Most of us believe that we are from the planet Earth. And why not? Surely we’re not from Mars or Venus or some other planet. We and billions of other people live in hundreds of different countries, large and small, that cover the face of the Earth. We order our lives according to the governments and cultures of those countries. We limit our whole lives to what’s on the planet because that’s the way everybody has been living for thousands of years. However—we have lost touch with reality.
Even those of us who claim to know the ultimate King (God) do not understand that we also belong to a country that supersedes any of the human countries we know about. We think of “the Kingdom of God” as a term that’s been pasted into prayers and sermons like an add-on. We don’t consider it our home country any more than Mars. We think the Kingdom of God and Heaven comprise some kind of invisible future destination above the clouds.
The truth about the Kingdom is difficult to get across to people. IWe’ve been so conditioned to think “religion,” that God has difficulty getting through to us the real message He has delivered to us through Jesus Christ, which is about His Kingdom and how much He wants us to be full citizens of it, even while we’re still living on this globe.
His message is personal. Anybody who claims Christ as Savior becomes a citizen of the Kingdom of God, but too many people leave their citizenship on the shelf. They consider their faith to be religion, not citizenship, and they don’t realize that it should be making a difference in every detail of their personal, earthly lives.
You cannot see citizenship; you must experience it. In the same way, you cannot see the Kingdom of God; you must experience it.
God, the King, has set up His Kingdom so that it is composed of earthly outposts, or colonies, populated with His citizens. But the story of these colonies has not been an easy one. When Adam and Eve declared independence from Heaven, they had to set up their own government. God’s Holy Spirit was no longer their “governor,” because they didn’t want Him to be. So Heaven started to seem like someplace far away. We lost the language, the culture, the values, the morals, the convictions, and the lifestyle that should have been the standard for any earthly colony of the Kingdom. We became aliens to God.
Because He wanted to turn that around, He sent His Son Jesus to make sure we would know about the Kingdom again. Once we find out how we fit into the Kingdom of God, the whole thing gets reversed. We begin to feel like aliens on planet Earth. We begin to feel that we belong someplace else. We also begin to rediscover the present-day benefits that come with our heavenly citizenship.
It is my great passion to introduce people to the fullness of their citizenship in this heavenly Kingdom. The Kingdom of God has almost nothing to do with religion. Instead, it has everything to do with the King Himself—with replicating His character and reproducing His will on Earth. Maturing in their citizenship, Kingdom citizens grow to reflect their King’s culture, values, morals, nature, and lifestyle.
“Kingdom” is not my idea—it’s God’s idea. I don’t know why we ignore the obvious. Almost every book of the Bible has some reference to the Kingdom. Jesus talked about His Father’s Kingdom all the time. But we do not. Instead, we talk about the Church and Christianity.
Like the people who are profiled in the 11th chapter of the letter to the Hebrews, we should be looking instinctively for a better country. It is called Heaven. Every one of us misses Heaven, but most of us can’t figure out what we’re missing. We are missing our home country. We miss the lifestyle of peace, love, and joy. We miss the place where the streets are paved with gold and nobody has to steal it. We miss the place where the crystal-clear air is filled with joyful singing instead of smoke and gang violence. We miss our heavenly Father and our older Brother, not to mention all of our other brothers and sisters who belong to the King. We miss all of that, and somehow we think we must wait many years before we can go there. But the Kingdom of God is a present-tense place. It is an exciting place to call home! And best of all, we can experience it in the here-and-now!