North Anderson BaptistChurch
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  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
Philip Nolan “A Man Without A Country”

Philip Nolan was a member of the United States military and was convicted of a crime against his nation in 1807. While the trial comes to an end the judge asks Nolan if he had anything to say, and he did. He told the court, “D__n the United States! I wish I may not hear of the United States again!” With that said, the sentence for Nolan was to be placed on board a ship where he would be transferred to other ships and never set foot in the United States again. Also, he was to never hear of the United States or see anything about it either. Every book or newspaper were cleared of any reference to America. For 56 years he went from day to day, year to year never hearing about or reading about his homeland. For a long time it made no difference and he was pleased with the sentence, but time came to the end of his life and his thoughts were about his America; Nolan fully repents. On his deathbed aboard the Levant, in May 1863, Nolan is accompanied by a self-made map—drawn from memory—of the U.S. He is informed, after some pleading, of what has happened to his country during the last 56 years. Nolan suggested his own epitaph: "He loved his country as no other man has loved her; but no man deserved less at her hands."
Where is your citizenship? What country do your owe your life too? In 1990 I went to Brazil for missions and realized how important a passport was. You couldn’t get in and you couldn’t get out without yours and you had to have it with you all the time. As a child my parents went to Juarez, Mexico at El Paso, Texas. My dad said to each of us that when we go over the border and then you are coming back and you get to the border and the officers says to you, “Where are you a citizen?” “Don’t play around,” my dad said, “and don’t make a joke of it.” “Say, America or you will be kept out of your own country if you say something different!”

Where are you a citizen? Is heaven be your home? Or, will you be kept out of heaven because you do not have a passport or a reservation?
Some years ago a party of sightseers were traveling together in England, and arrived at an English hotel, but found that it had been full for days. They were turning away to seek accommodation elsewhere, when a lady of the party bade the others adieu, and expressed her intention of remaining.
"How can that be?" they asked, "when you hear the hotel is full?" "Oh," she replied, "I telegraphed on ahead a number of days ago, and my room is secured." My friend, send on your name ahead, and the door of Heaven can never be shut against you. Be sure it is a wise precaution. Then everything will be ready for you. And when the journey of life is over, you will mount up as with angel wings, and inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. —D. L. Moody One Thousand Evangelistic Illustrations.
Let’s follow this outline as we look at this scripture today.

1. Follow My Example
2. Enemies of the Cross
3. Citizens of Heaven
4. Stand Firm in the Lord
1. Follow My Example - v. 17

Paul was a pretty bold believer to say to those in Philippi to follow his example of living. Or, was He just doing what they needed to live the Christian life faithfully? There is a race to run and if they ran it like Paul ran it, then their lives would truly count for something. He wanted the Philippians to count for the cross and their lives to make a difference. Was he conceited? No, but he was confident about Christ in him and how, if others followed his leadership and did what he did they would also live a Christ-like life.

Jesus said, “Follow Me…” So, Paul in following Christ could with, authority, call for Christians to follow him and live godly lives before the Lord.

Why was living like Paul necessary? The Philippian church was experiencing outside forces that were influencing them in worldly ways. There were people who infiltrated the church teaching to live fleshly lives and count what they did in the flesh unto God. In chapter three Paul talks about them and says if anyone, he could boast of the flesh more but that was not important, what was important was to live by faith and knowing the person of Jesus Christ. Verses 10-11 in chapter three are such a closer for Paul,
He desired to lead them to know Jesus completely and fully in all His glory.

When they looked at Paul they would see a maturing life in Christ. They would see a rejection of self-sufficiency, a willingness to sacrifice all things to win Christ, his clear sense of imperfection, his eager straining toward a moral life.
Paul patterned his life after Christ. In reading Philippians 2:5-11 we see how Christ lived and was the glory of God, Paul wanted to follow Christ’s example and hence the church to follow Paul.
There is no better One to pattern your life by than Christ.

If the Philippians followed Paul they would show true Christian Conduct!
2. Enemies of the Cross - Vv. 18-19

Those who slipped in among them were their enemies and God’s too. Enemies of Christ’s and the Cross. Why? They did not confess that Jesus Christ died, was buried and then rose again and thus did not follow Him as Lord and Savior. They lived to glorify their flesh. They were enemies, the church’s and God’s!
Paul loved the lost and wanted them to know the Savior personally. Look how he couches his concern for the enemies of the cross; “For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears…”Paul even loved those who were against Christ and his church but would not bow to their ways and cautioned the church to beware of them. The great apostle wanted them to know that the cross provided forgiveness of sin not license to sin.

“At the cross, people did their worst against God, While God did His best on behalf of people” - Frank Robbins

Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach,and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.
Destruction: ruin or perdition
Their god is their bellies: their minds and hearts were slaves to their appetites and their aim was to gratify their flesh! It was “self-indulgence.”
They glory in their shame: their pride would be their shame, and they boasted of their evil practices.

Dear friends, do we have a group of people like this in our day, in the church, claiming to be a part of Christ? Yes, and their glory is their shame. They take PRIDE in their way of life, to gratify the flesh and then push it on others and even defend it to be godly and acceptable to their “god.” Sin in them is glorified and passed on as they gather in their own churches around that which the Lord says is an abomination and yet it is against the cross because it praises sin and there is no shame in them.

Paul opposes these at Philippi and if he were here today he would oppose those as well that take pride in their flesh and glory in their shame. He says that they oppose those who have “heavenly citizenship.”

One needs to be Biblically prepared to go to heaven.
The stunning news flew like arrows through the corridors and chambers of the palace: The king is dead. He had been found in his bed, having died a natural death in his sleep.
“Where has he gone?” Asked one of the king’s shrewdest advisors.
“Why, to heaven!” replied others.
“No!” said the one gravely. “I served this king for many years and traveled with him extensively. He loved to travel, and would talk about his trips extensively beforehand. Every detail was planned and anticipated. But I have never heard him say a word about traveling to heaven. It was a journey for which I saw no preparation. I am quite sure that he has not gone to heaven.”
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.
I know and you know where heaven is, it is where our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is and one day He will come to get us, unless we die in this old body and go to Him first.
4. Stand Firm in the Lord - 4:1

We are to stand firm in Christ! What is Paul talking about? He has gone through this letter to the Philippians telling them that they need to beware of those who live as enemies of the cross and to stand up like the believers they are. He has given to them examples of the Savior and Lord as He chose to come to this earth to be the Savior of all mankind. He told them to have the same attitude as that of Jesus and then gave them examples of that life. He went on to tell them that if they had a hard time visualizing the life of Christ then they were to follow him as Paul followed Christ.

The things Paul expressed to them, they were to not waver from their faith, they were to stand strong and firm in their lives as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. They were to practice their faith and remember that this old world in which they lived was not their home, they were and are citizens of heaven. We look forward to meeting them all and sharing their stories of faith when we all get to heaven.

Invitation

Someone has said, “It is our main business in this world to secure an interest in the next.”  Let me follow that with, our main business is getting to heaven ourselves and then leading others to get to heaven with us.  Dear friends, today is a great day for anyone who has not yet secured their place in heaven, to do so.  You see, you really do need reservations for your final trip.  The ticket is secure through the cross of Christ!  When you have repented of your sins and express faith in Christ and believe with all your heart that Jesus died on the cross to forgive your sin and that He was buried and then He rose again to give us eternal life, then you have a new home, you become a citizen of heaven.
We would love for you to declare today that you are ready to believe and allow some of our fine people here to lead you to the cross of Christ where you can find a new citizenship in heaven.

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