The Question of Citizenship. by my friend David Spence:
It is impossible to live in our country right now without hearing news, discussions, and philosophies surrounding the concept of citizenship. Arizona, like many states, has enacted laws that deal with this. Florida is in a constant struggle with what to do when there is a life that will be lost at sea without the granting of citizenship. Even our elected officials have been called on the carpet over the idea and requirements of citizenship. And you and I struggle with our own citizenship more than we realize.
I saw a young man in his late teens or early twenties driving a very loud Honda Civic get pulled over last week. I am not sure what he had done to warrant this action but he was very nervous. I am sure that his nervousness was in regards to him getting a ticket or not. If he did get a ticket, he would have to pay the fine or maybe even show up in court and pay whatever fines were levied and then he would be free to go about his life as usual. I don‟t believe his citizenship ever came into question just because of a traffic ticket – that would be ridiculous as the two are unrelated. Citizens of this or any other nation are citizens regardless of their driving record. For that matter, jails are full of people who are citizens of their respective countries. The bottom line is that breaking the law does not change your citizenship.
Why am I saying this? Because we are all lawbreakers (God‟s law) and when we break His law our immediate response is to question our citizenship in heaven. Guilt wears away at us as Satan accuses and lies to and about us. He would like very much to convince you that you are somehow different (worse) than everyone else and that God really doesn‟t love you because of your sin. He wants you to believe you are an exception and that you have lost your citizenship in heaven. Both of these are lies straight out of hell. The truth is that your ticket/fine has already been paid for by the judge (because He so desperately loves you) and you are not merely a citizen of heaven but you are part of the royal family.
In Mark chapter 12, When Jesus was asked which commandment was most important He said it was to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. You may have questions about your salvation (whether you‟re a citizen of heaven or not) and about the process you follow to get there. I know this: if you love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength then the rest of your journey will fall into place. The judge loves you, he‟s already paid your fine, and you‟re free – stop running. You‟re free and you have a personal invitation to a feast at the judge‟s house tonight. I‟ll see you there!