Citizenship: the character of an individual viewed as a member of society.
Do you look forward to heaven? Do you ever catch yourself thinking about when you get your citizenship papers? I do. I often daydream of heaven. My heart of grief often compels me to more hopeful thoughts of when I get to cross over. I look forward do leaving my sorrow behind. I look forward to being a citizen of heaven.
Look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth, and no one will even think about the old ones anymore. Be glad; rejoice forever in my creation! And look! I will create Jerusalem as a place of happiness. Her people will be a source of joy. Is. 65:17-18
But did you know that if you are in Christ, you already are? We don’t have to wait for the privileges that come with the citizenship. They are ours now.
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ… Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan… For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus…Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ…You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord (From Eph. 1 & 2).
These few verses make some monumental statements.
- We are blessed with every spiritual blessing
- We have received an inheritance from God
- We have been raised from the dead.
- We have been seated in heavenly realms.
- We have been brought near to God.
- We are citizens.
I wonder if we live like we believe that. I wonder if I live like I believe that. I wonder if I live in a way that broadcasts where my claim is staked. I wonder if I look like a citizen of heaven.
Or I wonder if those of us who claim faith in Christ live more like citizen of earth. Do we live as if this is what it’s all about? Are we:
- Career driven
- Obsessed with politics
- Dominated by worry
- Fixated on future plans
- Preoccupied with our need to control
- Convinced death is the end
As my son’s earthly birthday approaches, I have to remind myself every day that his earthly birthday isn’t what it’s really all about. My heart may be longing for him. My arms may be hurting to hold him. But my thoughts cannot stay locked on earth. My hope must go to my real home. My faith must anchor in the truth that I am a citizen of another country. I am a citizen of heaven.