TITLE: Where's your citizenship?
By dee smith
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I am proud to be an American. I love this country and wouldn’t want to live under the laws of any other nation on Earth. I was born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. My parents are US citizens—so I was born a citizen of the United States. I really didn’t have any choice in the matter. As a citizen I have certain legal rights and freedoms. These are the rights and freedoms given to all citizens of the US—natural and naturalized. We are equal under the law.
When I read my Bible I often found myself sighing deeply as I realized this great nation I love will not last forever. We will not be a super power in the end times—it doesn’t take a Biblical scholar to realize that. We are not part of the old Roman Empire—unless you want to claim our ancestors came from Europe, so we are descendants of the Roman Empire. I am not sure I accept that logic. The Bible may use different names, but the geography does not change. The land North of Israel may be Russia today and Gog of yesterday, but it is still the same land.
As I pondered the fate of America, I can come up with several scenarios to explain it. None of them really matter—my country will go down with or without a fight. Then who will we be? What of our freedoms and rights?
God has the answer to that question. Ephesians 2:19 says “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and are of God’s household” (NASB) When we were born again we were “naturalized” as it were into the Kingdom of Heaven. Most Christians would agree with this. But do we live like it?
I remember as a Captain in the USAF, I visited East Berlin. I was told if detained by an East German officer, I was to demand to speak to a Russian officer as we were part of the occupying forces. Even though it technically was East Germany, I only had to answer to the occupying forces, of which I was one. I remember one East German officer being highly upset with me (I did jay walk). He was yelling at me to stop. I kept on walking knowing there was nothing he could do to me. He eventually stopped yelling and I continued on my way. I have never forgotten that experience. I didn’t have to pay attention to the authority other East Germans submitted to. It wasn’t quite diplomatic immunity, but it was as close as I would ever get. Even though I didn’t technically have to submit I still should have, out of respect if nothing else.
As Americans we can get so caught up in our “God given rights” we lose sight of the God who gave them to us. We get so used to the status quo, of how things are done here in America; we forget that we serve another God. He is the God of the Bible. He is not bound by our cultural desires or laws. As Christians we have pledged allegiance to Him and His causes. He is in control. Yes, countries will fall and persecution will come, but He still reigns and ever will. We need to realize we are here as ambassadors for Christ, our citizenship are in Heaven and one day we will return there. (Currently we are seated with Christ in the heavenlies—so it is a return).
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