The Kingdom VI – Citizenship

Written by Jacob Ninian

The Bible talks about godly men of faith considering themselves as ‘pilgrims and strangers’ in this world and looking forward to being in the ‘heavenly city’ (He.11:13-16). Jesus tells us not to seek after earthly things such as food and clothes but, in contrast, to seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness first (Mt.6:31-33). Paul goes on to exhort us to set our interests on the things above and not on the earth (Col.3:1,2).

Now we know that all these words do not mean that we should become ascetics and get away from the world, or neglect our responsibilities in our earthly life. Someone has commented about people who get into this mistake that “they are so heavenly minded that they are of no earthly use”.

No, it is not by ignoring or neglecting one that we reach out to the other. We are in the world. It would be foolish and wrong to isolate ourselves from that reality. But at the same time, to be heavenly minded, to set our affection on the things above, to seek God’s kingdom first: all these mean that our top priority, the goal that drives us, the principles that we live by, the values that tilt our choices, etc., are based on the fact that we belong to heaven above and not here.

Obviously there is a process of growth in this direction, and also there is a continuing struggle to draw the dividing line correctly. We tend to go to one extreme or the other, and we also have a tendency to choose the way of compromise as a means to get out of this struggle. But we know in our heart that ultimately it pays to stay on the side of God – in His kingdom.

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One Response

  1. Another good post! Thanks for sharing your views with us here. I like the balance you attempted to bring to this debates. Thanks.

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