“Our citizenship is in heaven.” ~Philippians 3:20

The apostle Paul intentionally uses political language, the very Greek words from which we get our English words “politics” and “politicians,” to drive home a very important point to the little church in Philippi.

Our home is in heaven. Heaven is our homeland. And while we’re here on earth, we are a colony — a commonwealth — of heavenly citizens.

To confess that Jesus is Lord is to say Caesar is not. To claim citizenship in heaven is to declare our allegiance first and foremost to God’s Kingdom, not the Empire. The Kingdom to which we belong transcends all national borders. The Kingdom respects no geographical boundaries or distinctions of powers. As colonists living under the rule of our Christ, our top priorities rise high above any national thought, national pride, or national agenda. The Gospel of Jesus levels all of us into an eternal and international community of those who follow the Savior. And it’s his Kingdom that deserves — demands! — our undying allegiance.

If citizens of heaven do choose to engage in the politics of the United States or any other earthly country, we approach it, above all, from the standpoint of our relationship with God. Scripture tells us that Christians survive in a hostile environment not by legal proceedings against persecutors but by endurance; not by imposing a lifestyle on others through law but by living holy lives that compel others to watch us; not by destroying others with sound bitesĀ and emails but by respecting them even as we witness to the eternal truths of the Gospel.