Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ – Philippians 3:17-20 ESV
We are CALLED to be in the world, but NOT of this world! Just like we have many people who come to visit America, but hold a passport from another country. They are IN America, but of a different country! They are NOT “OF AMERICA’, they are IN America. This is precisely what is meant by John 17:16 when Jesus said, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. And He also made it clear in the LORDS PRAYER; I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. (John 17:14) In other words, if your citizenship is TRULY in heaven, then you will have TRIBULATIONS, TRIALS and the WORLD will not like people of HEAVEN! You are either a citizen of heaven or part of the WORLD SYSTEM. You will know by how easy your life is and how well you fit in with the WORLD!
Leader, we need to ask the question: How do I reflect my citizenship? If you think about most ‘foreigners’ you have met, many have a different language, different clothing and different character. As a citizen of heaven we much change our thinking! Romans 12:2 tells us to transform our thinking and to NOT conform to the PATTERN of this world, but be transformed by the RENEWING of your mind! Paul is given you a simple answer- change your view, THINK differently- REPENT! Let your understanding and pursuit of happiness, success and purpose reflect your HEAVENLY citizenship, NOT the WORLDS. The world PERVERTS things, God wants PURITY! Citizens of heaven exchange wrong traits-the worlds character traits, for the RIGHT character traits- GODS WILL! Being a citizen of heaven means continually taking off wrong thought patterns, wrong attitudes, and wrong actions and replacing them with what the BIBLE says are RIGHT attitudes, actions and patterns. JESUS gave us the PICTURE, HE is our Pattern!
Conduit, we will never reach perfection until we get to the other side- Glory, so being a citizen of heaven does NOT mean you are perfect. BUT IT DOES show up in the fact that you are pursuing perfection, to be like Jesus! No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. (Phil 3:13-15) Can people tell that you are different? Do you talk differently, think differently, respond differently and have different goals as you walk this planet? When you know WHOSE you are, then what to do is described in the WORD OF GOD, the Bible! We must remember, CHRIST purchased our citizenship in heaven, with HIS BLOOD! You were bought with a price! It is dishonoring to HIM and HIS gospel to walk, think, talk and act like children of the devil, this world- instead of children of GOD, ambassadors in chains- citizens of heaven! Honor the FATHER, through the SON, by acting ‘AS IF’ you are a citizen of Heaven, while IN this world! Amen!