But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ (Phil. 3:20)
“We are citizens of heaven”, says the Apostle Paul in verse 20. Many people believe that Paul is talking about going to heaven when we die, however, that is not what he is talking about. In order to understand this verse, we need to understand the culture of the Roman world that Paul is writing in.
For example, if you were a citizen of Rome and lived in a city outside of Rome like Phillipi, your goal wasn’t to go to Rome, your task was to bring Roman rule and culture to Phillipi, to expand Roman influence there. So what Paul is saying about being a citizen of heaven means that we are to bring the life and rule of heaven to where we live, extending the influence of heaven to our city.
Yes, we are citizens of heaven, but that doesn’t mean we just have a ticket to heaven when we die. Paul is saying to Christians all around the world, let’s be ambassadors on earth as it is in heaven. What would your city be like if you brought heaven there?