The events of this week have brought my mind regularly to Philippians 3:20.
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
What a solid, firm hope we have in something eternal!
First, this means that our hope is placed in our true home, not in this world in which we are mere strangers and exiles. It's easy to look around and be disappointed about something in our country. Whatever you were trusting in about this country, this week will have shown you that these things can be shaken up. The foundation cannot stand. This a quote from a recent article by The Gospel Coalition: "The world needs a church that lives for another world, for a 'kingdom that cannot be shaken' (Heb. 12:28-29). The church needs men and women of faith, 'strangers and exiles on earth,' who seek their homeland in the new heavens and the new earth, who seek a better country—a heavenly one (Heb. 11:13-16)."
Second, this eternal citizenship means that the laws of Christ supersede the laws of our nation. What we deem as right or wrong is first driven by Scripture. By declaring Jesus to be your Lord, which is what conversion and repentance is, you are submitting yourself to his authority above all other authorities. Therefore, our morals will look different than the world. In a country where over half the people would not say that Jesus is their Lord, we should not expect those people to want to obey Jesus. People whose highest authority is themselves will have a different set of values. Putting our hope in national leadership to bring a nation to Jesus is just futile.
But a dangerous side-effect of this type of thinking and something I've had to guard against is to use this as an excuse to pull out of culture altogether. It's so tempting to want to disengage and live in my own little bubble of Christian piety without engagement with the world. What's the point of that? The whole purpose of being on the earth is to engage those around us.
So, I point you now to an article from IX Marks. This was a good reminder to me of how our heavenly citizenship both separates us from the world and drives us into the world. As you read this (and I hope you do), read into it your own context. Our heavenly citizenship drives urgent, gospel-centered, missions right here in our own front yard. And this article explains it better than I could. Enjoy.
On a more personal note, Lindsay returns from Ethiopia this week! I've been hearing some updates but I'm excited for her to share about her trip next week on this blog!
Also, I am currently working on some new ways to share with you the story and process of Bible translation around the world. It's been so fun to explore and talk with people that are leading this effort. I'll have more details about it all in the coming weeks!