Summary: As Christians we have rights and responsibilities to heaven and to earth. As Dual Citizens How then should we live in light of the Gospel?
Abraham was known as the father of the faith to the Israelites. He was called a wandering Aramean. As he stuck out from Ur of the Chaldeans he became a person without a home a foreigner wherever he stayed. Even when he arrived in the land that was promised by God he was called a ger. In Hebrew that means a sojourner a stranger in a foreign land.
Hebrews 13 tells us that Abraham and those following him died without receiving the promise, the foretold messiah. However, looking forward he saw the promise of Jesus and welcomed the promise from a distance. Not only welcomed the promise but confessed that he and the ones that went before him were strangers and exiles on the earth.
Abraham had a heavenly citizenship, yet even though he had a heavenly citizen ship he was a citizen also of this planet.
Abraham had a dual citizenship. He was first and foremost a heavenly citizen and secondly a citizen of the planet earth.
There are only a handful of ways to become a dual citizen. Usually your citizenship is based no descent, (Jew), place of birth, (US), marriage, and or naturilization.
· You can become a citizen of a country by something called in latin Ius soli, right of the soil, being born in a specific country.
· Or one or both of your parents can were citizens of the country ius sanguinis, “right of blood.”
· You married a citizen of the country.
· You go through the process to become a citizen (naturalization).
Why would it be important for us to know whether or not we have dual citizenship? As it is coming time to elect our officials to this county, state, and national office we must know how to apply our citizenship.
Let’s look at Philippians 3.20
Into to Phil
Paul is finishing up his argument to the Christians in Philippi about the Jews. He has called them false teachers and tells us in verse 19 that their minds are set no earthly things.
I. Dual citizenship means Look Up
A) Our Focus should be on Heavenly things
1) Paul uses the word we translate “citizenship”, in KJV says heavenly conversation, footnote or margin notes say literally “citizenship”
i) “Our citizenship is in heaven”
1) What does it mean to have citizenship.
i)The word reference dictionary defines it as “the status of a citizen with rights and duties.”
ii) The hyper dictionary takes it even further
The role of a citizen ’entails a status, a sense of loyalty, the discharge of duties and the enjoyment of rights not primarily in relation to another human being, but in relation to an abstract concept, the state’.
ii) We as citizens of heaven then have not only rights but duties.
2) What rights do we have.
i) The right to Life – Jesus came that we might have life
ii) The right to Liberty – James 1.25 Jesus is the law of liberty.
a) James 2.12 – speak and act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty.
b) Judgement seat of Jesus.
iii) The right to Pursuit of happiness
b) Psalm 16.11 – true happiness, fullness of joy comes from the presence of God.
Pleasures forever, (heavenly)
c) Psalm 30.5 Weeping may last through the night
but a shout of joy comes in the morning.
Heavenly citizenship can often mean earthly pain.
But Joy comes in the morning. Life abundant doesn’t come easy.
3) With the rights also come duties.
i) When the Romans Conquered a city they sent other citizens to spread the customs, culture, and manner of life and laws into that city, or country.
ii) Paul is in Phil 3.20 saying the same thing.
Jesus has overcome or conquered the world (16.33)
iii) In other words we have the duty or responsibility to make sure that our customs, culture, manner of life and law (Jesus and the Bible) are spread abroad (Matt 28.19-20)
Another way of saying Reach, Teach, and Encourage, Central Arkansas, The Nation, and the World for Jesus.
iv) Telling others about Life in Jesus Liberty in Jesus, and Joy in Jesus.
Heavenly focus on rights and duties will show us that we also have a duty to effect change in our earthly republic.
Jesus told us in Matthew 53.13-20
Be salt and light. Speak up and act on your faith.
II. Dual citizenship means Speak Up
A) Right to speak up, the first amendment gives us
1) Freedom of speech
2) Freedom of religion
3) Freedom of press
4) Freedom to assemble
5) Freedom to take our problems to government.
B) Benjamin Franklin, “Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.”
C) What then do we need to speak up about.