Two weeks from today Iowa Republicans will caucus and choose their presidential candidate for November 2012. As Christians, we are to be good citizens and should vote for the candidate that best aligns with our Biblical worldview. With that being said, we Christians must remember that while we live in America and are citizens by birth, we are actually citizens of heaven by rebirth in Christ. If we will look to the future coming of our Lord Jesus Christ I believe our perspectives on all aspects of life would be radically transformed. This is what the Apostle Paul tried to teach the Philippian Church:
â€œBrethren, 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 shameâ€”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.â€ (Philippians 3:17-21)
Most Christians I know absolutely agree and try to fashion their lives around the Biblical truth â€œour citizenship is in heaven.â€ My great question is how many of us â€œalso eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christâ€?
This Sunday we will celebrate the birth of that Savior and no doubt read from the Christmas story in Luke 2 of which verses 8-12 are my favorite:
â€œNow there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, â€˜Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.â€™â€
I love the fact that the first outside eyewitness of Baby Jesus were the shepherds. I love that fact so much Iâ€™ve written an article titled â€œWhy the Shepherds Living Out in the Fields?â€ that will be featured on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at www.newmediajournal.org. Please be sure to read that; I think it will help bring some perspective to the weekend.
But while we are celebrating the birth of our Lord and facing the coming year of 2012 and the elections, are we eagerly waiting for the Savior? Warren Wiersbe describes it as living in the future tense. I want to share with you Wiersbeâ€™s last paragraph in his commentary on our passage this morning from Philippians. It is worth the read:
â€œWhen Jesus returns, He will â€˜subdue all things unto Himselfâ€™ (Phil. 3:21b). That word â€˜subdueâ€™ means â€˜to arrange in ranks.â€™ Isnâ€™t that our problem today? We do not arrange â€˜thingsâ€™ in their proper order. Our values are twisted. Consequently, our vigor is wasted on useless activities, and our vision is clouded so that the return of Christ is not a real motivating power in our lives. Living in the future tense means letting Christ arrange the â€˜thingsâ€™ in life according to the proper rank. It means living â€˜with eternityâ€™s values in view,â€™ and daring to believe Godâ€™s promise that â€˜he that doeth the will of God abideth foreverâ€™ (1 John 2:17).â€
Do I dare believe Godâ€™s promise that if I will do His will that I will abide forever?
Do I dare believe these words from the Apostle Peter?
â€œBlessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.â€ (1 Peter 1:3-5)
We have a living hope in Jesus Christ. Our future is secure; in fact we have a reservation in heaven. That means no matter what happens to America, we who live in the future tense will not grow weary or faint. It doesnâ€™t mean we should not care what happens to our precious country, quite the contrary. Our nation was a blessing from God and as a nation we should strive to be a blessing to God. And knowing that we should always choose the best choice, not the most pragmatic or what necessarily makes sense.
Iâ€™ve quoted him often and I will do so again. John Quincy Adams said that â€œduty is ours; the results are Godâ€™s.â€
Now thatâ€™s what I call living in the future tense!
That is daring to believe Godâ€™s promise.
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Copyright Â© 2011 David Jeffers