Summary: This is designed to help people determine if they are citizens of earth or heaven
We can tell a lot about someone’s citizenship by how they act: dress, accent, language, food, and talk of their “homeland.” When we are in a foreign country, our actions often betray the fact that we are Americans. Haiti experience with Fred.
Does your life indicate heavenly citizenship or something else?
Read Philippians 3:17-4:1.
The word translated “citizenship” in most modern translations goes beyond what we think of as mere citizenship. It is an identity that not only states citizenship. It includes our representation of land of citizenship. Where we have our citizenship is where our heart will be. Haiti crisis the last couple weeks. People who live in the US still identify with the “homeland.”
Spiritual speaking, our actions betray our true “homeland.” How we live, speak and act determines who our god really is. We are either citizens of earth or citizens of heaven.
Citizens of Earth
Paul addresses citizens of earth in verses 18 & 19. He is not being legalistic or judgmental about it. He is broken hearted by their actions. I can see tears welling up in his eyes as he pens these lines. There are three characteristics of citizens of earth.
SELF is their god.
When Paul says, “their god is their belly,” he is speaking of the sensual nature of humanity. They live by the motto: “If it feels good do it.”
This is basically a lack of self-control. Anything that pleases the senses is wonderful and great. There are those that believe that since we have been saved, we can do whatever because of God’s grace.
SHAME is their pride.
What is utterly shameful they take great pride in. This is what Paul means when he says, “They glory in their shame.”
The recent string of homosexual marriage is a perfect example. Homosexuality is a sin. It is shameful in the eyes of God. It used to be shameful in the eyes of society.
Again, Paul is not being harshly judgmental. He is broken hearted over those who have chosen to take pride in their sin.
I used to work with a guy who was so proud that he would get drunk and stay out of 4 or 5 AM and then come to work.
Anything that is contrary to the will of God is shameful.
EARTHLY THINGS are their focus.
I watched Star Wars Episode 1 last week. One of the characters said, “Your focus determines your reality.” Wherever we focus our attention, will become our reality in life. It could be the job, family, sports, activities, shopping, fishing, or anything else. It’s been said, “What gets our attention gets us.”
Paul says that citizens of earth have their “minds set on earthly things.”
There characteristics are self as god, shame as pride and earthly things as focus. Paul says two things about them:
They are ENEMIES of the cross
Paul is speaking of those who claim to be Christian, but don’t act like. They are grace abusers. God’s grace is great. Romans 6:1 says, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means!”
Their fate is DESTRUCTION
They will have to answer to God. The great thing is that it doesn’t have to be this way. God has provided a way through his Son Jesus Christ to bring us into a relationship with him and make us…
Citizens of Heaven
Paul says that our citizenship is in heaven. If our citizenship is in heaven so should our mind be in heaven. That doesn’t mean we get our heads caught in the clouds. Some people are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good. How we live our lives should indicate that our citizenship is in heaven. There are five things related to being a citizen of heaven.
Our names are on heaven’s RECORD.
The government has documentation that I’m a United States citizen. (Birth certificate and passport.)
When we are citizens of heaven our name is in the book of life. Paul writes that in verse 3 of chapter 4. Only if our name is in the book of life will we ever hope to enter heaven’s gates.
We speak heaven’s LANGUAGE.
A citizen of France is most comfortable speaking French. A citizen of Japan is most comfortable speaking Japanese. Hayo and the other German speaking English.
If we are citizens of heaven our speech should indicate that. Jesus that whatever is in your heart is what will come out of your mouth. If hate-filled speech is coming out of our mouth, then that is what is in our heart. If the love of Christ is truly in our heart, then our speech will indicate it.
We obey heaven’s LAWS.
This is not some strict legalistic code of rituals. Some people claim to be citizens of heaven without following the law of heaven. Paul wrote to the Corinthian church, “For the love of Christ controls us.” The law of heaven is love.