One of the often overlooked truths in Scripture is our citizenship. If you happen to own a passport, that document may allow you to travel to other countries, while identifying the country in which you have citizenship. When I travel to Australia, I am physically in Australia, yet that does not make me Australian – my passport identifies me as a Citizen of the United States.
Australia, as an example , may allow a citizen of another country to come and conduct business there for up to six months. Let’s say I was to stay in Australia for one week on business. Would it make sense for me to join their Chamber of Commerce, plan my retirement there, paint the walls of my hotel room and plant seeds of fruit trees? Not all. Why? Obviously, I will not be there long-term- just a week!
If you were to realize that you are actually a passport-carrying citizen of Heaven, would you view this temporal world differently? Would you long for real home? Philippians 3:20 tells us, “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:” Conversation means: community, citizenship.
God’s Word reminds us over and over that our lives here on this soil are just vapors, yet we push back that thought, loving this present world.
Think for a moment of all the time, resources and energy we pour into building our castles here in our temporary dwelling (a mere vapor) , and neglect the preparation for our permanent home. Since we are going to enjoy ETERNITY in Heaven, wouldn’t it be wise to investment our time, resources and energy for our life there?
As I approached a ten day international trip this week, I realize that I invested a considerable amount of thought, time and energy to assure that I have packed necessities and considered possible contingencies . Passport? Check. Boarding passes? Check. Do I have my affairs in order, Life Insurance, Powers of Attorney, Banking information? Check. What will the weather be like? Do I need sunscreen? or an umbrella!
For the 20+ hours of flight, do I have the items I need for comfort, study or sleep? You see? We know it makes sense to prepare for a journey during this lifetime, would it not make even more sense to prepare for our forever journey?
And how do we as Christians prepare for eternal home? God’s Word speaks often of this matter:
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
If we are seeking those things that above, seeking first the kingdom, and setting our affections on the things above – where our citizenship is; we are more excited to commit our works and our treasures to further the kingdom.
Knowing now that at the judgement of seat of Christ we will all give an account for everything we have done in this life, whether it be good or bad (2 Cor. 5:10), we should be motivated to live for eternity and not for this world which will pass away.
I believe negative motivation is effective as well. All we build up and accumulate for this present life will ultimately burn, and we will lose it. But everything we do to build on the foundation of Christ, every dollar we give, every act of love in Christ’s name, will last for eternity!
1 Corinthians 3:12-15
Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Knowing our true citizenship makes a huge difference – an eternal difference!