Monday, August 21, 2017

PassportsOur oldest son was born in France.  This meant he had dual citizenship.  He would have a choice at 18 to remain an American citizen or reject it in favor of continuing to be a French citizen.

According to a modern belief, Christians have a dual citizenship.  According to scripture, we were “dead in trespasses and sin” in “this world,” because we were “the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2).  Because we accepted Jesus as our Savior, we were “delivered” “from the power of darkness, and translated into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossian 1:13).  However, in this belief we retained our passport from the kingdom of darkness.  Why?  Because, we remain susceptible to sin.  The first time we sin after rising from that burial with Jesus, we leave his kingdom and its citizenship and returned to the Dark side!  We remain in that kingdom until we repent and pray to validate our citizenship in Jesus’ kingdom.  Once we do, it invalidates that first passport and reinstates the second one.  We are again the citizens of Light!  That is, until the next act of darkness (sin).

According to this view, our “dual citizenship” continues until the day we die.  According to human nature, it is a topsy-turvy life of travel between the two kingdoms.  There are periods when we spend more time on the Darkside than we would like to admit.  Sometimes, due to our ignorance, our passport is reinstated for that side without our knowing it!  Also, one may feel comfortable with the congregation has placed membership with, but unknown to him, there is a scriptural violation the church is involved in that no one is aware of.  The entire congregation has slipped back to the Darkside through the deception of the devil.  He embraces the entire assembly with glee!

Those in this view do their best each night to pray asking for forgiveness before they fall asleep.  If they are asked, “If you dropped dead suddenly, without an opportunity to ask for forgiveness, would you go to heaven,” most will reply, “I hope so.”  “Hope so” doesn’t mean “I know so.”  There is no real assurance with this view.  One is either going into this “power of darkness”, stuck in it, or in the process of leaving it.  However, life in the “Light” appears fleeting.

Preachers attempt to encourage the membership that holds this view, but it is difficult because of its lack of assurance.  They too are caught up in this problem.  Perfection is the required goal, but it is “the impossible dream”!  They try to boost morale by affirming that they are following the truth, whereas others are not.  They point out the error that others are engaged in.  Yet, gnawing away inside them is the suppressed thought, “We aren’t perfect.  Will our imperfection keep us out?”  Then the devil intervenes with, “No, your imperfections aren’t as bad as theirs!”  Doesn’t imperfection mean one has failed to gain perfection?  James tells us, “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10).  If one is justified only if he is perfect, but one’s imperfection invalidates that justification, wouldn’t it prove that the person is guilty of breaking the entire law?

The Christian is “dead” to sin (Romans 6:2).  In Christ, one is always in contact with his blood which continually keeps him cleansed from sin (1 John 1:7-10).   Jesus took our sins and in exchange, bestowed upon us his righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).  The Father never sees our sins because Jesus has already taken care of them.  We are not cast out of Jesus at each act of imperfection.  Jesus’ blood is mightier than any of our failures.  We don’t temporarily lose our citizenship in Christ and revert to Darkside citizenship until we repent and pray!  One doesn’t change his citizenship with each act committed.  However, if one chooses to reject the blood of Jesus, then there is nothing that will removed his sins.  When that happens, his rejection keeps him from having fellowship with the Father (Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:25-29)!  Are you a citizen of the kingdom of God’s dear Son?

If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin(1 John 1:7).