Effective Citizens

“If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.”—C.S. Lewis.

The apostle Paul seems to agree with C.S. Lewis. He reminds us that “…our citizenship is in heaven…” (Philippians 3:20) and gives the following exhortation: “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.” (Colossians 3:1-2).

All Christians should want to make a difference in the world around us. We can’t do that by blending in with society. We do need to engage our culture, of course. We can’t isolate ourselves from other people and expect to influence them in any way. However, we must live distinctive lives. We must be recognized by all as having been set apart by God to live as citizens of heaven. It seems like a paradox, but the only way we can be effective Christians in this world is to understand that we are citizens of heaven.

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