Citizenship in America is an explosive topic these days, with angry voices shouting conflicting opinions of who qualifies. But there is a citizenship that is open to all, not in the United States, but in a land much more prosperous and beautiful. The freedoms and opportunities provided there are much greater than those in “the land of the free.” I’m speaking of Heaven. The Bible’s declaration is found in Philippians 3:20, ”Our citizenship is in Heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.” This citizenship is already the possession of all Christ-followers. It is also available to anyone, regardless of country of origin or ethnic background.
People want better lives. They are not trekking hundreds of miles, or sailing across treacherous waters in dilapidated boats to gain access to communist countries. People naturally want more freedoms, not fewer ones. The “Heaven-bound” life is a much better life for at least two reasons.
ONE. We face DEATH differently. Just before His crucifixion, Jesus said to His followers, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me. In My Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:1–3). Jesus was promising His disciples that they would live with Him forever. This assurance gives Christ-followers hope and peace as they come to death’s door. I used to wonder what would happen to me after I die. Now I know that when I close my eyes for the last time on this earth, I will open them in the presence of Jesus in Heaven. I have a permanent home there.
TWO. We face LIFE differently. Those of us who have received Christ as Savior and Lord will testify that our lives have improved. Life is better with Jesus. We now experience God’s love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness on a daily basis. We still have difficulties and temptations, but we face them differently than we did before we came to Christ. Before I trusted Jesus as my personal Savior, I rarely thought of God or spoke to Him. He seemed distant, far away. Sadly, most people have the same experience and go through life thinking God is not relevant. But Jesus changed all that for me! I now am aware that God is near and I can talk to Him throughout my day.
If you would like to become a citizen of Heaven, Jesus made that possible for you by dying on a cross and coming back to life three days later. He’s not asking you to sneak across a border or attend some classes. The only requirement to become one of His citizens is to admit your sin and ask Him to be Boss of your life. The Bible says, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:9,10,13). Multitudes around our globe have done this, but there’s still room for you. firstname.lastname@example.org