Aliens in This World – Citizens of Heaven

even-smaller-bug-light1

26 But the other woman, Sarah, represents the heavenly Jerusalem. She is the free woman, and she is our mother. – Gal. 4:26 NLT

As we have seen in the earlier verses, the Jewish leaders have been trying to convince the new converts to return to the old Jewish traditions. Paul is making the point here that they need to consider the hardships and severity of the law before they turn back to it. He is using the birth of Issac and Ishmael to demonstrate the difference in natural and spiritual things. Those that return to worldly things (the natural Jerusalem) are still in slavery to those things. But since Issac was born to fulfill a divine promise, there is now a choice that we can make. We can follow the fleshly lineage and remain slaves or we can follow the divine lineage, accept Jesus and become citizens of the Jerusalem which is above.
20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ​, 21 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.–Phil. 3:20 (NIV)
But one day, the New Jerusalem will come down to earth and all those that have chosen the divine lineage (Jesus) will be citizens of the New Jerusalem.
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband—Rev.21:2 (NIV)

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 01-11-2018

Honor the Family Name

even-smaller-bug-light112 Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world. – 1 Peter 2:12 NLT


Before we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we were just one in a mass of people. Now that we have accepted Him and because of God’s great mercy, we have been adopted into a family, the family of God. We now bear the name of Christ and our conduct should reflect our new identity. Just as a newborn baby is automatically a citizen of the country into which they are born, so are we citizens of heaven the very moment we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. The baby has all the rights and privileges afforded by that citizenship even though he/she is unable to take advantage of them at that moment. The same is true of a newborn babe in Christ Jesus. We have all the rights and privileges afforded the citizens of heaven. We are “citizens with the saints” .

19 So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family.–Eph. 2:19 (NLT)

There is no waiting! We have all the rights of a citizen of heaven now! We need to walk carefully and be alert at all times because we do not want to embarrass our new family. We must be careful of the things we do and say so that outsiders will have no reason to speak negatively about our Lord and Savior. Our honorable behavior brings glory to God and his body, the Church.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 06-20-2017

At the Appointed Time

even-smaller-bug-light1

11 It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise. — Hebrews 11:11 NLT

God had promised Abraham that he would become the father of many nations, yet, he and Sara did not have a child. They were well past child-bearing age when God delivered on His promise to Abraham. Though, from a human standpoint, it was impossible, it was not hard for God to fulfill His promise. After all, when He speaks, the sound of His voice creates whatever He says. He spoke the universe into existence. So, bringing forth a child from an elderly couple would not be difficult for Him. This promise was passed down from generation to generation. Many of them died before the promise was realized, but they died knowing that God is faithful and He would fulfill every promise. They pressed on in obedience to God and arrived at a heavenly country where they will spend an eternity with God because they were faithful.

 20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. ​ — Phil. 3:20 NLT​


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 05-08-2017

Of the Highest Rank

even-smaller-bug-light1

 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” — 2 Cor. 5:20 NLT

What is an ambassador?  Dictionary.com defines ambassador as a diplomatic official of the highest rank, sent by one sovereign or state to another as its resident representative’.   Using that definition, we are citizens of heaven placed here on earth to represent Heaven and our King, Jesus Christ.  If we represent someone, we should strive to imitate that person and to show those around us what that person is like.  We also represent the country we are from and we want to paint a beautiful word picture of what life is like in our home country.  We certainly want to issue everyone an invitation to come and be with us in our country.  There are four words in this definition that caught my eye.  Those four words are “of the highest rank”.  That doesn’t leave much wiggle room for us to say that we can’t or that we don’t have the authority to do this or that.  What we are is what they will think our leader and our country is like.  Does our lifestyle make people want to know more about Jesus and an eternity in heaven or does it leave them thinking something else?

Post 09-12-2016

 

 

Amen!

even-smaller-bug-light130 Jesus said, “How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story should I use to illustrate it? 31 It is like a mustard seed planted in the ground. It is the smallest of all seeds, 32 but it becomes the largest of all garden plants; it grows long branches, and birds can make nests in its shade.” — Mark 4:30-32 NLT

Earlier in this chapter, Jesus had told His disciples that they were permitted to understand the secret of the Kingdom of God.  He also stated that there would be some who would hear and refuse to believe (outsiders) and they would not be able to understand His teachings in the parables that He used (Mark 4:11,12).  So, if the disciples were permitted to understand the Kingdom of God, then so can we understand it.  Jesus told Nicodemus to enter the Kingdom that it was necessary for him to be born again.  So, we become a part of the Kingdom of God when we receive Christ as our Savior.  In doing so, we become eligible for all the benefits of that Kingdom here and now, not just in the future.  As the birds nest in the shade of the mustard tree, so we live under the umbrella of God’s protection now.  Right now, it is a spiritual Kingdom inside of us.  When Jesus comes back, He will establish a Kingdom here on earth that will encompass all of His creation and creatures except those that refuse to hear and believe (Daniel 2:44, Rev.11:15).  We are preparing to live in that Kingdom in our present life and one day that process will be completed when we are changed into immortal beings (1 Cor 15:50-53).  Jesus taught us to pray “may Your will be done on earth even as it is in heaven”.   So, while we are preparing for eternity, we live with the assurance that the hope that we have will one day be fulfilled. And it will be so — His will “will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.  That is why we end our prayers with “Amen” which means “let it be so”.   Partially now and completely in the future.
Post 02-20-2016

Glory to God in the Highest

even-smaller-bug-light111 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. — 1 Peter 2:11,12 NIV

​As sons, daughters and heirs of God, we should act accordingly.  Jesus gave up all of His glory in heaven, came to earth and lived as a human and an exile here. He did this so that He might become the first born of the new covenant and the head of the church.
 

18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. — Col. 1:18-20 NIV

As the first born, He is our example to follow.  He lived a sinless life.  We, as humans, cannot obtain perfection as long as we live in these fleshly tents.  We are in a daily battle to overcome our fleshly desires. It should be our hearts’ desire to get as close to that goal as we can.  Not only are we foreigners and exiles, but we are amassadors of God and our home country, heaven. Our thoughts, words and actions should reflect the character of the leaders of that country.  If we strive to do that on a daily basis, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, God will be glorified.  When we do this with humility and love, it will cause others to want what we have.  As souls are added to the Kingdom, God will receive more and more glory.  When a soul is saved, it is as if God has visited us because there is a little more of heaven on earth.
Post 12-15-2015

Citizens Now, Glorious Citizens Later

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

21 Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. 23 His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise. 24 These things are being taken figuratively: The women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother.—Gal. 4:21-26 (NIV)
​As we have seen in the earlier verses, the Jewish leaders have been trying to convince the new converts to return to the old Jewish traditions. Paul is making the point here that they need to consider the hardships and severity of the law before they turn back to it. He is using the birth of Issac and Ishmael to demonstrate the difference in natural and spiritual things. Those that return to worldly things (the natural Jerusalem) are still in slavery to those things. But since Issac was born to fulfill a divine promise, there is now a choice that we can make. We can follow the fleshly lineage and remain slaves or we can follow the divine lineage, accept Jesus and become citizens of the Jerusalem which is above.
20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ​, 21 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.–Phil. 3:20 (NIV)
But one day, the New Jerusalem will come down to earth and all those that have chosen the divine lineage (Jesus) will be citizens of the New Jerusalem.
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband—Rev.21:2 (NIV)
Post 04-08-2015