Worthy of Citizenship

Philippians 3:20 “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ”

Citizenship is generally used as a synonym for nationality. Where citizenship is used in a meaning that is different from nationality it refers to the legal rights and duties of individuals attached to nationality under domestic law.

Citizenship is gained by meeting the legal requirements of a national, state, or local government. A nation grants certain rights and privileges to its citizens. In return, citizens are expected to obey their country’s laws and defend it against its enemies.

The value of citizenship varies from nation to nation. In some countries, citizenship can mean a citizen has the right to vote, the right to hold government offices, and the right to collect unemployment insurance payments, to name a few examples.

Living in a country does not mean that a person is necessarily a citizen of that country. Citizens of one country who live in a foreign country are known as aliens. Their rights and duties are determined by political treaties and by the laws of the country in which they stay. In the United States, aliens must obey the laws and pay taxes, just as U.S. citizens do. 

Much like a citizen of one country living in another country, christians are aliens in this world.

A christians citizenship is in Heaven.

For someone who desires to become a citizen of another country, they must abide by the standards of that country.

To apply for naturalization to become a U.S. citizen, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age at the time you file the application;
  • Have been a lawful permanent resident for the past three or five years (depending on which naturalization category you are applying under);
  • Have continuous residence and physical presence in the United States;
  • Be able to read, write, and speak basic English;
  • Demonstrate good moral character;
  • Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government;
  • Demonstrate a loyalty to the principles of the U.S. Constitution; and
  • Be willing to take the Oath of Allegiance.

To become a citizen of Heaven, there are requirements as well.

Ephesians 2:19 “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God”

Worldly Citizenship

Everyone born of men on this earth are citizens of this world—This isn’t a good thing.

1 John 2:15-17 “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not from the Father but from the world. The world is passing away, along with its desires; but whoever does the will of God remains forever.”

This world has an expiration date and it is coming quickly.

My wife is very particular about expiration dates, if we have a carton of milk in the refrigerator, she’s ready to throw it out if it exceeds the expiration date. I on the other hand am not particular about expiration dates, I figure if it smells good and tastes good, it must be alright. I’ve paid the price for pushing these expiration dates, such as the time as a teenager drinking from the milk jug only to find clumps of spoiled milk plopping into my mouth…I couldn’t spit it out fast enough.

Much like a carton of milk that is going bad, this world is spoiling every day. The Father will not keep this spoiled world for long, He will take out of it what is not spoiled and send the rest into the fire.

1 John 5:19 “We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”

Satan contaminated this ruined world by leading Adam into sin. For all who live in this world, traces of this contaminant can be found everywhere. Since every person has sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, everyone has been separated from God. God’s Kingdom is one of righteousness and purity, His people must not be defiled by sin nor can they share dual citizenships with Heaven and Earth.

Revelation 3:15-16 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”

If someone wants to become a citizen of Heaven, the must decide to forsake their position in the world.

Heavenly Citizenship

To become a citizen of Heaven, the requirements are quite stringent.

Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

What is the will of the Father?

  • Repent and Believe

Mark 1:15 “And saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

Repentance is the act of turning away. Heavenly citizens have turned their backs on this world of sin, the philosophies of this world, and the ambitions of self exaltation. Sin is to offend God’s commandments, if the desire is to follow Christ then the desire would be to become obedient to His commandments. Belief is reflected in this obedience.

  • Humility

Mark 10:15 “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

Those who humble themselves before God, recognize His greater authority over their lives. It is by this recognition where the fear of the Lord derives. If there is any aspect of life that exalts itself over the commandments of God, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sin.

  • Jesus Christ

John 6:51 “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”

Without accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior over your life, it is impossible to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus must become the absolute authority over your life. Jesus is the only One who can redeem people from this world of sin and death, He therefore is the focal point for all of christendom. Once a person recognizes Jesus as God, they must believe that He paid the redemption price for their life. Submitting to Jesus authority is to look to Him for guidance and strength. Jesus has established the very rules for the Kingdom of Heaven and He became the means by which people can enter into God’s Holy presence. Since Jesus came down from Heaven to save, we can now ascend with Him into glory.

John 3:13 “No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.”

Requirements for Heaven

  • When God calls, step forward. To all whom are called, they may partake of God’s Kingdom. Romans 8:30 “And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
  • You must believe in the King. It strikes me odd how people will enter our country and then fight against it’s system and rulers. Those who desire to be part of God’s Kingdom must believe in Christ and His commandments. John 6:40 “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
  • You must confess. Like taking the oath, those who confess their sins declare their past unfaithfulness while declaring allegiance to God’s righteousness. Romans 10:9 “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
  • You must receive the Seal. Like those who become naturalized citizens and receive their citizenship, the citizens of Heaven also are sealed by God. Ephesians 1:13 “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit”

The incredible gift of citizenship in a Kingdom ruled by the King of kings was made possible through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. There is nothing we can do to earn our citizenship in Heaven, these attributes are reflected in God’s true people through grace. This isn’t an honor to be taken lightly for God’s Kingdom is an eternal Kingdom that will have no end. The reward God gives to His people will be beyond anything we can imagine here on earth.

For those who continue to defile God’s name, like unworthy citizens, they’re naturalization process was never completed.

Hebrews 10:26 “For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins”

I encourage you, if you hear His call…come running to Him, fall at His feet in humility, and confess your sins before Him. Then honor the Lord in His Kingdom and in how you live your life. When the world sees God’s people, they should see Jesus in them.

There is no greater call, there is no greater King or Kingdom, come, be part of it today.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s