Kingdom and Citizenship

Sep 20, 2022    Don Willeman

Hello, this is Pastor Don of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to The Kingdom Perspective.

The central claim of Christianity—namely that Jesus is Lord—does not remove us from the affairs of this world. We are still citizens of the United States (or whatever land we call our own). However, it does affect the way we imagine and engage in the affairs of this world. As Christians, we know that the kingdoms of this world (whether they are left or right, capitalist or communist, Democrat or Republican) are not ultimate kingdoms. All the kingdoms of this world will come and go, but His kingdom is forever.

It is particularly important at this moment for followers of Jesus to lean into this reality. As we have become an increasingly secular society, we have tended to make more and more of the kingdoms of this world. By “secular,” I do not mean that we don’t “believe in God.” Actually, the data shows that we are as “believing” a nation as ever. Rather, by “secular” I mean that we think our primary hope—and so our primary citizenship and allegiance—is to be found in this world. We are convinced that we must find heaven on earth. This makes us desperate, especially if we feel things are not going our way. We become anxious that “our kingdom” is crumbling. This not only makes us irritable, but also, as Christians, it makes us ultimately useless for representing Jesus in this world.

But the gospel reminds us that, first and foremost, we are citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20). This gives us confident hope anchored in eternity, which then allows us to move into the changing kingdoms of this world and serve our neighbors. We know that the real and lasting kingdom comes not by the love of power but by the power of love, not by superiority over others but by serving others, not by the crown but by the cross.

Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.

“Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us. For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a 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 3:17-21 (NASB)

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