For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. – Philippians 3:20
Are you a born-again believer in Christ? If so, then your citizenship is not of this world. As a Christian, you are a citizen of heaven. Though you may have been physically born in a specific country, those who are reborn of the Spirit no longer call the earth their home. Therefore, Christians are holy sojourners passing through the earthly realm waiting for the day Christ returns or God calls them home. Not only is the world not our home, it is also a hostile place for those who follow Christ. John 15:19 states, “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” For those who are in Christ, the world is a spiritual warzone full of wicked desire, deceit, division, and disdain. As we sojourn we must guard our hearts and renew our minds with the word of God to ensure that we are not conformed to this world.
Though the Lord has offered each of us a permanent residence in one of His Father’s mansions (John 14:2-3), many have neglected or rejected their heavenly inheritance in Christ and replaced it with earthly living. Brothers and sisters in Christ have even begun to conform to the world to the point in which one would have difficulty distinguishing between those of the earth and those of heaven. John 17:16 states, “They [followers of Christ] are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” Like Christ, Christians are called to be holy and set apart from those of the world. You cannot faithfully be of Christ while simultaneously being of the world. Eventually, you will have to make a choice in your life. Do you love Jesus or the world? I believe so many have sat on the fence of eternity for so long because they have not truly come to recognize the infinite worth of Christ. They continue to allow the cares of the world and the pride of life to distract them from what truly matters. They prioritize their finances over their faith. They cling to comfort rather than to Christ. Jesus reminds us in Matthew 6:19-20, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Sex, power, fame, and wealth will all fade away, but the city of God will remain forever. Thus, a Christian’s sole hope is in the promises of God, not in their materials or their circumstances.
Likewise, there are many who view their church attendance, participation in routines, activities, and programs as evidence of their heavenly citizenship. However, none of these things determine if an individual is a resident of the city of God. You become a citizen of heaven when you enter into a personal relationship with God. Nothing else. A citizen of heaven is changed and given a new heart with a love for God and a desire to obey His commandments. One cannot fully cling to Christ without loosening their grip on the world. Thus, Christ calls every one of us to forsake all else and follow Him. For those who have been flirting with the world, you must repent of your nominal living and invest in the treasures of heaven in the city of God.
On the contrary, a faithful disciple recognizes the beauty and worth of Christ. They understand that this earthly life is like a drop of water to the vast ocean that is eternal life. For those who have turned from their sins and placed their faith in Jesus Christ, they have been raised from spiritual death to eternal life – they have obtained eternity. If you are a child of God, then you are a citizen of heaven. When you leave the city of the earth, there will no longer be any pain, sorrow, or fear. 2 Corinthians 5:8 states, “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” To leave this world is to be with Christ and to be with Christ is to find yourself in the city of God. The city of God is far better than anything this world has to offer.
I pray that you would claim your eternal inheritance and recognize your heavenly citizenship.