Earth is not our home. Each and every Christian’s primary citizenship comes from heaven, and one day we will make the journey home. Until that day, we have an obligation to live as citizens of that kingdom, representing the holiness and the love of Almighty God to this world.
How do we have a life on earth that will matter when we get to heaven? Our perspective of what heaven is like, can transform what our life looks like here on earth.
Philippians 3:20 – For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, (Verse 21) who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
God wants to remind us over and over again this is not our home! He wants to remind us that the short time we are here, to treat it that way.
Colossians 1:13 – He has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, (Verse 14) in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
If you have come to faith in Jesus Christ, you are a citizen in heaven on a temporary assignment on earth. If we can understand that we live “up there” and merely “work down here,” a whole lot of things will change in our lives.
In the book of Philippians, the Apostle Paul writes to them and wants them to understand this concept: Philippians 3:12 – Not that I have already attained, or am I already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
Paul was saying that he had not “arrived” as of yet, obtaining his spiritual maturity and accomplishing his divine purpose that he was put here for. So he says in verse 12, “I press on.”
Philippians 3:14 – I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Paul wasn’t “gliding” through his Christian life, he was pushing on.
Salvation is free because the price has already been paid by the finished work of Jesus Christ. Spiritual development is not! We will never find our divine purpose or grow up to be a spiritual adult by gliding. We must press on! It must be a determined decision to prioritize our spiritual growth and experiencing God’s purpose for our life if you ever want to have a spirit-filled life!
Now look at one verse before verse 14: Philippians 3:13 – Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,…
If we ever want to get to tomorrow, we have to let yesterday go. Many Christians are crippled by yesterday. All of us have a yesterday that includes three things: the good things that we’re proud of; the accomplishments we’ve made that benefit us and others and there are some ugly things that we have in our past.
But Paul says that if he is ever going to achieve the purpose for which God created and saved me, I have to let yesterday go! Why should we all have this same attitude? Because as Christians, we are citizens of heaven and not a slave of earth!
The Apostle Paul had some very good things that he was proud of. However, he also had some things that he was ashamed of in his past. He used to kill Christians for a living! If Paul had never let what he used to do go, he would have never become the great apostle! Paul had to overcome yesterday through his pursuit of Jesus Christ today!
We need to learn not to let the devil do a “play action” on us. He wants us to think that we are chained to our past. Satan tells us we can’t overcome yesterday, yesterday owns us. This is a lie! If the devil can get Christians to act on this enough, they will miss out on God’s purpose for their life. He tries to make us think that we are defined by our yesterday.
If you are still breathing then God’s not finished with you yet. That’s why Paul wants us to know that we are not citizens of time, we’re citizens of eternity. We have to renew our minds to this concept. If we can see how tiny our time here is to how long eternity is, it will change what we prioritize.
God wants us to have the proper view of eternity so that we maximize our time. Our view of eternity effects time. Our view of time affects eternity. He wants us to view ourselves as visitors of earth.
The generation of Israelites in the wilderness never got to the Promised Land because they kept looking back and grieving for what they didn’t have. They had lost sight of where God wanted to take them. We have to press on to where God wants to take us to spiritual maturity and divine purpose. We have an enemy that doesn’t want us to experience what God has for us.
But how do we do this when we have our yesterdays pressing in on us? Philippians 3:15 – Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.
In other words: If we don’t understand this, God will help us. If we don’t get that the “eternal” must be placed above the temporal, God will show us this.
Philippians 3:17 – Brethren, join in following my example and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. (Verse 18) For many walk, of who I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ; (Verse 19) whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame – who set their mind on earthly things.
Paul is warning Christians to watch out who they are hanging out with. How can one Christians try to grow in spiritual maturity, but the Christians they hang out with are carnal? Paul tells us to follow his example and “walk this way.”
As Christians, we are to have friends that think on a spiritual level, not the friends that “mind earthly things.” Those that are only concerned with “worldly” things don’t see spiritual things the way God wants His children to. Heaven is not their focus. God calls those like that, “enemies of the cross.”
It is amazing to me when Christians are offended when spiritual Christians give them spiritual perspectives. They don’t want to hear it. I had family members like that. Call themselves Christians, but yet didn’t want to hear the true meaning of how they were actually living. Offended! Unless it is God’s point of view, there will be no assistance from Him even if you pray about it.
Philippians 3:20 – For our citizenship is in heaven from which I also eagerly wait for the Savior the Lord Jesus Christ,…
Jesus can return at any moment so we are to live as if His return is today! Whether we go to Him first or He returns here, Paul tells us to be ready. We should be living each day in that reality because His return could be any second.