By Robert Halsey Pine
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 3:17 – 4:7 NRSV).
Tell it like it is, Paul! Does anyone really believe that his or her citizenship is in heaven? If our citizenship is in heaven, why are we messing around with all this worldly stuff? Be honest now. Are you ready to give up your home, car, TV, stereo, computer, boat or any of your other toys for Christ? If you don’t have many of these things right now, you are probably closer to God than the average person. Our true citizenship is in heaven! Do you really know what that means?
Paul says that “[Christ] will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself.” Folks, take it from a fellow sinner. We are of God’s making.
He created the recipe. Without Him we have no being. He has loaned us to the Earth. Not a hair on our head is without His fine touch. Not a breath we breathe is without His creative force. We do not move a muscle without His creative touch. A song comes not unto our lips without His created resonance.
We spend our whole life resisting Him who created us. Through our own stubbornness and laziness we are broken down, one bit at a time. He allows us to self-destruct as long as we refuse to turn to Him. The greatest men and women in the history of the natural world have gone to their graves scratching and biting as they continue to resist their maker.
How plain does it have to be? We must surrender! We must give in to the Lord. He has all the votes. Who do we think we are kidding? He understands the mystery because He is the mystery. An atheist makes more sense than we do. He doesn’t think there is a God. We think there is a God, yet we avoid Him at every turn.
Father God, Why am I so stubborn and stupid? Intellectually I know that You must be there, but I keep on trying to run Your show. I know that You haven’t died and left me in charge. What is it about me that causes me to shun You? Father, please help me. I want to know You better. I want to earn my citizenship with You in heaven. AMEN.
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.