Last week was a special day for Juan and his wife as they became United States citizens. It has been several months of preparation and studying for them to become U. S. citizens. It was about two o’clock in the afternoon that I got the call from Pedro. He told me “We did it! We passed the test.” It has been about fifteen years ago that Pedro and his wife left Medellin, Colombia and move to Orlando, Fl. From there they came to Decatur, Alabama. I met Pedro about four years ago, they obeyed the gospel and now they my brother and sister in Christ.
In Jerusalem, in the day of Pentecost something amazing happened. The Bible tell us that people from many nations gathered in one place. Acts 2:8-11
“Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontusand Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”
God, in His infinite wisdom started the church in Jerusalem with all those people that were visiting from different nationalities on the day of Pentecost. The bible tells us that about 3,000 people from different nationalities obeyed the gospel and were baptized on that day (acts 2:41). It did not matter what nationality those people were anymore, from now on they all would be citizens of heaven because they had obeyed the gospel of salvation. Later, the Samaritans, a Roman centurion named Cornelius, the Ethiopian Eunuch, Lydia and many others were baptized and became citizens of heaven.
In the book of Philippians 3:20 the inspired writer tell us that
“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
In a big contrast with false teachers who only focus on “earthly things” (Philippians 3:19), believers should have a much different perspective on life. As Paul mentions again, our homeland is in heaven, not here on earth. Responsible citizenship is important, but our ultimate destiny is not in this world, but with the Lord in heaven. Jesus likewise taught that His kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36) and that He is not of this world (John 8:23).
Instead of temporary things on earth, a believer’s focus is on Christ and His return. We should not focus on greed, sin, and the things of this world. Instead, our concern ought to be on what pleases God. The apostles believed Jesus could come back at any time, teaching Christ will come as He promised (John 14:1–3) at any moment (1 Corinthians 15:50–58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18). Believers are to live holy lives, prepared for His return. Further, we are to help make disciples of all nations, sharing the good news with others so they can also spend eternity with the Lord (Matthew 28:18–20).
I have helped dozens upon dozens to become United States citizens in Alabama, but my goal is greater than that! I want to make them citizens of Heaven!