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Passport from Heaven (5 of 5)
What good is all this talk about heaven? For the last four weeks we have examined much that the Bible says about the eternal home of the redeemed. For most this has inspired us, lifted our spirits, and hopefully ignited an even more intense anticipation toward what our Lord has in store for us.
But outside of church circles such talk of heaven is sometimes greeted with a sneer. "Pie in the sky by and by" it is sometimes called. A waste of time! An escape from the challenges and responsibilities of the real world! I want to show you today that not only is that accusation false; the truth is exactly the opposite. The more you are convinced of your heavenly future, the more motivated you should be in the here and now.
Our text introduces an important concept. Verse 20 reads, "But our citizenship is in heaven." We understand the concept of citizenship. I have here my United States Passport, a must if you travel outside North America. My passport is issued by the United States Department of State. It declares my allegiance to this contrary rather than the king or constitution of a country I may be visiting. When officials of another country see my passport they know where I belong and where I am eventually headed. It guarantees me certain protections and privileges. If push comes to shove, I know that my country will come to my aid if needed. When I traveled in the Middle East in 1999, the officials would confiscate our passports at the border crossings. Only after we had cleared the security checks would they return them. It is not a small matter to have your passport taken in a foreign land. Without that proof of my American citizenship, I could have been in good deal of trouble.
The Bible term for citizenship in our text is a particular word with a special background. The term is related to the Greek term from which we get our English word for "polit ...
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