Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of September 17, 2006

Philppians 3:20-21 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. (NKJV)

We sometimes hear people say, “We can be so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good.” But I think this passage says, “We can be so earthly minded that we are no heavenly good.” The Lord seems to want us to remember that here on earth a Christian is a square peg in a round hole. We just don’t fit.

People in the Bible that God used had their eyes on eternal rewards rather than on the ones that this earth provides. Abraham looked for a city whose builder and maker was God (Hebrews 11:10). He lived in tents and never drove his tent pegs too deep. The heroes of the faith in the early part of Hebrews 11 were strangers and pilgrims on this earth. These people were Hebrews who had been given earthly promises and an earthly land. Yet the faithful among them had their eye on a heavenly city.

Christians are “in the world” but not “of the world (John 17:11-4).” We are to be confident that the Lord is coming back for us (John 14:3). This is our “blessed hope (Titus 2:13) and it is the hope that purifies (1 John 3:3). We are to live as though our bags are packed and our desire is to make the trip to our real home.

Now I realize that we also have a citizenship on this earth and we do have responsibilities because we live in the here and now. But those responsibilities are to be carried out with our eye on that which is eternal, spiritual, and heavenly. When we preach the Gospel, we need to mention “eternal life” as well as “eternal condemnation or destruction.” We need to preach that the Man who is in Heaven is the Son of God who came from heaven to die for our sins on this earth. We need to tell people that this life is but the stage rehearsal for eternity.

Unbelievers, that is those who have rejected the claims of Christ, are generally earthly-minded. In the passage we have mentioned, they are enemies of the cross of Christ, they are motivated by gluttony, and they glory in things that should find shameful. In the book of the Revelation, they are often called those that dwell upon the earth or earth dwellers.

I have often wondered, as people watch us, do they see people who are occupied with eternity or do they see people who are occupied with the hear and now? Do our congregations deal with eternity or are all the programs associated with the here and now? I realize that immediate needs must be met in order to preach the Gospel to the needy. So we feed the hungry and clothe the naked and send the sick to doctors and we ought to. And we ought to do these things whether we can speak to them about eternity or not. But if we are to have any credibility with those to whom we minister, wouldn’t it seem that we should be motivated by heavenly blessings and not earthly ones? Shouldn’t people see that we really are a people whose citizenship is in heaven?

It is so easy to get so involved in the few years God has given us here that we forget about the reality of eternity. We are not ready to live until we are ready to die. And we are not ready to die until we have prepared for eternity.

John 3:14-15 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Bruce Collins

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