While living our Earthly life we are citizens of the nation in which we live and citizens of the Kingdom of God/heaven. In light of this our lives must demonstrate our heavenly citizenship to those around us while we seek to be good citizens of our earthly nation or kingdom.
There was a song in the 70’s, which ask the question, “If you were arrested for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to prove you are a Christian?” Are you Christ-Like while being Christian?
I have noticed that sometimes we as Christians act and speak like unsaved people. We can be critical, snarky and almost hateful toward those who are different than us in race, philosophy and religion. Even within Christianity people who attend one type of church are sometimes disdainful of those who attend another type of Church. Scripture tells us to workout our salvation with fear and trembling before God Philippians 2:12. Now we know that we are saved by God’s grace or unmerited favor, but this scripture points out that we must with serious diligence not take God’s gift of salvation carelessly. His grace may be free to us but it cost God more than we could ever repay. His love is amazing but ours is very flawed.
I am a Bible believing Christian who has studied to show myself approved by God, but I have not arrived at perfection. I consider myself as maturing but do things that show I am not where I could be. I have found that my earthly attitude sometimes over rules my belief or at least the practice of my belief is lacking perfection.
A few words of instruction:
1. We can be gracious without approving of sinful behavior.
2. We do not need to overlook or ignore obvious Biblical teaching in the process of being Christ-like.
3. We must not ignore one part of Jesus teaching while focusing on any other part.
4. Jesus harshest words were for the self-righteous religious or political leaders who proclaimed and pretended to be good and helping the people while protecting their own positions and power.
5. These were not simply arguments over philosophy leadership or different approaches to doing God’s will.
Jesus was a citizen of dual kingdoms, heaven and Israel, which was under Roman rule. We are told to give unto God what is His and unto our rulers what is required. Jesus was compassionate toward sinners. He ate with them and presented the truth of God’s kingdom in His teachings. What makes Kings and leaders unjust is addressed in both the Old and New Testament and while important is not the focus of this article.
We in America live in a nation where we can choose our leaders. Just as God allowed Israel to have a King like the other nations, God allows us to choose our leader no matter what her or his religion, character, philosophy or political understanding.
Our system is not perfect but as those following Christ we have the freedom to offer people the Good News of the Gospel without fear of being jailed no matter which political party we support.
We must diligently, passionately be doing our Father’s work on the earth. Resources spent on Social Justice or Political change without our focus being on the transferring of people from the Kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of God are a waste of resources. We must be compassionate toward those in need, as well as, proclaim the Gospel or good news of the Kingdom of God, buildup believers and seek to bring ourselves into maturity/perfection according to the Bible’s teachings.
Let’s not get distracted by things that take us away from our primary purpose in the process of living as citizens of two Kingdoms! What is that primary purpose? It is doing all that Jesus began to do and teach. Hebrews 11:10 for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
1Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
4By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. 5By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. 6And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. 7By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
8By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.
Wayne Newcomb 2014