BEING A CITIZEN OF HEAVEN
They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.
Philippians 3:19-21 NLT
Paul continues to talk about those who are “enemies of the cross of Christ.” He gives us a distinction in opposites. Paul says, “they are headed for destruction;” while we “are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.”
Paul gives this definition of the enemies of the cross. “Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth.” Let’s unwrap this definition. What does it mean, “their god is their appetite?”
I believe it means they allow the desires of the flesh to control them. They give in to whatever feels good at the present moment even though it might cause pain and problems in the future. When someone gives in to a momentary fling that destroys both marriage and family, they have allowed their appetite to become their god. When a person indulges in an excess of food and drink to the abuse of their physical body, they are allowing their appetite to become their god.
What about, “they brag about shameful things?” I’ve heard individuals brag about the number of people they have slept with, or the people they have ripped off for personal profit. There are others that brag about actions that should be seen as shameful behavior.
Perhaps the most telling definition of the enemies of the cross is, “they think only about this life here on earth.” These are temporary minded people. They aren’t thinking of eternity or even next week, next month or next year. They have chosen to live in the moment and not concern themselves with the consequences of today’s choices.
In opposition to this view of life Paul reminds his readers that as followers of Christ we are “citizens of heaven.” What a statement. We are citizens of heaven living in a foreign land. We are subject to the laws of this land, but we recognize this is all temporary, we are eternal.
Everything on this earth will perish and be destroyed. But we, as children of God, are eternal. We will live eternally in the glorious presence of our Heavenly Father.
We need to live today with the eternal in mind. There is coming a day when Jesus will appear and correct all that is wrong. He will be the judge who will rule and reign.
Holy Spirit please help me to live with an eternal mindset. Forgive me for the times I have allowed my appetite to become my god. Help me to live daily with eternity in mind.
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