What I am about to say is un-American, un-patriotic, unlike many right-wing republicans, and definitely un-Tea Party. I am not sorry for what I am about to say. I believe my words to be truth, founded upon scripture. They are thoughts that our hymnology (is that a word?) proclaims. These thoughts come from many before me, but somehow are missing from the spoken doctrine of current mainstream western Christianity – especially among conservatives, fundamentalists, and evangelicals. I begin with a statement from the preacher and apostle Paul, who was by natural birth a free citizen of Rome (cf. Acts 22:28), “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,” (Php 3:20).
Paul said it first and I only echo him, I am first and foremost a citizen of heaven. As Albert E. Brumley wrote, “
“This world is not my home I’m just passing through
my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
the angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door
and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore
O Lord you know I have no friend like you
if Heaven’s not my home then Lord what will I do?
the angels beckon me from Heaven’s open
and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.”
Do not misunderstand, I do care about the country of my earthly residence, but my main concern is the place I call home. John MacArthur writes concerning the church, “Put simply, the cooperate gathering of believers is an assembly of heaven’s citizens . . . united in purpose and in loving loyalty to their Master and King” (Slave: The Hidden Truth About Your Identity in Christ – Kindle Edition, location 2931 of 3491). This means that my top concerns as Heaven’s pilgrim sojourning on earth (1 Pet 2:11) are the interests and affairs of my true King and Country. This means my focus is on bringing people into His Kingdom and teaching them to live as ambassadors for His glory.
What does citizenship in heaven imply concerning our temporary dwelling in the world?