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September 8, 2021 2:00 am
Jesus said our names are written in heaven because we've been born again. That makes us tourists and foreigners here on earth. In the message "Show Me Your Passport, Please!" Skip shares about several characteristics of heavenly citizens.
This teaching is from the series Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians .Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
All of us are foreigners making our journey on a pilgrimage towards heaven.
We have a passport because we trust in Jesus, but we need more than a passport. We need partners patterns. We need people who will walk the walk before us and will walk beside us and show us in real time how it's done because the journey gets hard sometimes.
Did you know that one of the first passports ever issued was in the Bible in the book of Nehemiah the king of Persia sent Nehemiah with a letter requesting save passages a journey home today on connect with Skip Heitzigs and Skip talks about what it means to live as a foreigner on earth, because you are citizen of heaven but first we want to invite you to see the very places Jesus walked taught and performed miracles never tried to imagine the place in the Bible you could study the Scriptures where it all took place when you join Skip for his upcoming trip to Israel in 2022 lifetime memories and deepen your faith as you see the Bible come alive before your eyes. Find out more inspiration creases.com – CAD Q word Philippians chapter 3 as we dive into her study with Skip Heitzig, whatever you travel outside of this country you you're gonna need one of these is the passport the passport designates that you are a citizen of whatever country it is that you were born in. You have citizenship. There and you can't just walk from one border into another border and say I decided to visit and ask you some officials gonna say please show me your passport or they might not use the word please them. I just say passport and yet the show it to them at designates where you're from and then there certain stipulations about where you're going when you arrive at an airport in a foreign country, you get to see two lines, one that will say citizens and one that says noncitizen and that's because if you are a citizen of a country you are afforded certain privileges that noncitizens don't have in any country. If you were to look at the first page of the American passport. It says the Secretary of State of the United States of America, hereby requests all whom it concern to permit the citizen or national of the United States, named herein to pass without delay or hindrance any case of need to give all lawful aid and protection. Let's say that you don't belong to this country but you want to become a citizen of the United States you can do that you can do that by becoming what is called a naturalized American citizen and there is a process that you would go through in order to become naturalized in what you go to the process.
You then swear an oath in public and part of the oath reads like this, I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have here 24 been a subject or citizen that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. So help me God. So though you may be born elsewhere, not of your own choice.
Of course the choice of your parents you can become a citizen of this country by choice and by oath, but by becoming a citizen of this country. You also become a foreigner of every other country course are exceptions. There's a thing called dual citizenship which interestingly wasn't even possible until recently was the late 1960s where you can hold dual citizenship.
But that's more of a recent development, effectively becoming a citizen of one country means you are a foreigner of other countries. Likewise, when you become citizens of heaven, you become foreigners on this earth.
This earth is just like a transit lounge in an airport you're passing through.
This is and where you gonna spend the bulk of your time. You have an eternal home and have with that in mind, let's go to our text Philippians chapter 3, beginning in verse 17 what I call the citizenship clause of the book of Philippians, brethren, join in following my example and note those who so walk as you have us for a pattern for many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their mind on earthly things for our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to his glorious body, according to the working by which he is able even to subdue all things to himself now in calling believers citizens of heaven, that would be meaningful to the Philippians. Here's what Philip I know it was about 7800 miles away from Rome. If you were born in Philippi since Philippi was a colony of Rome, any citizen of Philippi was a citizen of Rome so those in Philippi did not speak the language of Macedonia. They spoke the language of Rome. They were not Macedonian close, but Roman clothes.
They were loyal to the Roman government and when they tuck their children in bed at night. They didn't tell them stories of local heroes. They told their children stories of all the glories of Rome we to because we have citizenship in heaven. We are temporarily living in this colony called the earth.
That's the metaphor that's the idea behind Paul's usage of the term. However, there was also another group they were foreigners of heaven, trying to pass themselves off as citizens, their fakes, their fakes, citizen now in the passport in a most people to read these things but there's fine print in every passport and it says on one of the pages. It is unlawful for any person other than the original lawful recipient to use this passport and then there's a little clause that says alteration or mutilation of the passport and it reads like this. This passport must not be altered or mutilated in any way alteration could make the passport invalid and if an willful may subject you to prosecution no.
Why would they have to put a warning like that of the passport because one passport per person.
I can just say you want to travel, take this passport go ahead. Why spend the money on yours.
Just borrow mine.
You couldn't do that and some people would be tempted to take the passport cut out my picture and put their picture.
Change the name because there are people who are false citizens of Paul has that in mind. Also when he writes this paragraph if you remember there were religious groups, and Paul makes mention of them along the way. So far that it infiltrated the church in chapter 1 Paul said some speaking of, among them some among you preach Christ out of envy and strife from selfish ambition, not sincerely, as we move on in the letter, he gets stronger by chapter 3 and he says beware of dogs, beware of the evil workers. Beware of the mutilation now is called amount speaking specifically of those legalistic Judaizers, who were saying you need to go through the process of circumcision and keeping the law of Moses in order to be saved. Now it gets even stronger and he calls them the enemies of the cross of Christ. So looking to be considering both of these groups, citizens and noncitizens as we work our way through the passage but let's go back to the passage and allow me to give you some distinguishing characteristics of citizens of the kingdom of heaven. First off, citizens walk with partners citizens walk with partners. Verse 17 brethren join in following my example Paul writes, and note those who so walk as you have us for a pattern here. It almost goes without saying that Paul the apostle was like a model citizen of heaven, and he says follow my example. Now this is not arrogance. Paul is not putting himself on a pedestal above them. We know that because remember in verse 12 he says not that I have already attained, or were already perfected, so is not placing himself on a pedestal above them he's placing himself on a platform next to them and he is saying just as I am pursuing Christ with all my being.
I invite you to join me in that pursuit. This is the Philippians 3 way of saying what he writes in first Corinthians twice.
Follow me as I follow the Lord or imitate me as I imitate Christ something else. Notice that he moves beyond his own example and he draws a bigger circle. He says note values that's plural who so walk and you have us again plural as a pattern. So in Paul's mind he is saying you can use me Timothy a path for dieters your own elders and deacons. Leaders of the church that he mentions in chapter 1, all of us as partners and as patterns of how to walk. Here's the principle all of us are foreigners making our journey on a pilgrimage towards heaven. We have a passport because we trust in Jesus, but we need more than a passport. We need partners. We need patterns we need people who love walk the walk before us or will walk beside us and show us in real time how it's done because the journey gets hard sometimes it gets lonely sometimes and this road and it's nice to have people around us who will encourage us and show us how to walk in a psychologists have said that they can tell a lot about an individual's personality. By the way they walk and now some people to sort of walk 1200 feet, says a lot about that person and it is her meandering and they get distracted very easily.
Other people have a cadence and again they want to go to a certain place.
It reveals about their personalities.
One time DL Moody was having a conversation with a friend and a man walked by. Moody had never met him but the friend he was talking to new him as the man walked by DL Moody said to his friend. He must've been in the Army, the principal, he was in the Army. How did you know Moody said I could tell by the way he walked in a soldiers walk a certain way, don't cowboys walk a certain way. Lisa doing the movies that John Wayne had asserted that swagger didn't could tell it was him when he was, Christians are to have a certain walk. Of course I'm using that metaphorically walk as a way of living. The Manor lifestyle living their life. So as you walk.
Note those who so walk you have them as partners. You have them as a pattern Mark Twain once humorously wrote few things are harder to put up with. Then the annoyance of a good example. May I just say we need more of that annoyance.
We need the annoyance of good examples around us. Those who have been involved in 12 step programs are those who teach them a for alcoholic recovery or addiction recovery will say that an addict cannot recover unless they have a sponsor and they say it's the sponsor that serves as a motivator and encourage her. A person with whom they can be accountable and I would say that we can't really mature. Well we can grow well unless we have a sponsor. A mentor it's called discipleship in the New Testament were never to be alone or isolated. We need to walk with others. The sins will walk with partners. I think we can learn from the elephants. I ran an article about an elephant herd in Africa and to thin out the herd was growing was becoming a little too populous. So to finish out the herd authorities decided to kill off some of the older males in that herd and relocate the females and the young bull elephants to another area in the area, they moved into was a herd of white rhinos and they noticed that once the elephants were in that region. The white white rhinos were being killed off not by poachers but by elephants young bull elephants who were very aggressive and I just wanted to prove their elephant hood started telling these white rhinos. In fact, the authorities noted it was as if one of the elephants got a game together and went after tour buses so they had another problem on their hands now to address that problem, they decided let's kill off some of the young bull elephants that didn't really fix things.
So what they decided to do is to release a few older males from another area into the troubled neighborhood and they notice it fixed the problem.
It wasn't long before those young bull elephants got back into line and they discovered that these young elephants don't know how to act from day to day without the example of older elephants. So it's not just in the animal kingdom without as needed. It's in God's kingdom in the Christian life. We need to see that life lived in others. Citizens will walk with the set of partners in a pattern is the second characteristic citizens watch for pretenders verse 18. He says for many walk, the reason we need people who walk well is because many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly or their appetites whose glory is in their shame and who set their mind on earthly things. You see, not everybody within the borders of the country are citizens. You can have people in the general population look like everybody else, but they're not loyal citizens that are actually hostile to the national interests in every country knows these people can be a problem. Paul knows it's a problem. Even within the church because you not told you about this before, but now I'm writing this to you and as I'm writing I'm weeping that a weird word to read in the book of Philippians we noted already that this is a letter that 19 times use of the word joy or rejoice. It's the epistle of joy.
Nothing could take Paul's joy away, but here Paul says I'm weeping is I weeping for himself. He's weeping for the church because he knows the outcome could be catastrophic. And so he warns them. These are fake citizens. That is, they know that heavenly language but they're not conformed to heavenly laws. Remember Jesus said be aware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves and predicted Jesus. This will be a problem even to the end of the age.
Matthew 24 when he speaks of the end of the age. He says many will come in my name, and will deceive many. And as you farm through the New Testament. You find out this is an ongoing issue.
You get to the book of acts you get to chapter 8, there's a guy named Simon Magnus was a fake believer among the general population of believers in Samaria go a few more pages. Acts 13. There was Ella Moss, the sorcerer, then you get to the 20th chapter of acts when Paul is about to leave the Ephesian elders and before he leaves.
He says I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in, not sparing this flock. In fact, men from among your own selves her own rank will come in, speaking perverse words to draw the disciples to themselves. He knew it would become an issue as we go on to the New Testament.
Paul calls out to people in the church at Ephesus.
This is in the book of first Timothy named Hymenaeus and Alexander whom Paul says, whom I have delivered to Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme limited to the writings of Peter first Peter second Peter second Peter three chapters to those three chapters are totally devoted to the issue of false teachers, false prophets within the church. He says there are false teachers among you who bring in destructive heresies, why so many warnings I didn't cover. While there are many more in the New Testament why so many because it brings up a truth scattered among every church are pretenders. They may be sitting next to you right now I don't say that Seo given the evil eye. My speed you. I knew that about you but that you're aware of, but nonetheless, many people can sing the same songs pray the same prayers engage in the same activities and at the same time be pseudo-citizens, pseudo-citizens, they speak the language of the court, but Christ is not there came as no allegiance to him and you shouldn't be surprised by this know some of us go. I can't believe that would help with the church really shouldn't be surprised because Jesus said that the good seed is sown in the field and it brings up crop. But the enemy comes along and sows tares among the wheat and then Jesus even said not everyone who says to me Lord Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven.
So, apparently, according to Jesus and Peter and Paul and John and everybody who would contribute to the New Testament understands that wherever there is something true there's gonna be something counterfeit that will be next to like the Puritan William Goodall who said these are people who love God in their mouth, but the world is in their hearts. Notice how Paul writes about them. He says they are the enemies of the cross of Christ. When you like to know exactly who is talking about that I say would you like to know I can't be sure exactly what group Paul is referring to, because in Philippi like just about everywhere else in the New Testament early church there were two groups that were on the opposite end of the spectrum. Both were problematic. One we've Artie noted with the Judaizers.
These were people who said you have to keep Jewish law go to Jewish ritual in order to be saved. Keep circumcision. They were the legalists on the other hand, there were the Gnostics and the Gnostics were not legalistic. They were anti-know me and that is having no law at all, and the Gnostics believed that all matter was evil, only the spirit is good and that you can be saved by aligning your spirit and surrender to God that you do anything you want with your body because your body is irredeemable so in effect, the Gnostics that is always in your heart you believe in God and follow Christ. You can live any way you want with your body.
That was problematic so we don't know if he is referring to the legalistic group or the antinomian group of the Judaizers or the Gnostics. Either way both groups being problematic would fit the description enemies of the cross of Christ. They are a menace that Skip the message from the series technical or joy right now to share about a great resource that gives you incredible insight into what's going on in the Middle East and why it matters for you. The beating heart of Bible prophecy is the land of Israel and the Middle East. Joel Rosenberg has his finger on the pulse of the world shaking changes happening right now and he unveils them in his new nonfiction book enemies and allies is the first stage inside loft inside the houses of chains and is president Prime Minister's is think about how making Israel US relations was making enemies and allies from multiple New York Times best-selling author Joel Rosenberg takes you on an unforgettable journey inside the turbulent Middle East behind closed doors to hear from the varied kings and crown princes, presidents and prime ministers who are leading the charge. Enemies and allies includes exclusive never before published quotes insight and analysis from the authors conversations with some of the world's most controversial leaders your hardcover copy enemies and allies is our thanks for your generous gift of $35 or more today to give call 800-962-1888 connected.com. As believers we are earthly and heavenly citizens and are likely many more people to become citizens of heaven, that's why we meet these Bible teachings available to help you work for Jesus, you can lead others into his kingdom and how many others did the same when you get a gift today. Just call 892 1888 the gift today that 800 9218 or is it connected.com/donate.connect the skip.com/donate things here today and tomorrow is Skip Heitzig shares what happens the moment Jesus changes you completely and perfectly reflect his beauty.
Our hope is not in the coming of the Lord. Our hope is in the Lord who is coming and no waiting for an event to bail me out. I'm waiting for a person that I know and love is coming back. He's my Lord is my Savior and that intimacy will be fully realizes that the castle may Skip presentation of connection communications to God's unchanging truth, ever-changing time