Summary: This sermon reminds the believer that we are not citizens of this world, but citizens of a home being prepared by Christ.
Subject: Declaring Your Citizenship
Text: Acts 22:22-30 (NKJV)
22 And they listened to him until this word, and then they raised their voices and said, "Away with such a fellow from the earth, for he is not fit to live!"
23Then, as they cried out and tore off their clothes and threw dust into the air,
24the commander ordered him to be brought into the barracks, and said that he should be examined under scourging, so that he might know why they shouted so against him.
25And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who stood by, "Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and uncondemned?"
26When the centurion heard that, he went and told the commander, saying, "Take care what you do, for this man is a Roman."
27Then the commander came and said to him, "Tell me, are you a Roman?" He said, "Yes."
28The commander answered, "With a large sum I obtained this citizenship." And Paul said, "But I was born a citizen."
29Then immediately those who were about to examine him withdrew from him; and the commander was also afraid after he found out that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.
As we are faced with this fifth and final Sunday in the month of June, God has provided a powerful Word from heaven in that relates to the subject of citizenship. In that Word, I thought it would be robbery if I didn’t mention how this subject correlates to a couple of special events that are specific to, and occur annually in, the month of June.
One of these June events is Flag Day. This used to be a very celebrated day of the year. This was a day where Americans were encouraged to fly and to honor the flag which was formulated from a simple design created by Betsy Ross and adopted to represent a nation. On this day, we are encouraged to hold our nation’s flag in the highest of esteem. We are led to fly the flag from our homes and/or our cars, from our businesses, from our local, state, and federal government buildings showing not only the support for our country, but also the deep love we have for our citizenship in these United States of America. Have I got a witness?
Inasmuch as all of us are citizens, I can almost guarantee that at least 95% of our homes have a flag in it somewhere. It may not be on display or in the most visible area of our home. It may not be hanging on special holidays for all to see. But the bottom line is that most of us own at least one flag, whether it’s a little teeny weenie hand-held flag; a triangularly folded flag given by one of the military branches of service for a deceased loved one who has served this country; or a flag requiring a flagpole for public display. As a matter of fact, the new thing is to have a sticker of the flag that we can proudly display on our automobiles all year long. Am I right about it?
And even if we forget to fly our flag on Flag Day, most of us are quick to pull out our flags on the Fourth of July when we celebrate Independence Day in these United States. On that day most of us can remember the words of Francis Scott Key saying:
“Oh, say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
Can I get a witness up in here? We know our flag. We honor our flag. We respect our flag because we are citizens whose ideologies and beliefs, as varied and diverse as they may be, are represented up under that flag. Can I get a witness?
But what about the other flag that we should fall under?
Most of us do not own a Christian flag. We do not fly a flag to show our citizenship in society that’s even bigger than our nation. We do not display a flag that lets the world know that we are loyal to and have an allegiance to our Christian roots. Have I got a witness? I mean, there are some churches that display the Christian and the American flags throughout the year and even if you were to ask some of those Christians in those churches what the Christian flag looks like, they couldn’t begin to give you an accurate description. It’s just there for show. Am I right about it?