Summary: If you are a Christian, have you ever thought about what it’s like to live in two realms, to be a citizen of two kingdoms? You can use your influence in this physical realm to make an eternal difference.
In my last post, I talked about earthly and heavenly treasure. In this post, we will describe being a citizen of heaven and earth.
There are people who have dual citizenship. I can imagine what that would be like because you always have a pull of loyalty and allegiance to one country or the other. On the other hand, there are benefits to having dual citizenship. You can support one country over another when you feel you don’t belong as much to one of them.
The best part about dual citizenship is being part of two worlds. You can move around in both countries with ease. You don’t have to be concerned with one country over another since you belong to both. I don’t know that I would try it, but it sounds like an interesting proposition.
One thing I do know: every Christian has dual citizenship between the earth and heaven. We were all designed to be amphibious like frogs. A frog can live in the water and on land. Every disciple of Jesus lives in this world but belongs to another. How does that work? Let’s get started.
You Don’t Belong Here
It’s easy for us to think this is our home. We have a family of people we dearly love, and we get comfortable in a house in the neighborhood, a job, other responsibilities, and a few joys in this life here and there. But here’s the kicker: you don’t belong here and neither do I. We are citizens of a different country.
God builds every one of us with a unique citizen situation. We are physical beings. We have bodies, enjoy physical things, have five senses that help us enjoy the physicality of this realm. But that is not our true nature. Of course, we have bodies and that will always be part of us. When Jesus returns in His second coming, He will make our bodies new and suitable for eternity with Him in heaven.
That is our ultimate reality. That is the place we most belong, in a spiritual realm with Jesus forever that becomes our physical reality in the new heavens and new earth. I’m excited to go there. Aren’t you? It’s hard for us to think about that now because we are so tied to our physical existence. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit when you came to know Jesus is a real down payment of what it will be like to live with God forever (Ephesians 1:13-14).
As an amphibious creature of two realms, you will prioritize one realm over the other. The spiritual realm is where it all happens. The physical realm is a reflection of background. We need to remember that as Jesus’s disciples. We’re so tied to what happens in the physical that we don’t often think of it happening in the spiritual realm first.
God lives in that spiritual realm, and out of it, He created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1-2). Jesus taught us that faith like a mustard seed can move physical mountains (). The powe in the spiritual realm first, and it will affect our physical surroundings. R of the spiritual realm can change anything in the physical realm. So, we need to have faith in the spiritual realm, and it will affect our physical surroundings.
A Citizen of Two Countries
We have a physical existence with a spiritual reality that we are citizens of two countries. C. S. Lewis did a masterful job of showing two countries throughout his Chronicles of Narnia series. The children learn of a far distant country that they also belong to. He was referring to our dual citizenship in heaven and on earth.
When it’s time, you will pass from this life and physical existence into an eternal existence with God. Having the Christian perspectives we have been talking about will prepare you for that journey and life on the other side. We need to be heavenly minded, but not at the expense of remembering that we live in this world to help people realize the truth and love of Jesus.
We have the standard approach of calling ourselves “American Christians,” or wherever you are from, putting our earthly existence ahead of our spiritual one. It’s only natural. This is what we know the best right now. We get involved in our culture, society, politics, and other friendships and groups we feel we belong to.
Sometimes, we do this to our own peril. We forget that we are first spiritual beings with physical bodies. We treat this world as our home and forget our true home. Some people are afraid of death. But if it is just the door into eternity with God, death should not be feared. Like any other doorway we walked through, Jesus is waiting on the other side of this death’s door to receive us.
I like it better when I call myself a Christian American. Just putting those two words opposite one another shows the true priorities and nature of who we are. I’m first a Christian with allegiance to Jesus Christ in a world I will leave to be with Him. As a Christian, I have a mission to perform (Matthew 28:19-20).
We are on earth for now, and we can get involved with the people and things here. But our ultimate reality and goal is to take these people with us to heaven, for even if they don’t know Jesus yet, they will also be in eternity. Until they know Jesus, their eternal destiny is condemnation and staff salvation like it is for us. We must never let that reality escape us.
The Pull of Your Earthly Citizenship
No matter how hard we try, this world will pull us away from Jesus if we are not careful. Temptation is around every corner. Our earthly flesh and its desires continually war against us. We start to crave the things we use to enjoy. Every disciple of Jesus struggles with these things.
All it takes is witnessing to others and being persecuted to bring us back into the realization of who we really are and why we are here. Those temptations have a double-sided effect. While they pull you toward your physical existence, they also remind you of the war against the flesh and the truth of what Jesus taught us.
You need to resist the pull of this earth. It can drag you down like a crocodile pull you deep into the water, rolling you around until you have stopped breathing, and then having you for lunch. I know that’s graphic, but that’s exactly what pull of your physical and natural realm existence will do to you.
Staying focused on your spiritual existence and what Jesus has for you when you get to heaven, your inheritance is what will last the test of time. When we look at this physical world with spiritualize of Jesus, we are well ahead of the game. That’s our goal, and we must stay focused amid the distractions of the natural realm. It’s not that the natural realm is all bad. It’s just a distraction for us that keeps us realizing everything we must do before it’s too late.
Living in Two Realms
Your spiritual senses must be more acute than your physical ones. What spiritual senses? Faith, spiritualize to see in the spiritual realm, righteousness, holiness. These are unfamiliar words and concepts to the natural man. Reasoning with spiritual, regenerated reason that comes from Jesus is another spiritual sense.
I love the account in the Old Testament of when an entire physical army was before Elisha and his servant (2 Kings 8:15-17). The servant could only see the natural army. Elisha prayed God would open his spiritualize to see the armies of heaven at their disposal to protect them. We need to see in the spiritual because it is more powerful than the natural.
We need to operate in the power of the spiritual realm and the truth of what Jesus taught us. The physical realm will never be that powerful. If we only operate in the physical realm, we will miss all the wonderful blessings of living in the spiritual realm with Jesus. The reality of who Jesus is, of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, and of the spiritual forces we are a partner with sustains us until we reach that final destination.
Our best and most fruitful interaction with this kingdom in this world is to live out Jesus’s Kingdom principles. We can show the people of this world the world God made them to dwell in. Let us be present on earth, but focused on eternal values and principles. Don’t lose your citizenship in heaven (Ephesians 2:19; Philippians 3:20) for the citizenship on earth. This place doesn’t last.
Living in the One That Lasts
Only heavenly things last. Everything else only has value in this life. It’s not that these things I complete waste of time, but that they only last for a short time. The world’s slogan, “You Only Live Once” is only true for people who do not become disciples of Jesus. We live again when our sovereign Master returns for us.
You will live in this physical world by default but you will only live forever if you put your eggs in that basket. Let us be so heavenly minded that we are of infinite earthly good to those dying around us. You have the words of life, the water in the desert, the vegetables for the salad. Don’t hold back that living water from the dead people walking in this world.
Live in the realm that lasts, hoping like Abraham for an eternal city, and inheritance this world cannot match. Enjoy this world, but don’t get stuck in its pleasures alone. Enjoy the good things God created for you to enjoy. Enjoy them His way. When the time comes for you to meet Him in the air, take souls with you.
Do you get stuck in this world and forget about your heavenly inheritance in your citizenship in heaven? Are you to heavenly minded that you know earthly good? Realign your perspectives with the ones Jesus gave us.
You live in two places but you have allegiance to Jesus and will enjoy eternal life with Him. Next, we will talk about who owns the stuff you have.