Citizens of our Homeland . . .

Vol. 4, No. 10

Our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. –Philippians 3:20-21

Philippi was a Roman colony in northern Greece. The full title: Colonia Iulia Augusta Philippensis. Wonder what its zip code was.

At strategic military cities, Roman soldiers who were veterans of General Octavian, and had fulfilled their duty of 21 years, settled down in these locations and rewarded with full citizenship.

Their privileges?

Often exemption from tribute and taxation, and their living conditions were the same as if they were on Italian soil; in fact, they were on Italian soil.

Sadly, the privileges and provisions for veterans have significantly decreased over time.

Philippi, known as Little Rome. Their dress was Roman, the Latin language was spoken, Roman law and justice was administered, Roman politicians were in “city hall,” and Caesar’s money was the exchange; Roman “morals“‘ were observed. I am sure that the last “privilege” was really a good one; not.

Paul was clear on his take on the most important “emperor” – the real King, the Savior, Jesus Christ. Real privilege is to be a citizen of heaven, the believer’s new homeland. It is of great interest that the new city will be a city with walls. Just sayin’.

Just as the Roman colonists were never were forget that they belonged to Rome, a Christian must never forget that they are citizens of heaven. The Christian’s conduct must match their citizenship.

Beware; do not be so heavenly minded that you are no earthly good. Do not forget that God leaves you here for purpose. Until He takes you home to heaven.

As Christians, we are under Jesus’ care. To Jesus, we owe our allegiance. In heaven’s books, our names are recorded; you can start singing now. Our conduct needs to meet the Lord’s expectations, and our hopes centered on the glories of our Great God.

Our heavenly citizenship is no mere play of the imagination; but is of solid substance because Jesus is there for whom we eagerly await. Where Christ is, is our homeland.

As heavenly colonists, we are looking for our King, our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Here we are, then, in this world, but not of this world (John 17:16). We do not belong here; we are sojourners, and pilgrims, just a-passin’ through (you can begin singing again!).

And nightly pitch our moving tent                                                                      A A day’s march nearer home

We desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called our God, for He has prepared for us a city. –Hebrews 11:16

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. –Psalms 119:105

Just a note for your contemplation: The world was dark at night with only occasional moonlight. There were not any flashlights, streetlights, or even a miner’s lamp. They placed small oil lamps on their sandals so they could see – just how far could they see? Only enough for their next step. God’s Word will take you through the darkness of life, one-step at a time.

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

March 10, 2019

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