Strangers In A Strange Land
This morning I shared with my congregation that we need to remember that this world is not our home. I want to share with you what I shared with them. So many times in our lives we get distracted by the cares of this world and trying to live out our lives. So I started by reminding them how the Bible describes heaven in the book of Revelations in chapter 21.
The New Jerusalem
21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. 2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
3 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.[a] 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
5 And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” 6 And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. 7 All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.
This World Is Not Our Home, Heaven Is.
We need to remember that we are pilgrims and sojourners in this land and not permanent residents.
This world is not our home because we are citizens of another land.
When we gave our lives to Jesus we immigrated from this world to heaven. Our citizenship changed. We are no longer citizens of this world and the things of this world and we are now citizens of heaven.
17 Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. 18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. 20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.
Since we are citizens of heaven, then our purpose here is to be ambassadors.
There are 3 types of people in a country that are not citizens of that country. There are illegal aliens, there are those that are either tourists or some type of visitor with a visa, and there are ambassadors. We are ambassadors for Christ. We are not here illegally and we are not here to be tourists or business partners, we are here with the express purpose of representing the King of our country.
2 Corinthians 5:18-21
We Are God’s Ambassadors
18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin,[a] so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
Our purpose in this world is to reconcile men to God. We are to plunder hell to populate heaven. We do this by pleading to them to be reconciled to God through Jesus.
When we understand that we are no longer citizens of this world, and that we have a purpose that has been assigned to us by our King, then the things that might distract us in this world lose their power. If you realize that your home is not here on earth, then things like being accepted, gathering wealth, and obtaining power lose their appeal because they are only temporary.
The fact that this world is not our home was modeled by Jesus Himself!
Jesus had the opportunity to follow the dictates of this world when He was being questioned by Pilate. He could have gotten out of being crucified, however, Jesus understood that there are principles that are more important than saving His own skin and building an earthly kingdom.
33 Then Pilate went back into his headquarters and called for Jesus to be brought to him. “Are you the king of the Jews?” he asked him.
34 Jesus replied, “Is this your own question, or did others tell you about me?”
35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate retorted. “Your own people and their leading priests brought you to me for trial. Why? What have you done?”
36 Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.”
When you made Jesus the king of your life, then you became part of that kingdom that is not of this world. So I want to ask you some questions that may prick your heart and make you think a little bit. It is not because I think you are a bad person, but I am hoping that as people read this post, they will consider and change their perspective and start walking as people who know that this world is not my home.
- Take a look at the way you spend your time. What are you doing with your free time? Is it being spent being that ambassador for Christ, or is it being spent on things that are of this world?
- Take a look at your finances. What are you doing with your discretionary spending? I am not talking about just giving to the church or some evangelist or ministry, but are you using it to plead with people to be reconciled with God?
- Take a look at whether or not you want to be accepted by this world and gain earthly power. Are you willing to lovingly stand up for your beliefs and convictions and the principles of your country of citizenship or are you going native in this world?
If you really think about it. What do you want? Do you want this world to be your home or do you want heaven to be your home?
When you look at it compared to the description I shared with you at the beginning of this blog post, what country do you want your citizenship to be? Does this world really have all that much to offer? If you are like me, this world is not my home.