I have come to wonder why we Christians are so ignorant of our dual citizenship rights and responsibilities. Paul wrote to the believers in Philippi saying their citizenship was in heaven [Philippians 3:20]. This one verse reveals a very important truth. We are citizens, and representatives of another world. That world is more real than the one we call home.
Paul told the believers in Corinth that the world that is seen [material realm] is inferior to the world that is not seen [spiritual realm] [2 Corinthians 4:18]. If this is true, and it is, why do we put so much emphasis on this world? Our existence here on earth is an inferior reality. The superior reality exists in our heavenly home. And yet, we know very little about that home. Is it any wonder why? Most of us have never been there.
Does your theology restrict all the blessings of heaven to after we die? If so, then your theology is incorrect. In John 14:2,3 John wrote that Christ said He was going to heaven to prepare a place for us. Jesus said that where He was going we would go there also. In fact, what He said was this, “I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also” [verse 3].
We have been taught that this promise is for when we die. How true it is that when we die we will go to heaven to be with Jesus. But is that the only interpretation of this verse? I do not think so. Truthfully, this verse does not mention dying. It simply says we may go to where Jesus was going. One of the neat things we are discovering is how easy it is to go to heaven. If we believe that we have a home there, and that we are citizens there, then we should expect that we could go there any time we want.
Can you imagine a person holding dual citizenship not going to check on their second homeland? “I know that I have a home in America and one in Africa but I am not allowed to check on the one in Africa until I die”. How ridiculous is that? If a person has the correct documentation proving they have dual citizenship, and they are not in trouble with the authorities of the second country, then they have access anytime they desire to go there. Yet, we Christians have never even visited our permanent home. Some of us don’t even know where it is.
Jesus made a statement in John chapter 3 [NKJV]. In His discussion with Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader, and teacher, He says this in verses 12 and 13 – “If I told you earthly things and you did not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.” WHAT? You are right Jesus, I do not understand! Jesus, standing on the planet having a discussion with a man, said He was in heaven. How could this be? The answer is dual citizenship. He lived, simultaneously, in both realms. This is an amazing statement. One that we often over look. The reason being is because it is too hard to comprehend. It is totally inconceivable to us.
This helps us understand His statement, “I only do what I see the Father doing”. Jesus lived comfortably in both the inferior natural realm, and the superior spiritual realm. He was in constant contact with His Father, who is Spirit. Jesus was talking to an intelligent man that had responsibility to understand spiritual realities. Nicodemus had absolutely no paradigm for the things Jesus was telling him concerning earthly, inferior realities. Jesus was a little perplexed. “How can I tell you superior [heavenly] things?”
I believe that is where most of the Church is today. Jesus desperately wants to reveal heavenly realities to us, after all, we have citizenship in heaven, but He cannot because we are struggling with earthly things. I remember something Jesus said to His disciples while He was on the planet as a human. He said, “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear [handle, carry] them now” [John 16:12]. He was telling them they did not have the framework to handle what He wanted to tell them. How much does Jesus want to tell us, that we cannot handle right now? And what are the obstacles to our being able to handle them? Is it our religious training?
We have to change the way we think. That is what repentance means. In order to change our direction we must change our thought process . True repentance is thinking like God thinks. God thinks that we are crazy for not visiting Him in heaven. Jesus’ first sermon was, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is within reach.” Where is the Kingdom for a Christian? Inside us! When we realize that heavenly realities are closer than we think then it will not be so difficult to understand them.
Paul said to the Ephesian believers that God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in heavenly places [Ephesians 2:6]. . We are, present tense, seated with Christ in heavenly places [realms]. There are places in heaven that we are seated with Christ. More than one place! Multiple places!
What do those places look like? What do they smell like? These are legal questions. We have a right to discover the answer. We are there, right now, in Christ, with Him. Open your eyes! Open your ears! Allow the wonders, the sounds, and the smells to be revealed to you.
Say, “Jesus, come and take me to the places where I am seated with You.” The realities of your permanent residence Jesus wants to show you. He wants to talk to you about those realities. We need to be more familiar with heaven than we are of earth. For the Spirit world is more real than the world we see.
In 1 Corinthians 15:46 Paul said this, “However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.” Paul was telling them that we should be able to understand spiritual realities from earthly things. Although earth is not a perfect reflection of heaven, there are similarities. Creation still declares the wonders of the Creator and point to a heavenly shadow.
And then there is the promise that Jesus gave to all His disciples. “Most assuredly, I say to you, ‘he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also, and greater works than these will he do, because I go to My Father.’”
Jesus said we could do what He did. This causes most Christians to bail out. How can we do the ‘greater things’ if we are choking on ‘the things’? One of the things that Jesus did was live in both realms comfortably. He was on earth speaking to a man and at the same time was in heaven. Do I fully understand how that happens? No! But I am being drawn into an awareness that I must find out. I do not want to be told, “You cannot handle what I want to tell you.” I do not want to be told, “How can I tell you heavenly things if you can’t handle earthly things?” How about you?