For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself. (Philippians 3:20-21)
Living To Go Home
One of the great images of the Christian life is described by Paul when he infers the life of the disciple of Christ is likened to living in a foreign land. Citizenship is very important and determines where a person’s place of residence or home is located. Traveling in a foreign land is a daily reminder of how precious our homes are and the longing to be in a place where we feel the most happy. The customs and language of a land not our home is a place filled with strange and unusual things. It is difficult to navigate when the language is a barrier. Signs printed in a foreign language make it hard to read. The language is not easy to understand. Other challenges may impact the journey like the customs of the land, dress, attitude and outlook – all lending itself to make a person feel a longing to be home where all is familiar. Living in another world is likened to the life of a Christian before going home to heaven. The brief time on earth is foreign to the child of God because everything is so different.
Having citizenship in heaven suggests there is a passport to a place we have never been before. The emphasis is how the Christian views the trappings of this world as foreign is the conclusion Paul draws. Jesus will come one day to take us to a home we have never seen but through the eye of faith. In the meantime, the world we know here should be foreign to our spiritual senses. The world is filled with the language of immorality and wickedness. Ungodliness is the spiritual customs of the day with the desires of those in the world. Everything about this world should be likened to an alien land where the heart is unsettled and uneasy. Knowing the citizenship of the child of God is in heaven should turn the heart always towards a longing to be with God. The difficulties faced in life are tempered by the knowledge that home is a different and better place to be. When the heart begins to think more of heaven than this world, the feelings and longings will change to be more like the Father.
It is the great challenge for the Christian to think more of heaven than earth. All the things of this world attract the mind to think only of the momentary pleasures enjoyed here. Checking the divine passport will remind the heart of the child of God this world is not their home and they are only passing through. When troubles come it becomes clearer that while enduring the trials of this world, the best is yet to come because home awaits the spirit. Heaven is where we were created to be. Obeying the gospel put us into a covenant with the Lord allowing us to sail on that eternal ship of hope to a land far away. Standing before the glorious city of God, our citizenship is acknowledged as our name is called for with “Enter in.” Imprinted by the blood of Christ, the assurance of salvation is secure in the knowledge of where our eternal home is found.
The great joy of knowing our home is with the Father is the transforming of our bodies to His glorious body. It is uncertain what this really means as we try to understand from human terms. Regardless, the knowledge that all pain, sorrow and tears will be taken away is sufficient to see the joy of having our citizenship in heaven with the Father. God created the heavens and the earth by speaking His word and this will be the same power that changes our mortal bodies into immortality. What a joy that will be. With all of this in mind, the Christian should look eagerly for the coming of Jesus with great anticipation. Visiting a foreign land is always measured by how many days are left before the journey home. Living in this world and seeing it for what it is – an alien land – there is a daily longing for the Lord to come back so that we can go home with Him. Our hearts are not troubled. We rejoice that one day we will see the Father face to face. Living in this old world below is but a short journey in a foreign land. The day is coming when we go to our home. What a day of rejoicing that will be.