Citizens of Heaven

(audio sermon by Gary Sampson)

Citizens of Heaven behave differently to others during a national election. This is because we have different values. These values help us to help others.

Speakers notes follow –

Citizens of Heaven

‘Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?” “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied.“Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?” Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”’ (Jn 18.33-36)

‘But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ’ (Phil 3. 20)

Kingdom not of his world – Our Citizenship is in heaven

Duel citizenship – priority – your real home is where you end up

Paul duel too – preached Roman or Heavenly citizenship?

Big issue – Jesus accused of rivaling Caesar ‘If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar’ (19.12)

Early believers – Jesus or Caesar – clear on earthly or heavenly – lives showed it – do ours?

Election paper info – Chose due to time – know your priority – sometimes you have to choose

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 things.(Col 3. 1)

Citizens of diff countries behave diff – leader allegiance – laws: sides of road (UK, France, Saudi) – Chinese underground church – in Rome do as Romans – till …

Bible all preach – Kenya only degreed? – Pastors forced to marry same sexes? – Be certain of priority citizenship!

‘Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God’ ( Ps 146. 3-5 )

Aren’t you glad this election can’t steal your joy, peace, security, hope, life, praise?

How should citizens of heaven behave in a national election?

Peacemakers – ‘If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone’ ( Ro 12.18)

UN neutral – Citizens of Heaven too! Here to keep peace! Detached

Worldly sees results as ‘be all and end all’ – citizens of heaven above that – world kills for it – not that important to us

Would Paul lay down his life or take a life for the next Emperor? No! For Jesus yes – Paul lived above Roman life – be above!

If you are obsessed – taken over – Jesus doesnt have proper place

Check your heart – then help others

Test may be coming – temptation to get aggressive

Greatest test of mans character – how he responds to pain

Pain – your man loses – your members killed?

Do you have expectation built up – start blaming – slandering – fighting

Football fans – lose – dejected – blame ref – fight opposition

Close election – easily lose – ready???

Parties on tribal lines – ready to combat it – be above it?

Be tribalism free – voting for your tribe? – Are you delivered – safe?

Tribalism is racism – A tribe is a more closely related race, a race is a more distantly related tribe – all genetically linked

Citizen of heaven has certain detachment – guard heart

About focus – dog focused on biscuit, not you – get feeling you’re less important – girl friend focus on you, not choc – election time, stay focused on God – citizen of heaven – don’t be mentally & emotionally drawn

Tongue – ‘The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit’ (Pr 18.21) – ‘Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire’ (Ja 3. 5) – don’t underestimate word – peaceful nation into slaughterhouse

‘Loose lips sink ships’ – before good radar , relied on spies

Social media – superpowered tongue – images – big reach – damage quick

Fire at Fuel company – ‘political?’ Don’t talk that way! Be wise!

‘Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down. As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife’ (Pro 26. 20-21)

Life in tongue too – cancel death – catalyst for life

Challenge: Don’t take sides – bigger fish to fry – politics of heaven

Speak life – circle of influence – walk into party, how get to know all – start with those you know

You have circles on FB, Whatsapp, HG, Church, work – squash foolishness, violence – promote wisdom

‘Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone (Titus 3. 1-2)

If a citizen of heaven: election result can’t steal your joy – you have neutral role to play – you’re King is above all this, so are you!

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