Citizens of Heaven

Thought of the day:

What do we envision that our life together in the resurrection to be like?

No more pain, no more sorrow, no more hurting each other by our words or deeds, no more death.

Why will these things be?

Christ will be our King and will provide for us and will lead us in all goodness, and we will no longer hurt each other but will love each other as He has commanded us, and the devil and his scheming will be gone for good, and our bodies will no longer be subject to corruption and death.

But wait a minute, some of that is already true now….

Christ is our Lord and King now already. His kingdom is not of this world, but He is our King. If we say He is our King, do we now neglect His command to love each other and not hurt each other? “May it never be!” as Paul would say. Or as John puts it,

“We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.” (1 John 3:14-23)

What would life look like here if we lived among ourselves as Christians who treated each other the way we expect to act in the resurrection?

In this world we are still assaulted by the devil, the unbelieving world, and the desires of our flesh, and our flesh is still dying here.

But what about when we are just among the fellow believers?
That should be a little taste of heaven, because there we do live among others who are members of Christ’s Kingdom, and as Christ says, “where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” (Mat 18:20)

Ideally, the only difference we should see between the Church now and in the resurrection will be removal of assaults from the devil and his forces and the removal of death. “For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” (1 Cor 15:25-26)

Christ has crushed and is crushing the head of the devil even now. And we, the Church, are His body, so we are called to partake in that work.

So whether we are at church or in the store or at home, we are citizens of heaven away from home, fighting here in a war zone against the devil and his corruption, but still citizens of heaven. We should act like it together.

I need to be reminded of that in my own conduct every day.

“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1 Cor 15:56-58)