Citizens of Heaven – Sermon by Steven Loots


Sermon: Citizens of Heaven

Phil 3:18-21 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

Why is it that many pastors and influential church leaders are so caught up in the politics of the Pandemic? Many seem to have lost all perspective – they seem to have no compassion with those suffering and those who have lost loved ones. They downplay the numbers, and ignore the plight of the poor around the world who have to bear the brunt of being in lockdown. Why are so many believers angry at their loss of freedom and the erosion of their rights? There seems to be a total loss of true perspective.

Let us turn to the source of truth, the Bible, and see if we can regain some perspective about our place in the world and the role we should be playing.

  1. We are Citizens of Heaven
  • We died
    • Colossians 3:1-3 1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly thingsFor you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
    • Our citizenship of this world was cancelled:
      • Our primary allegiance to the people, structures, systems, values and issues of this world was transferred to a different Kingdom.
      • We became part of a different culture:
        • You will always feel like a stranger when you serve God fully,
        • You will never be able to serve two masters,
        • You will never be able to fully assimilate into the culture of the day while setting your heart and mind on things above.
      • We serve a King and we are part of a Kingdom which transcends all others.

1 Pet 2: 9-12  But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.


  • We have a new home
    • You are not HOME! Even if you are locked down, you are in your temporary home, not where you belong.
      • Even with all the creature comforts, you will become dissatisfied.
      • Buying more stuff will not help your feeling of homesickness.
      • When we worship we get a taste of heaven…
    • We are mere travelers, aliens and strangers in this world.
      • Homesickness.
    • So what are we doing here?


  1. We are ambassadors of Christ

2 Corinthians 5:19-21  19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin[a] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

  • We represent the King and His Kingdom:
    • His Kingdom is not a Democracy. He is the boss.
  • We are subject to His rules, laws and protection and provision.
  • Our mandate is clear.
  • We are on a mission.
  • We have an important message: Be reconciled to God.
  • We have an important plan: Make Disciples.
  • Ill: What is an Ambassador?
  • We are not secret agents:
    • We are not to put down roots.
    • We are not to emigrate back to the world = backslide.
    • We are not to assimilate –we are not to be like the world.
    • We are not to try be liked, accepted or even understood.
      • We will always rub the culture up the wrong way.
    • We are in uniform and under orders.


  1. We are soldiers under orders

Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. 1 Tim 2:3-4.

  • We are not “peacetime ambassadors”.
  • We are sent to an enemy nation!!
  • We do not have a cushy assignment.
  • We are not there to tell them how to run their country but to lay out the terms for peace or to face destruction.
    • We are ambassadors to a difficult place, a war zone, a place where sin is rampant and which HATES our King, His Kingdom and His servants.
    • We are under orders.
    • We are not supposed to get entangled in “civilian affairs” but to set our hearts and minds on things above.
      • Remember who you are.
      • Remember where home is.
      • Remember what you are doing here.
      • Remember who you serve.
      • Remember where your allegiance lies.
      • Remember who is in command.
      • Remember your assignment.
      • Remember to stay focused.
      • Remember to set your heart and mind on things above.
      • Remember that there might be a price to pay.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18  17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


1 Peter 1:3-9 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.