FJWL (Custom)

I once read about a 91 year old man from Cuba who had lived in Miami since Fidel Castro took over his country. He died and his last wish was to have his remains buried back “home” – but only after Castro’s regime fell. Well, I imagine the family is still waiting for that day…

Strange thing about people who were born overseas and now, for one reason or another, find themselves living in the U.S. They may be here only three days or thirty years, but deep down inside their heart they still have a longing for “home.” Not that they don’t love their adopted country. Quite the contrary, but there is still a connection to the place of their birth, even for those who know they will never be allowed to return “home.”

The Bible has a term for that. It is the little word “alien.” It is used frequently in the Bible to refer to “foreigners,” but it is also used metaphorically to refer to the people of God who are living on earth. The apostle Peter summed it all up when he said, “Dear friends, I warn you as ‘temporary residents and foreigners’ to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.” (1 Peter 2:11).

Paul reminds us of the same idea at the end of Philippians 3, But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.” (Philippians 3:20).

This is a good warning not to live here as if we were going to stay here. Christians should have a quality to their lives that speaks of discontent and restlessness with this world. Because we know we have a better country to go to, we should live here like “aliens” who are here, but yet long to go home. Like foreigners who are only an incomplete match to the rules of their adopted culture, we should yearn for the day when we will be a perfect match with the culture of heaven.

This Sunday, we will look at what it means to live as a citizen of heaven in this interim called “live on earth.” Come prepared because there will be a unique and practical ask at the end of the service. For now, though, think about what our lives would look like if we truly lived in light of our heavenly citizenship…

Ethnic divisions would be rendered meaningless, because He has broken the wall of hostility that separated us before.

We would not value people according to their possessions, because we would acknowledge that all our riches are like filthy rags at the foot of the cross.

We would not accumulate unneeded stuff, because we know we are not here to stay.

We would focus our money and efforts on the greatest enterprise there is – making sure that men, women and children who are still outside of Christ have a chance to meet this wonderful Messiah we love so much.

Our passions for sports teams would pale in comparison to our yearning to be with Christ.

The list goes on and on. I feel like we need to go to school to learn to live like an “alien.”

Happy “alien” school!

Pastor Ivanildo C. Trindade