“If you are a Christian, you are not a citizen of this world trying to get to heaven; you are a citizen of heaven making your way through this world” (Vance Havner). The biggest challenge for the Christian is to realize the world about him is not his home but his home is the world about to come. “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself” (Philippians 3:20-21).
We are citizens of Heaven! Our passport does not read “Earth.” Traveling in a foreign country one is always aware they are not of the land. They do not speak the same language, follow the same culture, and look forward to the day when they can return home. The Christian is a heaven national with all ties to the King of Kings. We serve His law and live by His decrees. Heaven bound people do not speak the language of this world nor follow the culture of Satan’s realm. As children of God we are foreigners in the land of this earth.
We are longing citizens. Our life is on the earth by virtue of time but we look to the day when time will be no more and we are able to go home. As we look at the world around us we desire to be clothed with a greater glory. Only the people of God can see the realities of mortality – it is but a fleeting moment. The earth “is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17). Longing for Christ to return helps us see through the eye of faith that only those who abide in God will live forever. Our eagerness comes from taking our eyes off worthless things and seeking the things that are above where Christ is (Colossians 3:1).
We are transformed citizens. When we obeyed the gospel we changed our lives to conform to the image of the Son of God (Colossians 3:10). In death we will be transformed into the eternal image of God (1 John 3:1-3). Citizens of Heaven will leave the portal of time and change into the glory of infinite glory as the saved. Transformation there requires transformation here. Without transformation here there can be no transformation there. We are people of God fighting the good fight of faith receiving the crown of life in victory. The good news is the war has been won (Revelation 20:10-21:4). Lord, come quickly.