By His Grace: Our citizenship in Heaven
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
In recent weeks across America there has been an ongoing legal dispute over when the U.S. Census will discontinue.
What is a Census?
According to the United States Census Bureau, it is a mandated count of legal citizens living within the United States and its five territories. A census count is required every 10 years. Its purpose is to gather vital information pertaining to you and me, which then is used to determine how much of government funding would be deemed essential toward communities’ public services, healthcare, education along with representation within the government body. An accurate census count usually takes up to three months to complete.
What is imperative for the process to be deemed successful is if each individual completes the questionnaire willingly and in truth.
It has been argued to end counting earlier than its legal and appointed time frame would disenfranchise (deprive) minority communities their rights to a fair share of financial provisions within their communities for the services previously mentioned.
The debate caused me to reflect upon how you and I, too, are counted when it comes to our citizenship and rights in heaven. Allow me to explain.
It is written God created Man and in his image: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” His purpose of doing so is for an ever-lasting fellowship with you and me. A relationship complete in love and all He seeks is our love in return.
Did you know Adam walked in the garden with God when upon the earth?
“And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.”
Adam held citizenship in heaven as well as earth, which came with irrevocable rights that the enemy could not challenge. That is until Genesis chapter 3, the Fall of Man.
Sin, which is a transgression against the will of God, also became a barrier between the Creator and his creation, Mankind. It is here when the census count of heaven became disputed grounds between God and Satan. The adversary desires nothing more than to discredit you and me before the Father in Heaven to be counted out due to disobediences. This could only be achieved through his deceptions and lies just as it was with the fall of man.
Just as the U.S. Census is mandated, so shall it be in Heaven. When God created man he never intended for any to perish but to have everlasting life.
“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”
We serve a righteous God who expects us to do what is right as well. When you and I are disobedient to the will of God it is the same as rebelling. This is what causes barriers spoken of earlier.
“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear."
True repentance and turning away from those things that offends will always place you in right standing with the father in heaven.
There are endless benefits that are new every day that derive from our citizenship in Heaven. To enjoy them you will have to be there to know they are true. Allow me to share a few:
Salvation in Christ Jesus
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
You and I dwell with God for eternity
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.”
There is no more sorrow or pain
“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
To be counted as a citizen of Heaven you first must willfully want a relationship with his Son of God. Jesus. Here is when vital information is shared before man and God through a heartfelt confession that will be used to seal your name in the Book of Life.
The Book of Life located in Heaven contains the names of all believers and followers of Christ Jesus. As the body of Christ, you and I are commissioned to represent him upon the earth until his return.
“He who overcomes [the world through believing that Jesus is the Son of God] will accordingly be dressed in white clothing; and I will never blot out his name from the Book of Life, and I will confess and openly acknowledge his name before My Father and before His angels [saying that he is one of Mine].”
You may ask how I can get started; I want to be counted in that number.
By your own free will, you accept Christ as Lord and Savior. This will be the most important census count of all. Do not allow this moment to pass; tomorrow is not promised.
When you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. This has nothing to do with religion and all to do with a relationship. It is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
Please repeat this prayer: "Lord Jesus, forgive me of my sins I committed against you. I believe Jesus died for my sins and has risen again. Please come into my life and heart and lead the way. I confess you as my Lord and Savior from this day forward. In Jesus' name, amen."
Welcome into the family of Christ.
Until next time, enjoy a wonderful and safe weekend.
May the lord keep you and bless you continuously. In Jesus' name, amen.
Bible references: John 14: Genesis 1:27; Genesis 3 (chapter); 2 Peter 3:9; Isaiah 59:2; Eph. 2:8-9; Rev. 21:3; Rev. 21:4; Rev. 3:5. To obtain the full benefits of each verse, please read the five verses before and after each verse.
Edith Nevis can be reached at 857-2200 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.