OK, you’ve got faith. You’ve placed it in the Lord Jesus Christ. You know that your faith — and your future — are secure. Take it one step further.
When does your future begin?
As far as salvation is concerned, your future began when you placed your faith in Jesus Christ. And there’s more to being a Christian than being saved from sin. 2 Corinthians 5:17 makes this clear: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. You’ve been changed. You’re living a new life.
What does it mean to be a citizen of a country?
What are the benefits and advantages of citizenship?
Ephesians 2:19-20 says: Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone.
And again: For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:20).
As a Christian, you are a citizen of heaven. Notice that it doesn’t say, “our citizenship will be in heaven.” It says, “our citizenship is in heaven.”
What benefits are there to being a citizen of heaven? Here are a few of them.
No condemnation for you — There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2).
Nothing can separate you from the love of God — For I am persuaded [there’s that word again] that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).
You are sealed with the Holy Spirit — In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:13).
You have access to the fullness of God — To know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:19).
Can you think of any others?
There are other benefits that you haven’t realized yet. They won’t kick in until you are in heaven with Jesus Christ. What are some of these?
Has it occurred to you what your citizenship in heaven means? You’re living on earth. You’re living in a foreign country. Everything around you (except for the body of believers) is alien.
So why are you here? As a citizen of heaven, you are an ambassador for your homeland. The apostle Paul understood this (2 Corinthians 5:20; Ephesians 6:19-20). He knew that the things that happened on this earth meant nothing compared to the glory he would experience after he journeyed to his homeland (Romans 8:18).
What is the most exotic place that you can think of on this earth? Imagine that you are visiting that land. Is it likely that you would forget you were a foreigner? Would you fail to notice that the culture and customs were different?
And so it should be for you now. You should constantly be aware that you are a citizen of heaven living temporarily in a foreign land called earth. How does this view change your approach to life?