Posted by: Rina | December 7, 2008

Citizens of Heaven

The following is a section of the book Who Do You Think You Are? Discovering the Power of the Kingdom Identity. We will be posting several sections each week. To read the book by chapter, please click on the chapter links to the right of the screen.

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Phil 3:20).

Noah Webster defines a citizen as, “The native of a city, or an inhabitant who enjoys the freedom and privileges of the city in which he resides; the freeman of a city, as distinguished from a foreigner or one not entitled to its franchises” (1). The power is in the place of our citizenship. If I am a citizen of a certain country, I am entitled to certain inalienable rights which govern that country. This is true for the kingdoms of the earth, and it is also true for the kingdom of heaven. The men who spoke the eulogies at John G. Lake’s funeral said this about his life: “We thought the victory was over there, but Dr. Lake revealed to us that victory was here” (2). This is what it means to be a citizen of heaven.

The Christian citizenship is written in the “Lamb’s Book of Life” (Rev 21:27). The rights we are entitled to in heaven are rights that we posses and can have access to right now, not just when we arrive in Paradise. The bible exhorts Christians to live as “sojourners and pilgrims” (1 Peter 2:11). The word for “sojourners” is a combination of two Greek words. They are “para” meaning beside, and “oikeo” meaning “to dwell”. This word is used to describe Abraham and Moses, sojourners in a land not their own, “and the Christian who is traveling through this world as an alien whose citizenship and ultimate residence are in heaven” (3). Thus, the Christian life should be one that lives from heaven toward earth. Our citizenship is in heaven, even as we “sojourn” on the earth. As citizens of heaven, we are to enjoy all the benefits of that citizenship even as we dwell upon the earth. Just as a citizen of America enjoys the rights of an American, although he may visit France, so we are to enjoy the rights of Heaven, although we live on earth. Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). If it doesn’t exist in heaven, it is our job as citizens of heaven to be intolerant of it here on earth. Sin, sickness, disease, depression, anxiety, addiction, fear, unbelief, hopelessness, powerlessness, and death are some of the things that do not exist in heaven. Therefore, the Christian ought to refuse to accept any of these conditions into their lives, or in the lives of those around them. This is the Christian identity

1.) Webster Noah, American Dictionary of the English Language 1828 edition, San Francisco, CA, Foundation for American Christian Education, 2006, page, 38.

2.) Liardon, Roberts, John G. Lake, The Complete Collection of His Life Teachings, Albury Publishing, Tulsa OK, 1999 back cover.

3.) Hayford, Jack, The Spirit filled Life Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville TN, 1991, page 1790.

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