Friends, we are different when we become Christians. God in His mercy and love has given us such great benefits that we need to learn what they are so we can appreciate what we got. Sometimes, it is as if we’ve been given a gift that we’ve never opened to see what is inside.
When a person becomes a believer they also become a citizen of heaven. What a privilege this is!
Php 3:20(a) NASB “For our citizenship is in heaven,…”
The Greek word, “politeuma”, means citizenship; “is” in the Greek means, “has it’s existence.” So, we can see that our citizenship is right now in heaven. We are God’s children!
Isn’t it a huge thought to ponder the fact that our true (spiritual) citizenship is in heaven? Here we are on this little earth. We did not ask to be born. Have you ever wondered why you were born? Or why you were born in a certain country and to a certain family? I have. I’ve never figured out the answer to that except that I know God is sovereign and it was in His sovereignty that I was born who I am and where I am. I was born a citizen of the United States of America. And, I’m happy with that. But, I’m also a citizen of heaven! That is amazing!
My life could have gone on, and I could have died and only been a citizen of the USA. Then, I would have been buried in the grave and that would have been the end of anything good that had happened up to that point. Then, in the future I’d go before the Lord and be judged for my unbelief and would have been sentenced to live eternity apart from God in a place called Hell. That would have been a horrible existence. I’m so grateful that the Lord allowed me another way, even though I am a sinner, saved by grace, and don’t deserve it.
But, now that I’ve been born again by the Holy Spirit of God and am adopted into His family, God has made me a citizen of heaven. Praise the Lord! This is wonderful news! My future is glorious. I will be living in the New Jerusalem and serving along with Jesus Christ for eternity. That boggles my mind! You can read about the New Jerusalem in Revelation Chapter 21. I love that section. It shows us what our new home will be like. It’s very exciting and gives us something else to look forward to.
Php 3:20(b) NASB “… from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;”
Heb 9:28 LITV so Christ having been once offered “to bear the sins of many,” Christ shall appear a second time without sin to those expecting Him for salvation. Isa. 53:12
It gets even better. Christ is coming again for us.
Php 3:21 NASB who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.
Mat 17:2 NASB And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.
When Christ comes for His own at the Rapture, we will be caught up to meet Him in the air and our bodies will be transformed into a glorious body like His. (If we are still alive at that time, otherwise, we will rise out of the graves and meet Him in the air.)
As for me, I’m really looking forward to that day when I get rid of this old worn out body that has given me so much trouble through the years, and I’ll put on a body of glory, perfect in every sense, without sin, and beautiful beyond belief. No more sin, dieting, exercise groups, aches, pains, surgeries, diseases, blindness, panic attacks, anxiety, agoraphobia, or any of the other things that haunt us today.
Yes, it is true right now we still live in this fallen world. But, God has told us we should set our affections on things above. We should be consumed with thoughts about God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Word. We want to think about what it’s going to be like there and how we will praise God and worship Him. We want to live our lives in a way that is honoring to Him.
Col 3:1-4 NASB Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (2) Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. (3) For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (4) When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
What a marvelous promise this is!
Can you see what a difference there is in us from unbelievers? Can you see why it is sometimes hard for us as we travel this world? Can you see how others do not understand us? We ARE different! We have been born from above by God’s grace and mercy, and we are very different then we were.
In light of that fact, ask yourself this question: How have I changed in my own life since I became a Christian? There must be a transformation because when we are truly saved we are changed on the inside. We will still be tempted to do things that are not honoring to God, but He has given us the strength and courage to resist and turn from those things. We may stumble once in a while, but we are not seeking perfection, but the right direction toward being more like Christ.
Sometimes even for true believers the pressure from the world around us draws us to it. There are times when we are in the certain company and we are uncomfortable because the Holy Spirit who lives in us pricks our conscience. We don’t always recognize that as the reason for being uncomfortable. There are places we shouldn’t go anymore. There are friends that are not good for us anymore. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you.
Because we are different, and because we have been chosen by God, we need to stand up for God as a citizen of heaven and be a witness of the goodness He has bestowed on us.
Psa 73:24-26 NASB With Your counsel You will guide me, And afterward receive me to glory. (25) Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. (26) My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.