The temptation for worldly acceptance comes when you lose sight of your identity. As a believer in Christ you are a kingdom citizen (Philippians 3:20). You are a sojourner and a pilgrim (1 Peter 2:11), merely passing through this life on your way to eternity. So don’t get too settled in a world and a life that is passing away.
Accept your eternal citizenship.
This will keep you from worrying and being overly concerned about what people think of you and your Christian standards and beliefs.
God is fully able to enable you to live a victorious Christian life. And He is willing and available to do so. That’s His part. Now it’s up to you to do your part, to focus fully on Him—not others—and live for Him.
Citizenship in heaven is exclusive.
Jesus made a promise to His disciples: “I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 4:3). Those who are believers in Jesus will be taken to God’s heavenly Kingdom. In fact, Revelation 21:27 lists for us the kind of people who will enter: "Nothing impure will ever enter, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.”
Citizenship in heaven is eternal.
Your citizenship in an earthly kingdom began the day of your birth, and that citizenship will end the day you die. Similarly, your citizenship in God’s kingdom begins at your “new birth” in Christ, but unlike your citizenship here on Earth, it will never end.
Citizenship in heaven brings immediate benefits.
In Colossians 1:12-14, we read of five immediate benefits for those who become citizens of God’s kingdom:
- We are qualified to share in Christ’s inheritance in the kingdom (verse 12).
- We are rescued from the dominion of darkness (verse 13).
- We are brought in to the Kingdom of the Son of God (verse 13).
- We are redeemed from sin and judgment (verse 14).
- We are forgiven of all our sins (verse 14).
Citizenship in heaven means representing Christ here on Earth.
If you were to move to or visit a foreign country, you would represent to them your native country. You are a reflection of your home. This is the same with God’s kingdom. We must reflect the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit to those around us. Second Corinthians 5:20 tells us that we are Christ’s ambassadors here on Earth. Let’s represent Him well.
Citizenship in heaven comes with a tutor.
The Holy Spirit is here with us, to teach us all things. John 14:26 tells us that the Holy Spirit is our guide, helper, and teacher until we get to heaven. We don’t have to go at this ambassadorship alone. As always, the Father has provided for us.
While things here on Earth don’t always seem peaceful, and certainly not easy, we aren’t in this alone. Though we are citizens of our magnificent country, we are also citizens of heaven. That alone should bring joy to our hearts. The things we deal with here are temporary. Be encouraged.
Dear Lord, please help me crave only Your approval, and to not be concerned with the ways of the world. I want to live for You alone. Amen.
RENEWING RESOURCES:Drawn from The 50 Most Important Teachings of the Bible by Jim George. This helpful resource highlights key teachings every believer should know. With great clarity and simplicity, this book focuses on the most essential elements of the faith that’ll strengthen and encourage you!
Are you more concerned with what the world and people think or about what pleases God?
If your focus is on pleasing Christ, you will always say and do the right thing, the God-honoring thing.