LIVING FOR HEAVEN - 1/16/2022
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LIVING FOR HEAVEN – 1/16/2022

  1. WHAT DOES IT MEAN THAT OUR CITIZENSHIP IS IN HEAVEN?

John 17:13-19 NLT                                                                                      13 “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. 14 I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. 16 They do not belong to this world any more than I do. 17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. 19 And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.

Philippians 3:20 says:

“But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives.”

  • When you accepted Jesus into your life, you were automatically issued a passport from heaven.

Ephesians 1:13 says:

“When you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit”

  • Imagine that your heavenly passport has been officially sealed and stamped by Christwith the promise of the Holy Spirit, certifying where your true identity and true citizenship lies.

Your citizenship, and your identity, has been moved. You are no longer a citizen of this world; you are a citizen of heaven.

  • So, exactly what does it mean for us to have a heavenly citizenship, and for our citizenship to be in heaven?
  1. WHY IS THIS CITIZENSHIP SO IMPORTANT

The reason why citizenship is important is because the country in which you have citizenship is one of the most significant things about you.

  • The reason for this is because your citizenshipplays a major role in forming your identity.

Everything from your culture, your worldview, to your value system are all shaped based on the country in which you are a citizen.

When you go abroad……..

You see just how much your identity is rooted in the fact that you are US citizen

Whenever I ran into a fellow American abroad, you would become instant best friends and talk nonstop as if we’d known each other for years. But the truth is, that you only just met.

  • But because you are both strangers traveling through a foreign country, you are instantly bonding because you have an immediate understanding of each other through your identity as American citizens.

You have a common background of culture, customs, and worldviews, which needs no explanation; it was something you just knew because your identity is rooted in the same country of residence.

  • It’s the same way for our heavenly citizenship.

Instead of our identity being defined by the color of our passport, now our identity is defined by who we are in Jesus.

  • For those of you who have put your faith in Jesus Christ, your nationality does not define you, Jesus does.

When you run into a fellow Christian, it’s like you’ve immediately found some sort of common ground with that person.

  • You’ve found another citizen of heaven.

You’ve found someone who understands why you believe the way you believe, and why you live the way you live.

It’s a connection that transcends culture, political views, race, or even country. It’s a connection of being a brother or sister in Christ the Family of God

This connection is stronger than any other.

It’s a shared eternal allegiance. But instead of it being to a flag, state, or country, it’s to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

  1. WHAT IS THE BENEFIT OF HAVING OUR CITIZENSHIP IN HEAVEN?

So, let’s see what our citizenship in heaven means.

To begin, we’re first going to define what a citizen is:

citizen is a person who legally belongs to a country and has the rights and protection of that country.

You see, citizenship is a two-fold agreement.

For citizenship to any country there are:

  1. Rules and lawsof the country that you must follow (and in return you are given)

 

  1. Irrevocable rightsand a certain level of protection (e.g. PSALM 91)

For example, if you are a citizen of the United States, there are certain rules and laws of the country that you must follow. At the same time there are irrevocable rights and a certain level of protection that you are given simply because the US is where your citizenship lies.

 

So, How Does This Apply To Our Heavenly Citizenship?

The Bible tells us that as believers in Jesus Christ, we are now citizens of heaven.

 

“But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives.”

Philippians 3:20 (NLT)

Even though every human being has been born into this world, all believers have been reborn or born again spiritually into the Kingdom of Heaven.

 

In John 3:3 (NLT)

“Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

 

This means that as a citizen of heaven we now follow a different set of rules and laws. We are called to live our life in accordance to the laws of heaven, which is where our true citizenship lies, and not according to the world we live in.

 

 

In Romans 12:2 Paul tells us that in order to live out our heavenly citizenship, we are to not conform to the pattern of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.

 

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Romans 12:2 (NIV)

 

 

We do this by thinking about heavenly things instead of the things of this world.

 

We are to set our minds on things above and not on earthly things.

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
Colossians 3:2 (NIV)

 

 

When we set our minds on the things of God, it is then that the Holy Spirit transforms our heart so that it is patterned after God, and not after the world.

 

 

All of a sudden, you’ll find that what’s important to God will become important to you.

 

 

Instead of chasing after worldly things like money, power, success, or popularity, the Holy Spirit will transform your heart so it chases after the things of God.

 

 

So, even though we are not in heaven yet, we are called to behave like citizens of heaven even though we are still living on earth.

 

 

This means that everything about the way we are called to live our life will feel like it’s in opposition to the way the world lives. That’s why it is such a blessing that we have the Holy Spirit helping us to live a life that reflects the heart of God.

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