpits.

Revelation chapters 21 and 22 describe the measurements of Heaven as being 12,000 furlongs, or about 1500 miles in all directions---like a cube. And Revelation actually does describe a "wall" that is 1500 miles high.

The Response.

Reggie McDaniel, the owner of the "Mac's Fresh Market" grocery store chain, told Fox News in a follow-up interview, he is standing by his message---even though it has become very controversial. He thinks he'll run it again.

He says he actually saw the message written on Facebook, liked it---and decided to include it in his own three-state advertising.

I also think Reggie reads his Bible and pays attention in church.

He told Fox News that while the initial reactions to the ad were negative, that changed after he gave an extended statement about it on the radio.

He said people "talk so filthy and so pitiful, I don't even know why Facebook lets it stay up there...All we're trying to do is give a simple message that Jesus loves you...It accomplished what we wanted to, and I'm proud of that."

He said,
"God has a place for us to go and He has a salvation for us and that's what I was trying to do, I'm really proud of it and I stand by my message."

He also says he is ignoring the negative comments and just focusing on his customers.

His customers have been inspired by his stand and have been telling him to stand firm in his beliefs and they will stand with him.

"The grocery business will be fine," he says, "we've been doing this since the 50s...My customers will stand by me and I believe that...They know who I am and they know what I stand for."

That, of course, begs the question: Do our "customers" or friends or neighbors or acquaintances in the community "know who we are?"

Do they know what we stand for? And why? Are we steadfast in our biblical beliefs?

Interestingly Webster defines "Steadfast" as "firmly fixed in place: IMMOVABLE: not subject to change--the steadfast doctrine of original sin." Yes, they really use original sin as an example.

"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord" (I Corinthians 15:58).

Be Steadfast, Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Faithful. Be Prayerful. Be Fearless.