3. Citizens of Heaven - Vv. 20-21
Philippi was a Roman colony. All who were born there became Roman citizens and of course if you were Roman and lived there, you had more privileges than the average citizen of Philippi. Romans had rules for the city/states to live by but each city/states had distinctive laws for each area. Roman law trumped all those.
When anyone was a part of the community, the city of Philippi, they were citizens of the city/state or even possibly a Roman citizen, but when a lost sinner trusted Christ and became saved he/she became a Citizen of Heaven and their name was written in the book of life. (4:3, “...whose names are in the book of life.”)
Citizens are supposed to live under the rules where they have their citizenship. When we become a citizen of heaven then we need to live by the laws of the Lord God Almighty since we are a part of His land and home. Normally, we act according to the laws and ways of the country of which we are a citizen but our citizenship is in another place we can not deny the laws of our Father and his kingdom! We are just passing through here on earth.
“From the time I was a boy, I had a sense of being a stranger in this world. I always felt there was a world beyond this to which I was moving.” Malcolm Muggeridge, Journalist, author and one time atheist
When one is a citizen of heaven you know it and long for it to come one day. From the great pen of C. S. Lewis he writes about heaven…“I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others to do the same.”
How many of you have felt like C. S. Lewis regarding your real home? Is this world your real home?
For years the late Charles E. Fuller conducted "The Old-Fashioned Revival Hour" on radio. One of the favorite selections of the revival hour quartet was "This World Is Not My Home." Yes, Christians are in the world, but they are not of the world. The Word of God describes the believer in Christ as a pilgrim, a stranger, a traveler. The Christian in this life does experience "a foretaste of glory divine," but the ultimate glory awaits him. He longs for the "city whose Builder and Maker is God." And he yearns to behold Jesus face to face. 1000 Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching.
Dear Christian, Jesus prepared another home for you and He said that if He was going to prepare it then He would come back to get us and we could be where He is! Amen! We thank the Lord for that truth.