You are a citizen of Heaven – did you know that? Paul wrote that in Philippians 3. What does that mean about my situation? Paul’s listeners in Philippi would have instantly connected that idea to being a citizen of Rome because having Roman citizenship was so important. Philippi was a colony. Roman citizens there were agents and emissaries of Roman culture, law, language, customs, and power. Roman citizens living in Philippi weren’t interested in leaving Philippi and going to Rome if things got dicey. They could call on the emperor to send in backup.
John’s gospel, which is our focus this season, explains that Jesus has already started his kingdom on Earth. You are a citizen of that kingdom. That makes you an agent and emissary of the Kingdom of Heaven’s culture, law, language, customs, power, and all of it. Citizens living on planet Earth aren’t interested in leaving Earth just so they can go to Heaven. God will bring Heaven down to Earth in the end times. That’s a process that’s already started. Jesus inaugurated it. He rose again as the first member of that blended new creation of Heaven and Earth. We will follow him.
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.Philippians 3:20
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