Most every person is a citizen of their respective country with certain rights and privileges. Most of these citizenships are bequeathed at the time of birth. Some are seeking to change their citizenship while others are content with remaining as aliens in a foreign land. Either way, they pridefully assimilate into their new country expecting to receive all the same rights and privileges. Today I want to talk to you about a different kind of citizenship that can’t be earned or pridefully assimilated. This citizenship can only be given at the time of our rebirth or transformation in Christ. This glorious new citizenship is in heaven even while we reside as aliens upon the earth. Although technically we keep our citizenship on earth in our respective countries, we are no longer beholden to its ideology, its humanistic ideals, and its inclusiveness. There is a great difference between our heavenly citizenship and citizenship of the world. When true believers embrace their heavenly citizenship, then they embrace the ideology and exclusiveness of the Kingdom of God and are not beholden to the dictates of their respective countries, which are diametrically opposed. However, this is not what we see in the modern day. Many Christians are beholden to the dictates of their respective countries.
This has always been Satan’s plan to keep God’s children so busy chasing after the affairs of the world that they have no time for God. In our day it has grown into an obsession even among God’s children who are spending all of their time working with their respective political parties or organization to build a brave new world. They believe if they can change the laws, then it will change people’s hearts and force them to do what is right. They justify their warmongering and malicious attacks on the other side by whitewashing their behavior with a veneer of religious platitudes by quoting favorite Scripture, usually out of context. They justify their bad behavior by uncovering some hidden truth about the other side giving them credence to attack the other side even more viciously. All of this is keeping their minds focused on a dying world run by Satan and the powers of darkness. On the other hand, to be citizens of heaven, we have our minds stayed upon our heavenly citizenship. Our affections are set upon our city above (Colossians 3:2). The desires of our souls are towards heaven (Psalm 73:25), our heavenly citizenship. Remember the words of Jesus who said, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21). We will soon discover that our true treasure is in Heaven.
True believers long to be in their city above where the music is sweet and where love truly abounds, always giving and never taking but always receiving more than they can imagine. As citizens of heaven, we receive from the Father all that He offers, never questioning our direction or concerned about our safety or wellbeing. The good news is these same privileges come to the believers now through the Spirit who have their minds stayed upon the heavenly city. This is the work and business of their lives, not trying to transform fallen humanity through the ballot box but to build the Kingdom of God, which must take root in their hearts and minds. If our minds are stayed upon the city in heaven and upon the assurance that Jesus Christ will return in glory, then what is happening in the world holds no great concern for us other than building the Kingdom here and now. To do this lifts us to a whole new plane of existence. We are no longer interested in mundane things such as who will win the next election or who is threatening who in a world gone mad. We know that soon and very soon all will pass away leaving only the city built on an everlasting foundation built by God (Hebrews 11:10). For now, there is great value in staying heavenly-minded. Don’t fall for the devil’s lie that says, “So heavenly minded you’re no earthly good.”
If our minds are truly set on what is above, then we will have great power to accomplish God’s will in building the Kingdom through our good works, letting our light shine, and living as transformed people in Christ. The moment we try to pridefully add our knowledge or expertise to the building project it will fail. This gives us a foretaste of how we will be working in heaven. Remember the great analogy of the apostle Paul about the workings of the church here on earth. Every part of the body is essential for building up the body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:12-31). In heaven now and in the future it’s the same. We are only one small, yet important, part of the body. This is what we must strive for now, to learn our part through the exercise of our Spiritual gifts, so that we all work together for the common good. Can you see how different this is from the fallen world run by Satan and his powers of darkness? To him, it is the one prideful person who will run the show bringing everyone into captivity to do Satan’s will. Oh, how differently things work for those living as citizens of heaven. Our rights and privileges are actualized through the glorious coming of Jesus Christ now and at the end of the age (Philippians 3:20-21).
How glorious is this coming for the true believers in Christ, it’s more glorious than most know or can even imagine. All the struggles we had in the flesh even after our transformation in Christ will vanish in the twinkling of an eye (I Corinthians 15:52) as we are raised up to meet Him in the clouds (I Thessalonians 4:17). Let’s be honest. We are not unaware of the many and constant struggles with the old sin nature to cast out evil thoughts or vain imaginations to have them immediately return under the prompting of the enemy. Yet, all this will also be eradicated in the twinkling of an eye to never bother us again. We are not unaware of all the emotional and psychological baggage from the old life that attempts to drag us back into the same old pit causing us to fearlessly fight back with the sword of the Spirit, His beautiful teachings from Holy Scripture (Ephesians 6:17). Again, all this emotional and psychological baggage will be done away with for all eternity as we are clothed with our new Spiritual bodies (I Corinthians 15:44). This is only a glimpse of what happens at Christ glorious coming. Can you see how this gave the early Christians great courage to stand firm against their persecutors? The Bible says, “For I reckon that the present sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). Yes, we are now and forevermore citizens of heaven. Let every struggle now strengthen you as you resist the old sin nature and the wiles of the devil. Furthermore, every time we resist and overcome; we will also experience that amazing closeness that’s impossible to put into words. We are citizens of heaven.
Another beautiful aspect of the glorious coming of Christ is that every sickness, every disease, and every pain will be eradicated in the twinkling of an eye as we receive our new Spiritual bodies that will serve us for eternity. This is a two-fold blessing that I want to elaborate on to give us great strength and courage for the coming days. Human nature can handle suffering much better if they are convinced that it will end shortly. Somehow, they are able to look beyond their present suffering to a time when it will be taken away completely. This has always been the hope of every true believer in Christ who is convinced of their citizenship in heaven. Moreover, as our minds are cast upon the heavenly city, we feel the wonderful, peaceful, and powerful presence of our risen Lord in the midst of our suffering. This was recounted by many who withstood victoriously the most horrific persecution of the early Christians. Some stated that they were filling up the sufferings of Christ (Colossians 1:24) as Christ stood with them during the persecution. They had cast their minds with their every thought upon their heavenly city. They were citizens of heaven. In conclusion, I pray that you all will begin today living as citizens of heaven and stop all your warmongering prompted by the enemy to choose up sides and enter into his captivity. Let me encourage you to live as citizens of heaven
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