Summary: Pentecost 20 (A) - Since our citizenship is in heaven we want to put behind us everything earthly as we strive for everything heavenly.


October 10, 2010 -

Pentecost 20 -


INTRO: The future holds a certain mystery because it is unknown. Today many people become con-cerned about the things that might or might not happen in the future. In the near future there is no real certainty or guarantee of anything. Not a single one of us really know what will happen next year, next week, tomorrow or even today. As believers we do now that the Lord God Almighty is in total and complete control of the future. Therefore we also know that our eternal future is safe in the hands of our loving Lord. "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things" (COLOSSIANS 3:1,2).


I. Put behind everything earthly.

II. Strive for everything heavenly.


A. Philippians is a letter of joy. Paul writes to believers of their joy because of the Lord’s love for them.

1. Verse 12. Paul has not yet obtained heavenly perfection. He is still a sinner. God called him.

2. Verse 13a. Paul puts his past behind him. God had forgiven his sins. Earthly thinking behind.

a. Once a blasphemer. b. Once a persecutor. d. Once an unbeliever. d. God forgives.

B. Verse 16. What had Paul and these believers attained? Both were saved by grace through faith.

1. Paul and these believers were given a time of grace to grow in faith and Godly knowledge.

2. Verse 17. Follow the examples of believers who followed Christ. Theirs is a Godly pattern.

a. Peter. b. Barnabas. c. Timothy. d. Lois. e. Eunice (cf. Second Lesson: 2 Tim 1:3ff).

C. Verse 18. The enemies of the cross are also enemies of Christ and then enemies of God. Sadness.

1. Verse 19. Earthly passions (stomach) drives unbelievers into selfish destruction and shame.

2. The worldly think not of eternity but short-term fulfillment. “Their mind…on earthly things.”

D. All too often our minds are on earthly things. After all, we are earth-bound people. Each of us has lives filled with dealings and associations with other people of this world. The influence of the world around us can distract us from everything heavenly. We get caught up in the attitude of our society that is constantly concerned about what comes next. The world today paints the future with coming disasters (or perceived tragedies). The prices, the economy, the government, and the weather often occupy the bulk of our conversations. "The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful" (MATT. 13:22). “Our citizenship is in heaven”. We can put behind us everything earthly.

E. Make no mistake. The evil that lurks in the hearts of men reveals itself in very visible acts of wickedness, rebellion, and sin. Check out ROMANS, chapter 1. The Lord describes how mankind turns away from God. The Lord gives man over to his own desires. The wicked always choose evil. The wicked commit unspeakable acts of sin. "Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles" (ROMANS 1:22,23). Athletes, the rich, Hollywood stars have become idols that too many worship.

F. “Our citizenship is in heaven”. At time the world around us can seem to be a very strange and diffi-cult place in which to live. Earthly thinking mankind has little in common with heavenly-minded believ-ers. The people of the world seldom agree with the children of God. In our lives of faith in an unbeliev-ing world we wage war against everything that opposes God. "Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul" (1 PETER 2:11).

“OUR CITIZENSHIP IS IN HEAVEN”. Things in this earth are not eternal. We put behind us every-thing earthly in our efforts to concentrate on the joyful that “OUR CITIZENSHIP IS IN HEAVEN”.


A. Paul is in prison. He is separated from friends and his Christian family. Paul rejoiced in his faith.

1. Paul was a Roman citizen. This provided many benefits. As God’s child Paul had everything.

2. Verses 13b, 14. Note that God had taken hold of Paul. God called Paul to enjoy heaven.

B. Verse 15. It took faith to look forward to heaven. Believers would grow in understanding God.

C. Paul rejoiced that God had saved him by grace. Paul endured the present by heavenly thinking.

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