Citizenship carries a lot of weight, especially if it means going to heaven or not. The Apostle Paul knew the importance of his earthly citizenship and its perks.
When the officer heard this, he went to the commander and asked, “What are you doing? This man is a Roman citizen! Acts 22:26
Paul endured quite a bit of misery during his days of ministry. The Romans arrested him, but they didn’t whip him because of his Roman citizenship. His testimony revealed that others did.
Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods. 2 Corinthians 11:24-25
Acts 21 tells us about a mob inciting a riot as they tried to kill Paul. They wanted him dead because they thought he had taken a Gentile into the Temple.
Roman soldiers quickly stepped in and arrested him, mainly to save his life. When they reached the stairs to the fortress, he asked the commander if he could address the crowd.
The commander agreed, so Paul stood on the stairs and motioned to the people to be quiet. Soon a deep silence enveloped the crowd, and he addressed them in their own language, Aramaic. Acts 21:40
The apostle had the crowd’s undivided attention as he told them his story. After he told them of his involvement in the stoning of Stephen, he dropped this bombshell on them.
But the Lord said to me, ‘Go, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles!’ The crowd listened until Paul said that word. Then they all began to shout, “Away with such a fellow! He isn’t fit to live!” Acts 22:21-22
The Crowd Insisted on Killing Paul
It seemed to me that the commanding officer must have had enough, because the crowd flared up again. He wanted to discover why the crowd had become so furious, so he ordered him whipped.
Paul, however, knew his rights as a Roman Citizen and quickly spoke up.
When they tied Paul down to lash him, Paul said to the officer standing there, “Is it legal for you to whip a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been tried?” Acts 22:25
Fear struck the commander, so he engaged in a conversation with Paul, asking him the following;
“Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” “Yes, I certainly am,” Paul replied. “I am, too,” the commander muttered, “and it cost me plenty!” Paul answered, “But I am a citizen by birth!” Acts 22:27-28
Obviously, this Roman soldier was not born as a Roman citizen because it cost him “plenty” to become one. What an excellent place to talk about our citizenship in heaven.
First, the Roman said it cost him plenty to get citizenship. It also costs plenty to get citizenship into heaven. But there’s some good news and some bad news about that cost.
I might as well start with the bad news. The scripture says that there is no way we can pay the price it takes to get there. First, let’s look at a verse in the book of Romans, then one in Isaiah.
- For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Romans 3:23
- We are all infected and impure with sin When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6
The Good News About Our Citizenship to Heaven
Well, the bad news would be the worst, especially if no good news existed. Thank the Lord for the good news. Jesus paid the price for our citizenship to heaven.
He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:15,17
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
None of us have to pay the price for citizenship in heaven because Jesus paid it for us. Look at what the Apostle Paul wrote in the Book of Philippians.
But our citizenship is in heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. Philippians 3:20
Citizenship certainly has its perks. Paul benefitted from it that day in Acts 22. And if Jesus is your Savior, you will enjoy citizenship in heaven when the trumpet sounds at the rapture.
Lord, help us not to take our citizenship in heaven for granted. We thank you for paying the cost so we could spend eternity with you.
Check out these related posts about salvation
- Receiving Salvation In The Lord Made Easy
- Who Can Be Saved?
- An Invitation To Salvation Found In Isaiah
- Born Into The Family Of God
- I Know My Redeemer Lives
- Saved By The Grace Of God
Securing Your Citizenship in Heaven
Check out this simple presentation of the gospel called “The Roman Road.”
1) I’m a “good person.” Do I really need salvation?
- Romans 3:23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
- Romans 3:10 The Scriptures say, “No one is righteous not even one.
2) I’m not a really bad person, is my sin really that bad?
- Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
3) I’m pretty bad. How can there be any hope for me?
- Romans 5:8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
4) How to receive salvation?
The concept of salvation by faith is foreign to our human nature. People feel they need to do something to earn their salvation, which is impossible.
- Romans 10:9-10 If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.
5) Did God accept me? What should I do to inherit eternal life?
- Romans 10:11-13 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
6) What should I do now?
- Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ. (Which is the Word of God)
To receive each new devotional post delivered to your inbox, subscribe below by giving us your first name and email address.
Republished with permission from Blogs.crossmap.com, featuring inspiring Bible verses about Our Citizenship Is In Heaven.