“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
(Philippians 3:20 ESV)
So with Christians here. They are content very much to let the potsherds strive with the potsherds of the earth. Their politics concern their own country, they do not care much about any other. As men they love liberty and are not willing to lose it even in the lower sense. But, spiritually, their politics are spiritual, and as citizens they look to the interest of that Divine republic to which they belong. They wait for the time when, having patiently borne with the laws of the land of their banishment, they shall come under the more beneficent sway of Him who reigns in Glory, the King of kings and Lord of lords. If it is possible, as much as lies in you, live peaceably with all men, and serve your day and generation still, but build not your soul’s dwelling place here, for all this earth must be destroyed at the coming of the fiery day.
Again, let us remember that as aliens we have privileges as well as duties. The princes of evil cannot draft us into their regiments. We cannot be compelled to do Satan’s work. The king of this world may make his vassals serve him, but he cannot raise a conscription upon aliens. He may order out his troops to this villainy, or to that dastardly service, but the child of God claims an immunity from all the commands of Satan. Let evil maxims bind the men that own their sway— we are free and own not the prince of the power of the air. I know that men of this world say we must keep up appearances. We must be respectable. We must do as others do. We must swim with the tide. We must move with the crowd.
But not so the upright Believer—“No,” says he, “Do not expect me to fall in with your ways and customs. I am in Rome, but I shall not do as Rome does. I will let you see that I am an alien, and that I have rights as an alien, even here in this foreign land. I am not to be bound to fight your battles, nor march at the sound of your drums.” Brethren, we are soldiers of Christ. We are enlisted in His army. And as aliens here, we are not to be constrained into the army of evil. Let lords and lands have what masters they will, let us be free, for Christ is our Master still. The seventy thousand whom God
has reserved, will not bow the knee to Baal. Be it known unto you, O world, that we will not serve your gods, nor worship the image which you have set up. Servants of God we are, and we will not be in bondage unto men.
- Charles Spurgeon, excerpt from the sermon Citizenship in Heaven. October 12, 1862.