Citizens of heaven
Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Philippians 3:17-21
ii. Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you, or from you? You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. 2 Corinthians 3:1-3
i. Their god is their belly
1. F. B. Meyer described these men with keen insight: “There is no chapel in their life. It is all kitchen.”
2. They admit of no one higher than themselves, and they worship themselves. They live for self-indulgence, for comfort, and for convenience.
ii. They glory in their shame
1. Their appetites drive them into all manner of selfish abuses
b. Sexual immorality
c. Me first
2. And they are proud of their worldly success
3. People think money makes them successful and they glory in it
4. People think that sexual activity makes them successful and they brag and glory in it
5. When lives full of debauchery, evil and selfish ambition and held up as proper examples, they glory in their shame
iii. Their mind is set on earthly things
1. They are living for this world only. They are completely occupied with the material, not the spiritual; with the earthly, not the heavenly.
2. Heavenly Citizenship
a. Our citizenship is in heaven. Heaven is the Christian’s home; he is only temporarily in this world. The church is really a colony of heaven: our names are enrolled in heaven; we are under heaven’s government; we share heaven’s glory; we enjoy heaven’s honor. Heavenly conduct should mark the Christian. Our allegiance is to Jesus Christ
b. We wait with eager expectation for the Second Coming of Christ. This is the normal attitude of a citizen of heaven. This expectancy of His coming should spur us on to higher and holier giving and living. The greatest event in a colony was the visit of the emperor. Our blessed hope is in the coming of Christ: it is our daily delight; it is our earnest expectation; it is our eager longing. The blessed hope motivates heavenly living
c. One scholar has estimated that there are 1,845 references to Christ's second coming in the Old Testament, where 17 books give it prominence. In the 260 chapters of the New Testament, there are 318 references to the second advent of Christ--an amazing 1 out of every 30 verses. Twenty-three of the 27 New Testament books refer to this great event. For every prophecy in the Bible concerning Christ's first advent, there are 8 which look forward to His second!
The motor home has allowed us to put all the conveniences of home on wheels. A camper no longer needs to contend with sleeping in a sleeping bag, cooking over a fire, or hauling water from a stream. Now he can park a fully equipped home on a cement slab in the midst of a few pine trees and hook up to a water line, a sewer line and electricity. One motor home I saw recently had a satellite dish attached on top. No more bother with dirt, no more smoke from the fire, no more drudgery of walking to the stream. Now it is possible to go camping and never have to go outside. We buy a motor home with the hope of seeing new places, of getting out into the world. Yet we deck it out with the same furnishings as in our living room. Thus nothing really changes. We may drive to a new place, set ourselves in new surrounding, but the newness goes unnoticed, for we've only carried along our old setting.
The adventure of new life in Christ begins when the comfortable patterns of the old life are left behind.
a. When Christ comes back, He will do more than just put wheels on our earthly lives, we will be totally changed