27 Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. 28 Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. 29 For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. 30 We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it.Philippians 1:27-30, NLT
Live as citizens of the kingdom of Heaven! That’s a massive lift. Live as if heaven is already here! Can I really do that?
Live as if we are already in Heaven! I don’t know that I can fathom that. It means that I have to imagine what Heaven is like. So what is Heaven like? Among other things…
- It’s complete trust
- It’s total worship
- Complete communion
- Unselfish service
- Kindness, peace, and grace
- Fullness of Joy
- Complete Justice for all
- True Wholeness
So if we are to live as citizens of Heaven, are striving is to press for, live for, and do the list above. This will create tension for us, because of the selfishness and brokenness of our world. We have to remember, Jesus wasn’t just crucified for our sins. In reality, he was crucified for several reasons:
- He made claims as if he were God – Blasphemy
- He was building influence among the people – Jealousy
- He was calling out the injustice and brokenness found in the religious and political systems of the day – Authority
That’s why Paul brings in suffering. When we fight for the same things Jesus did, we will experience struggle. But that’s the role of living as citizens of Heaven. We fight for the things Jesus fought for.
Live as if Heaven is already here.
Thy kingdom come, they will be done, on earth, as it is, in Heaven!