“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognise what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you” – Rom 12:2
The phrase “I am a Christian” made no difference anymore in society, so a few people in their bid to define their own brand of Christianity as having higher standards, decided to use the term, “born again” Christian. Since the term Christian was getting watery, adding the adjective “Born Again” to it, was some type of thickener. Alas however, the “Born Again” has now also not only become watery, it’s become a red flag! When someone introduces himself or herself this way before you engage in business, it is unfortunately a red flag!
Tell me, how are today’s Christians different from the world? How shouldn’t we be? The way of Jesus is meant to be a different way of life. We are meant to be radically different, operate from totally different paradigms and see the world the way God does, which is a marked difference from the way the world sees itself. The disciples were paid a compliment and called Christians in Antioch when the world took notice that these men were just like Jesus! Can the world take note of us today? Are we becoming like Jesus Christ, or are we fitting into the mould of the world without thinking?
Why not audit yourself today, and honestly appraise where you lean! Please permit me neither to use Christian nor born again, for the purpose of making a distinction, I will use Heaven’s Citizen to represent the disciples of Jesus.
Heaven’s Citizen: To live is Christ, to die is gain! The life is not mine, it’s for Christ, death is welcome, it’s an opportunity to be united with Christ.
Citizen of the Earth: I want to live a long and enjoyable life, and to see my children’s children.
Today’s Christian: With Long life shall He satisfy me. Today’s Christian echoes the worlds thoughts with scriptural references. To die for Christ is old school.
Heaven’s Citizen: I am a steward of all I have, God owns all things, all of me and all I have. I am at his service and command.
Citizen of the Earth: I want to be rich, drive flash cars, and live the good life.
Today’s Christian: God wills above all things that I prosper and be in health even as my soul prospers. I can’t be poor! My prosperity needs to be with material things that I can show.
Heaven’s Citizen: I’m meant to deliberately connect with people, make friends with them, teach them my way of life, and be willing to die for them!
Citizen of Earth: I will make friends in the course of life, I’m meant to watch their back, be warm and loyal when it’s reasonable to do so.
Today’s Christian: Just do what the earth’s citizen does. No serious theology about friendship or relationships except don’t mix with unbelievers.
Marriage? Career? Education? Business? Health?
The Body of “believers” face exactly the same challenges, the same divorce rates, the same career issues, the same problems with the world. Something is fundamentally wrong!
Jesus commanded us to teach people this new way of life! It’s a different culture, a different kingdom! We are heaven’s colony living on earth. We can’t afford to fit into the world’s culture without thinking. Who we are is different and our lives must be lived out differently.
This month of October, we are starting the “How to Series”. We need to begin to learn how to live as Citizens of Heaven here on earth.
Heaven’s Citizens Christian Centre, Gold Hall, 7 Olufunmilola Okikiolu Street, Off Toyin, Ikeja, Lagos.