Where Is Your Interest?

In light of the 2018 elections in the United States of America, I have deemed it necessary to write this article. This article was originally formulated to be a video for the expansion of the2OliveTrees.org. Unfortunately, we are not in a space to make that expansion and sustain it. We still believe the information is pertinent and therefore we have decided to publish this article.

 

The Lesser of Two Evils

During every election cycle, the politically interested are bombarded with advertisements and promises made by political figures. Many of us get sweep up in our dislikes of a candidate that we ignore the character of the opposing candidate. Sadly, many accept the idea of choosing “the lesser of two evils.”

For followers of the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father, we find no evidence in the Holy Scriptures supporting this idea. God never instructs us to choose evil. In fact, God will set a choice before us but His expectation and will for us is to choose life and good. Notice what God says to the Israelites in the following verses:

“See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil… I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” (Deut. 30:15, 19)

Take some time to read the entire 30th chapter of the book of Deuteronomy. God gives you a choice, but He wants you to choose life. Know that evil is not a valid choice in the eyes of God.

We know that no man is perfect (Rom. 3:23), but if a man does not stand on the principles of God, then how can you trust him to lead? Where will he lead you to? The Old Testament is filled with examples of leaders who turned Israel away from the Almighty God. Israel was constantly led into the way of destruction. Read the 10th chapter of I Corinthians. Notice the following verse:

“Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” (I Cor. 10: 11)

Truly we are in the end times and we must remember that the events of the Old Testament were written as examples for us, so we may learn from the mistakes of the past. Let us be prudent in the decisions we make and our behavior.

 

Nationality or Citizenship?

Now, it is important for us to consider our affiliations and loyalties in terms of voting for leaders in the country we reside in. Wherever you are in the world, you must consider where is your citizenship? Nationality is pertaining to the place where someone was born. Citizenship is a state of being that comes with duties, obligations, and responsibilities. So, then we need to ask ourselves where does our duties, obligations, and responsibilities lie?

“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” (Phil. 3:20-21)

If you look up the word conversation in the Strong’s Concordance (4175 in the Greek), community i.e. citizenship is given as the meaning. Paul tells us that our citizenship is in heaven. By the way, Paul spends a lot of time talking about nationality in his epistles. In plenty of cases he refers to Jews and Greeks, but here in Philippians he is discussing where our duties, obligations, and responsibilities originate. Also notice that our citizenship is being placed in the context of the hope of the resurrection. This is where our focus should be, in the return of Jesus Christ and the promise of the resurrection.

Question: how can we obtain this citizenship Paul is talking about?

The most common way to receive citizenship is through heritage. If your parents are citizens of a nation, you are given citizenship by default. Where is your heritage?

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Rom. 8:14)

If you are led by God’s Spirit, you are a son of God. You therefore inherit your citizenship from God the Father. Your duties, obligations, and responsibilities come from your citizenship in heaven that you have receive from God the Father. Please note that we have not fully come into our inheritance or citizenship just like a child who has not exited the womb yet. Read the following verses carefully:

“There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:1-6)

Unfortunately, many try to spiritualize away these statements with a different meaning. Let’s look closely at what Jesus was trying to say to us. The following points are pulled directly from the words of Jesus Christ:

  1. We must be born again to see the kingdom of God
  2. Unless we are born of water and of Spirit, we cannot enter the kingdom of God
  3. Flesh gives birth to flesh
  4. The Spirit of God gives birth to spirit

Jesus Christ is talking about the resurrection, the same thing Paul was talking about in Philippians. Baptism and the receiving of the Holy Spirit is only the beginning of a great work God is doing in the lives of those whom He has called. The sons of God must first be led by His Spirit and then born through the same Spirit to inherit the kingdom of God. This will be proven through the rest of this article.  Note this is the heritage and citizenship we should be focused on daily. Obtaining citizenship in the kingdom of God only comes through having a relationship with the Father made possible by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The gift of the Holy Spirit is essentially a down payment towards eternal life. The Holy Spirit is how God resurrects the saints which is proven by the following verse:

“But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” (Rom. 8:11)

Remember, being led by the Spirit makes you a son of God. Your inheritance is in heaven. Your duties, obligations, and responsibilities are towards God by whom you shall obtain an eternal citizenship in the coming kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit that dwells in you will be used to raise you from the dead and transform your body into an incorruptible body. We should be looking towards the resurrection of the saints. We should be looking towards the prophesied time when we shall be given full citizenship.

Notice what Paul says in the book 1st Corinthians:

“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” (I Cor. 15:50)

Paul is communicating what Christ had already said to Nicodemus. The belief that we are already in the kingdom of God is not biblical. Of course, we have full assurance in God’s promise to those who follow His way of life, but we must not misconstrue that to mean we have at this time obtained the glory waiting for us in the kingdom of God. When we inherit the kingdom, we will no longer be flesh and blood. We will be made spirit.

 

So, Where Is Your Interest?

So, where is your interest? Your interest should be where your citizenship is. Where is your citizenship? Is it in heaven? Or is it in the country where you were born? Is it in the country where you reside? These are questions we must ask ourselves, so we may stay focused on the plan of God.

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Rom. 8:16-17)

Place your hope and interest in the resurrection and the promise of an incorruptible body.

Don’t be distracted by political affiliations and political ideologies.

Place your interest on right and wrong as God has outlined in His word.

Place your interest in character and morality.

Remember, God is working out His purpose here. We must choose life to obtain the promise God made to the patriarchs. We must choose to live God’s way. God wants us to reach for perfection.

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matt. 5:48)

And everything you do should point people back to God…

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:16)

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