LOOKIN' FOR A SAVIOR
"Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body."
It is very hard for me to think of myself as something other than an American. There are many nations for which I have great admiration and respect, but I love the United States. There are many who have given their lives in defense of this country and, if necessary, I would do the same. But you know what? If America ceased to exist and I survived, I couldn’t be an American, but I would still be a Christian. Nations are transient. Kingdoms rise and fall. Empires come and go. But our relationship to Jesus does not - will not - change. And so Paul writes: "Our citizenship is in heaven." The truth is if you are born again, if your life is hidden in Christ, if Jesus is your prophet, priest and King, then you should think of yourself first and foremost as a citizen of His Messianic kingdom. We who belong to Him need to understand that we live and work in the kingdom of this world on a temporary visa. We are like ambassadors living in a foreign land, while we serve according to the will and purpose of the King of our own.
"Our citizenship is in heaven" is a powerful statement. It says that our whole purpose is wrapped up in what is “heavenly.” It is toward a heavenly goal that we press. It is the eternal that we seek. In the verses right before the one quoted at the top of the page Paul writes: "...Many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things." Look at the characteristics of those who do not serve Christ:
1. They are destined for destruction
2. They live for pleasure
3. They take pride in things that ought to make them ashamed
And why do they have these values? Look at the last sentence . . . "Their mind is on earthly things."
Friends, our minds must not be in the grip of earthly things. We must not be like those who look to the world for their answers. We must be different from those who seek security in the things of the world. They ground their hope upon earthly power. In times of turbulence they look to the world for help and salvation. But the world has no real Savior to offer. No candidate, no potentate. You see, the leader the world needs isn’t part of the world's system. The leader the world needs is a heavenly King. And it is for Him that the church eagerly waits. In Titus 2 Paul writes about the faithful church waiting "for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ." The writer of Hebrews writes: "Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him."
Friends, we live in the world but we aren't of the world. We are here to serve Christ fully, faithfully and fruitfully for a season; but our home is not in this kingdom. "Our citizenship is in heaven" and it is there that our hope is grounded, it is from there that our salvation comes. Put your trust in God! Wait patiently but with anticipation, because the King IS coming!
--- Pastor Keith Andrews