Alien Citizens. That’s the title of this blog-site. That’s what I consider myself and every other Christian in the world. We are aliens in this world, yet ironically, this is the only world we have ever known and lived in. Well, the only one until we beheld a new and perfect world, a world that we look forward to. A world untainted with sin and ruled entirely by Christ. We can now envision a world in which there will be no more tears, no more pain and no more death.
The more we behold this new world, the more our hearts are filled with longing for it. This new world draws our hearts towards it, not the way a new experience draws curious minds, but the way thoughts about home make us nostalgic. We are homesick for a world we have never known, never lived in, a world that exists only in the future. We long to return to a place we never left. Heaven is the name of this world.
The idea was inspired by the words of Jesus in his last prayer for his disciples before embarking on a journey that would culminate at the hill of Calvary. In prayer to His Father, He says:
“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.” [John 17:13-19]
In this portion of the epic prayer, Jesus connects and correlates his own status in the world with that of his followers. He says that his followers “are not of the world any more than He is of the world.” Jesus was obviously not of this world.
- First, He did not come into this world like other men. He was born of a virgin, conceived of the Holy Spirit.
- Secondly, He did not walk in this world like other men. He was sinless, never said a white lie or entertained a mean thought. Jesus was a perfect man.
- Thirdly, Jesus did not leave this world like other men. He may have been crucified like other men, suffered physical pain like other men and even died like other men, but that’s not how Jesus left this world. After two days in the grave, He rose on the third day and walked on this earth for 40 days. Then He ascended into heaven in the full sight of His followers. Jesus did not leave this world like other men.
And now He calls us to be like Him. He calls us to be in this world but not of this world. Through His death, He took the punishment for our sins and gave us the gift of life in heaven, forever to live in the presence of Himself and His father. Like Jesus, we are Alien Citizens.
- Once we believe in Jesus (His life, death and resurrection), we enter this world anew. We do not enter this world like other men. We are born again, born of the Holy Spirit.
- Once we believe in Jesus, we do not walk in this world like other men. We walk in the Spirit, always seeking to know and obey the will of the Father, pleasing Him with our lifestyles and thanking Him for our lives.
- Once we believe in Jesus, we will not leave this world like other men. Yes, we will die like other men, suffer the same physical pain and experience the same bodily death, but we will not be leaving this world in the same way. Alien Citizens leave this world with gladness, not sadness. We leave this world with hope, not despair. We leave this world as aliens finally returning home.
As believers in Christ, our salvation from this world of sin and wretchedness is an alien salvation. “The Son of God became a son of man so that the sons of men could become sons of God” (C.S. Lewis) Jesus, an alien to the world, became a citizen in this world so that the citizens of this world could become aliens to this world. But the good news is that we, who were once aliens to heaven, unwelcome and forever banished, have now been made citizens, residents forever to call heaven our home.
“Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” [Romans 7:25]
For the fame of His name,
Happy holidays friends, I pray that you will have a blessed and hopeful 2013. We are 1 year closer to heaven!