Sep 06 8:02 AM
Joy in Our True Citizenship
Sep 06 8:02 AM
Sep 06 8:02 AM
Monday, September 6, 2021
Our world is falling apart and falling apart quite fast. There is all that's going on in Afghanistan. As I'm taping this, we just found out there were two bombs that actually killed some of our Marines and some citizens. I don't know how things are going at the time that you're watching this, but it's not just Afghanistan, it's all over the world. The world is falling apart and is falling apart fast. We're seeing wars, rumors of wars, our country is in so much debt, our world is in such a moral mess. We have rejected God, and our world is only going to get worse. In fact, I am really excited that in October, the beginning of October, we'll be starting a brand new series called "How It All Ends." And we're going to be spending seven weeks on what the Bible says will happen in the last days of planet Earth. I think you'll find that interesting, and I hope you'll join us here at Lakeshore, but to the point, what are we supposed to do? If the world is in fact falling apart (it is), and if the world is going to continue to fall apart (it will), what are we supposed to do? Just be miserable? Just hate life? Not at all.
If you are a Christian, meaning you put your faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, you have an option. That's this, to remember your ultimate citizenship. See, as a Christian, your ultimate citizenship is not as an American, I'm extremely proud to be an American. There's no other country I would rather live in and I'm extremely proud of my American citizenship. If you're from another country watching this, then you should be very proud of your nation. That is, unless it's a totally corrupt nation and you're watching this underground. But I am even more proud of the fact that as a Christian, I am a citizen of heaven. My citizenship is in heaven. That's how you cope with all that's happening in our world. If our citizenship was just in the world, the world will collapse, and it will all end. But our citizenship is in somewhere eternal. It's in heaven.
I get that from Philippians 3:19-21. For context, Paul first talks about worldliness, people all over the world living selfishly, and everything else. That's the stuff that brings us down, that's the stuff we're seeing. And then he ends with this, at the end of verse 19, "Their mind is on earthly things. But 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." See if your mind is on earthly things, and the earth is falling apart and becoming unraveled, you have no joy in that. But our joy is found in our citizenship in heaven, so even when the earth fades away and falls apart, we know it's not our final citizenship or destiny. Our final destiny is in heaven. So what does that do? It causes us to eagerly await a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. One day the Lord is going to come back. First he is going to come back to take his church, every true Christian, out of the world. Then, after seven years of hell on earth, which we'll cover in the series that I mentioned a moment ago. At the end of that seven years, he'll come back with the church to set up His kingdom on earth. Then eventually, the new heaven and new earth will follow.
Our citizenship is in heaven because a savior will come from there. Lord Jesus Christ, verse 21, "who by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly body, so that will be like Him in His glorious body." I'll cover that verse 21, in just a moment, but all I want to say is this: Paul says, if you focus on the world you're going to be depressed, you're going to be morally bankrupt. But if you're a Christian, you need to focus on heaven. One day, we'll be in heaven. One day, all the wrongs will be made right. One day, there'll be no more tears, no more pain. One day, all our sin will be taken away in the presence of the Sin-Taker-Awayer, Jesus Christ. That's why he's called our Savior. He saves us from sin.
I don't know what's got you down about this world doesn't take much five minutes of the news, we'll do it. But I'm telling you right now, your citizenship in heaven ought to remind you that Earth is not your home. You're just passing through, as the old Negro spiritual sang. So, I hope you'll be focused on citizenship in heaven, and I hope you'll know Jesus Christ because that will give you the confidence that you'll be there. Father, thanks for citizenship in heaven. We do pray "on earth as it is in heaven," but we know that's not going to be fully answered until you come back. So help us to remember when times are tough and our life is really really hard, we find joy in our citizenship in heaven one day. It's promised and you'll never take it away. Thank you, in Jesus' name, amen.