Christine Caine - Citizens Of Heaven
Life on earth can't satisfy the eternal longings of the heart. That's why we need Jesus. We weren't made for temporal living. But Jesus doesn't whisk us away to heaven the moment we accept him. Instead, he uses us to impact the world for his kingdom. So how do we live as citizens of heaven while we're residents of earth? I'm Christine Caine and I have a personal mission to equip and empower people like you to connect with your God given purpose and potential. I'm so glad that you're joining us today. Let's dive right in.
Hello, everybody! I am so fired up and so grateful. I am so grateful that you've joined us today and I know that God's got a word for you and he's gonna speak to you powerfully. You all know that nick and I oversee A21 and so obviously that's an organization to help abolish slavery everywhere forever. We started in 2008 and have seen God do amazing things. So many people rescued out of both sex trafficking and forced labor trafficking and so many traffickers convicted and sentenced and put in jail and just, kind of really, helping to rescue people that are bound all around the world. We have 15, we're in 15 countries. We have so many officers all around the world and I often have to go visit our offices and visit our staff and visit our teams.
In fact, it's probably one of the greatest privileges of my life to get to serve our teams and help mobilize our teams that are in the trenches, really making a difference when it comes to abolishing slavery. Well, you know, I can't just go to a country and just walk through the door of the country, just walk through the gate of the country like I own the place. If I ever tried to just go through TSA or to get through the line and have no passport, I have to tell you that I probably wouldn't get very far. I don't think they would even give me a ticket to get on the plane. And they certainly wouldn't let me through security, then they wouldn't let me on the plane and then even if I did manage to do all of that when I got to the other side at the other country they're not just gonna say oh, welcome, Mrs. Caine, just walk on through. If I'm going to leave the country, I need a passport. If I'm going to enter another country, I'm going to also need a passport.
Now, a passport tells you what country you're a citizen of and it gives you access to other countries throughout the world. I am very blessed in that, of course, I was born in Australia so I have my Australian passport and I was born in the Commonwealth of Australia. I got this passport simply, I applied. But I got it because I am Australian. I was born in Australia, my parents were immigrants into Australia. But because I was born there, I get to have an Australian passport. I have all the rights and all the privileges that come with being an Australian citizen and this passport gives me access in and out of countries all around the world. And this is my access pass.
A few months ago, after living in the United States of America for many, many years I actually even got an American passport. When I became an American citizen. Now I first came to America on a tourist visa in 1998. And then I became a resident alien in July 2010. Now I know you all think I'm weird, but I actually did become an alien. I thought that was so funny. Then I became a permanent resident alien in 2012. And then on the 19th of July 2018, I became a permanent American citizen almost to the day, a decade after I had come here. It was pretty wild to become an American citizen.
Now, I had to do a big test to become an American citizen. I didn't have to do a big test to get my Australian passport, I just had to be born into Australia. It was easy. But I had to pass, I had to learn 100 questions about American history. About the American constitution. About the American legal system, the American political system. I know more about your country than I know about my country. And I have never been more grateful for the opportunity someone once took me to see the musical "Hamilton". I learned my entire American history from the musical "Hamilton". I'm in my exam going what would Alexander Hamilton say? So I got it all and I worked it out.
And I also found out that that's where you guys threw the the tea overboard and you decided see you later, England, wouldn't want to be you. And you became a republic and we in Australia are still part of the monarchy. We are part of the Commonwealth of Australia. I had just had to laugh and say that I passed the test with flying colors. I was very, very proud to pledge loyalty to America. I actually had to say, I had to do the naturalization oath of allegiance.
I had to say "I hereby declare on oath that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have hereto for been a subject or citizen". Who speaks like this? But anyway. "That I will support and defend the constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic: that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same: that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law: and that I will perform noncombatant", that's why I've got these boots on, "Service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the law: that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law: and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion: so help me God".
I did the American oath of allegiance. I pledged my oath of allegiance. Now, I still don't have the accent. Ya'll. I don't have the accent, I'm bringing a bit of a Australian sassy accent to it but I had to go through a process to become an American citizenship, a citizen. I had to go through a citizenship process that took a lot of years. That took a huge exam that I had to study intently for until I finally, I had to pledge allegiance. And after I did all of that, I finally got an American passport and so now I can enter and leave the country with an American passport.
And you say, Christine, why have you now given us a citizenship lesson before we even jump into the text? Because we are about to jump into the text, in the Bible, we're gonna look at the citizenship clause of the book of Philippians. And I wanted to give you a little bit of history on what it is because a lot of us we don't think about it. You're just born in a country and if you travel then you get a passport. I cannot believe the amount of Americans that I've meet that don't have a passport. I'm like, you people need to get out more. And so there is a whole world outside of this country but if you want to travel, then you are going to need a passport.
We're going to go to the book of Philippians, chapter three. I love this and I hope that it resounds with you. That this is the citizenship clause of the book of Philippians. We're gonna start in verse 12 and we're going to read to chapter four, verse one. Paul says:
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that to you also. Only let us hold true to what we have already attained. Brothers, join me, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their God is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and I long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
I love this. The citizenship clause of the book of Philippians. So basically, Paul calling the Philippians citizens would actually so, so resound within this whole concept of you're citizens of heaven, not of earth. They would have totally understood what he was talking about because the Philippians were citizens of Rome. Now, they're about 750 miles away from Rome. Now our head office for A21 is in Thessaloniki, Greece and about 45 minutes car drive from Thessaloniki, Greece is the city of Philippi. And it really, it still spins me out when I get in the car and go this is the Bible. I'm driving in the Bible.
And so you actually get out, you go this is like a real city and Philippi, of course, is where Lydia was baptized. Lydia was the first European convert. I love that 'cause she was a chick. And so the first person saved in Europe was a chick. And so she was converted and water baptized, right up there in Philippi. And so the Philippians would have understood what Paul was talking about when he said you're citizens of heaven. Because they knew what it was like to live outside of a city that you were a citizen of. They were citizens of the empire of Rome. That means that even though they were in the Macedonian region, they didn't speak the same language as the Macedonians, they didn't dress the same language and they did, they weren't educated in the same way. They were educated in the ways of Rome. They wore the clothing that the Romans would wear.
And so in every way, they ate the food of the Romans, and so a person born in Philippi was actually a citizen of Rome. Different language, different dress, and they were loyal to the Roman government. And so they knew in every way what it was to be shaped by a kingdom in which you didn't actually live. You didn't actually live there, you lived somewhere else but everything you did, the way you thought, the way you talked, the way you ate, the way you dressed, everything about you was shaped by the place that you belonged to even though you weren't living in that place. You were living in another place. He would have understood that.
Now that the metaphor that Paul is painting for you and for me today is that you and I are citizens of heaven but we temporarily live on this colony called earth. And so we are not here forever. We are sojourners, we are pilgrims on a journey. We are just passing through. We are governed by a king, king Jesus. He rules a kingdom and we are part of that kingdom. If we have been born again, we are born again into the Kingdom of God. Jesus in the Gospels talked about the kingdom and so we have a king, we are part of a kingdom, we operate according to a whole different paradigm to the way that they world does because we live on this colony called earth but we are part of another kingdom.
It's easy to forget that when you get about your normal day. It's not that you get up every morning, put on the coffee pot, and go oh, I'm part of a different kingdom. But it would change your whole day if you did that. If you actually remembered that I am not of this world. I am just passing through. I come from a different kingdom therefor I should think different to the way of this world. I should act different to the way of this world. Everything about me, I should talk differently. I should hold myself differently. I should walk through this world differently because I serve a different king, I'm part of a different kingdom, I am not governed by what happens in this world. I am serving king Jesus. And there oughtta be evidence in our lives as Christians that we live here but we're part of somewhere else.
Now in Australia and on this earth, I have dual citizenship, but in the spiritual realm there is no dual citizenship. You cannot be a citizen of heaven and a citizen of earth. Some people confuse the natural world with the spiritual world. We think, well I can have dual citizenship. I can have vegemite when I'm in Australia, most Americans don't like vegemite, I can have vegemite when I'm in Australia and I can eat barbecue when I'm Texas and you know, it's all the same. And I'm sitting here going, okay. On this earth I can have the luxury of dual citizenship but in the spirit there is no dual citizenship. You cannot be a citizen of this world and a citizen of the Kingdom of God.
The Bible says, in John 3:3, when Nicodemus, he actually came with this very question to Jesus. And he said "What must I do to have an eternal life, to inherit eternal life"? And Jesus Christ said to him "You must be born again". Now some of us, we hear that phrase and you've just tuned in and you're like oh no, there she is, she's one of them born again preachers. That's it, okay, this just confirms everything that I thought because we get all these thoughts about what is it to be born again. That's just like really, really weird.
I know. I know it but I always say to people you know, at 33 years old, I found out, I got a phone call from my brother George because I'm Greek and when you're Greek all your brothers are George or Nico or Spiro or Con and they're all, and my brother called me and he said "Christine, I just got a letter from the government and it's says I've been adopted". Now, you know, that's a really weird thing to hear when your brother is 35 years old and he just tells you he's been adopted. Now I thought that the government sent him the wrong letter, like, obviously I thought, gee, I knew that the Australian government was really inept but I mean, sending the wrong letters to people this can cause people a lot of pain.
And I said, George, of course you haven't been adopted. It's so funny, you know, growing up, you always tell your siblings they've been adopted. You always say you are not related to me but when they tell you you're adopted you suddenly get really defensive. You go no, no, no, you haven't. I said, "Call the government, tell them they've made a mistake. And then call me back". So he called me back about 10 minutes later, this time he was crying so bad. He said, "Chris it's true. They told me the name of my biological mother, my biological father, they told me when I was born, when I was immunized. They have a whole file on my life". And he said "I'm gonna go and see mum, I'm gonna go and talk to her".
And so here's this big family secret of 35 years. And I jump in the car because Greeks, we're a bit cray-cray, we act first and think later. And I'm thinking this is going to go bad. So I jump in the car, I go to my mother's house. I walk into my mother's lounge room right at the minute that my brother is giving my mother this piece of paper from the government. My mother took it and she just started weeping. And she said, "George, I'm so sorry. All of the adoption laws in Australia, they were all closed adoptions, 35 years ago. We never thought you would find out. And one of the last things I promised your father before he died was I promised him I would never tell you so I tore up all of the paperwork, I threw it away".
And so I mean, you can imagine what that was like. I mean it was, it was like my mother was crying, my brother was crying. The dog was crying. I mean everybody, everyone was crying. I didn't know what to do. I'm a good Greek daughter so food is the answer to life, the universe, and everything. I'm going to the kitchen, make some baklava, do something. I go into the kitchen, my mother follows me in a few minutes later, and she says "Christine, since we're telling the truth today, do you want to know the whole truth"? And then I just turned round and I don't even know why I said this, I went "I've been adopted too".
I was 33 years old. And, tears streaming down her face, my mother says yes. And you know, that day, every fact that I thought to be true about my life changed. Everything changed. Where I was born, what my name was, what my heritage was. Everything changed. And to this day I still don't know the facts surrounding my conception. I don't know if I was a result of a one night stand, I don't know if I was the result of an ongoing, adulterous affair, I don't even know if I was the result of a rape. But although I don't know the facts, there is a force on the planet much higher than the facts and it's called the truth of the Word of God. And my Bible does not say that I'm the workmanship of a rape or adulterous affair, my Bible says that we are his workmanship. And that we've been recreated in Christ Jesus for good works. That God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. And no demon in hell and no person on earth can thwart the plan and the purpose of God for our life.
I don't quite know how I got here. I remember saying to my mom in that moment, I said "You know what, mom? Before I was formed in my mother's womb, whose ever womb that was, he knew me. He knitted together my innermost parts, he fashioned all of my days before as yet there was one of them. I am fearfully and wonderfully made".
I want to tell you if you've just tuned in, I don't know what your history is, but I want to tell you this much, that God loves you. That you are created in the plan and the purpose of God. You are not here by accident. God orchestrated you, he formed you, he knitted you together in your mother's womb and has a plan and a purpose and a destiny for your life. You may have been rejected. You may feel like you're just an accident. In fact, someone might have spoken over your life and said "You should never have been born. You're just an accident, you don't deserve to be here". I'm here to tell you that you were created on purpose and for a purpose. And there is a God in heaven that loves you, and has a plan and a purpose and a destiny for your life. He loves you.
So why do tell you all that story? Because you know what, I don't particularly like the way I was born the first time. So that's why I love it when Jesus said "You must be born again". I'm like yes, I love that. I'm going to claim that phrase back. A lot of people have a lot of negative connotations with born again Christians but I'm here to own it. I am a born again Christian. Why? Because Jesus said you must be born again. You've gotta be born again from this realm into a kingdom realm. We are born again. I have a brand new nature.
Second Corinthians, chapter five, verse 17 says "I am a new creation in Christ Jesus. I am no longer from here, I'm born again into the Kingdom of God". So you're not born into the Kingdom of God, you get born again into the Kingdom of God. And so when you get born again, you are a brand new creation. I have a different citizenship status. Just like now, I have a different citizenship status in America. I never had access to what citizens in America did. Now I can vote, now I can have property. Now I can work. There are certain things I can do as a citizen that I could not do when I wasn't a citizen.
Well, now that I'm born again, into the Kingdom of God, there are certain things that I have access to. As a citizen, my legal status is now in heaven. My name is in enrolled in a register, citizen of heaven. The Lamb's book of life. If you are born again, you've been sealed unto the day of redemption. Listen, if you're not happy about anything else today be happy that your name is written in the Lamb's book of life. There is nothing greater on earth than to be born again and saved for all of eternity. My life is governed by the laws and the land of my citizenship. So I'm a resident of earth but I'm a citizen of heaven.
So now what is my goal? My goal is that when I pray, Jesus says this is how I want you to pray: your kingdom come. Your will be done where? Here on earth as it is in heaven. And so in this series, we are about to find out what it is as citizens of heaven but residents of earth, to bring heaven to earth. You might have thought that you're just an ordinary person. Honey, you are not no ordinary person. You are on kingdom assignment. You are an ambassador of the King of kings, of the Lord of lords, you're not just taking up space on planet earth. You are bringing heaven to earth, in Jesus's name.
Hey, everyone. I'm so grateful that you have joined us today. I know that God has a word from you. I'm loving this series, we're talking about what it is to be a citizen of the Kingdom of God. Now remember, I was born in Australia, so I have an Australian passport because I'm a citizen of Australia. But I came to the United States of America, and after many years of living here with our family, we had the privilege of becoming citizens of America. Now I had to do a very big test, and pass a whole lot of stuff in order to get, become a citizen, and then to get my passport.
So here on earth, I have dual citizenship. I am both a citizen of Australia and I'm a citizen of the United States of America. But as a Christian, I don't have dual citizenship. I can have this as a human being here on earth. But in the spiritual realm, some of us we think that we can have dual citizenship, we can think that we can be kind of in the world and in the Kingdom of God. But there is no dual citizenship. Jesus said in John three, that you must be born again. And that means when we're born again, we're born into a new kingdom. We have a new king, king Jesus is who we serve. He has sovereign power, sovereign authority and we are his subjects and we are his servants and we serve king Jesus.
Now a lot of times as Christians, we forget some of this stuff, and we end up living our life our own way. And yet Jesus says, "I'm your king, you're in my kingdom. And this is how I want you to pray. I want you to pray, 'your kingdom come, your will be done here on earth, as it is in heaven.'" See a whole lot of people they're waiting to escape from earth into heaven. I'm not here, I'm not one of those kind of preachers, a kind of like escape earth preacher. I love earth. I love this world. I love Moussaka. I love Santorini. I love the beauty of God's creation. I love the stars and I love the ocean and I love the mountains and I love the snow and I love the rain and I love the sun. And I love the beauty of God's people. And I love even the quirky little animals and I like giraffes, especially with big necks. I love, I mean God is so creative, his everything he made scripture says it was good.
So I am not looking to exit planet earth. But what I am looking to do is to bring heaven to earth. We have a world that is full of such pain, we have a world that's full of such chaos, such acts, you might have tuned into this program right now. And in your life, you're experiencing so much pain, maybe you've just come through a divorce, you've just received a diagnosis that just says that there's sickness in your body and you don't even know if it's curable, that one of your children maybe has moved so far away from God, is addicted to certain substances, or you've had some loss or some pain or some grief, I understand.
This world is fallen, this world is broken. That's why this world is not the goal. Jesus is coming back not to blow it up, but to redeem this world. We're gonna have a new heaven and a new earth, and that's gonna bring comfort, and that's gonna bring hope, and that is the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is coming back. This is not where it all ends. But while we are here, as Christians, we have a mandate. We have a king, we live in the kingdom, the Kingdom of God, and we have an assignment. Let your will be done here on earth as it is in heaven.
We have too many Christians that have abdicated their responsibility here on earth. It's just like I'm out of here. They've run to the hills, stockpile their stuff, and I'm like, "What are you doing? I wasn't called to run away from the world. I was called to go into all the world". And Jesus prayed in John 17, "Father, I do not pray that you take that out of the world". So Christian, stop praying to be out of the world. I need you in the world. And I need you to bring all of the currency of heaven here to earth, love and joy and peace and kindness and goodness, and log-suffering and self control.
We need Christians to get about the father's business. Here on earth, we're on kingdom assignment. When you woke up to that, I mean, think of some of the movies that you like, when you got men in there, undercover agent, we are undercover agents. That's what we're here for. You think, "Well, I'm just a housewife for, you know, I just work in a factory". No, you're not just anything. You are an ambassador from heaven. You are on kingdom assignment. And we are called to bring heaven to earth.
So don't get so obsessed with your task here on earth that you forget what your assignment is here on earth. We have new rights and new privileges when we've been born again, remember I told you. I like the way I was born the first time, so we got to be born again. Well, that means I have privileges as a daughter of the king.
If you're watching this, you're a son or a daughter of the King of kings of the Lord of lords. I believe God's had you switch on the TV right now, so that you can be reminded of the fact that you are not just an ordinary person. You are a son of the Most High God, you are a daughter of the Most High God, that your dad is a king. That means you are either a prince or princess. And let me tell you, when you know who you are, you don't live less than who you are. You live as a son of the king, as a daughter of the king. You hold your head up high and say, "My God is my king". I have authority in Jesus name. I don't have to walk around and wonder where people go, how are you? You're like, "I'm Andrew". I'm like under what? He has placed everything under my feet.
I'm here to remind you, you don't have to be under it all the time. It can be under your feet. The enemy is under my feet. My God is big enough to fill the heavens and earth, and the enemy is small enough to fit where? Under my feet. Every time I meet Christian like, "Oh bad, it's just so bad. And it's just so hard and I'm just so under it". I'm like, "Well, you need to start getting over it". That could be a word for someone right now, in love, in Jesus name. The word of the Lord to you today is, get over it, sweetheart. Okay, so get over it. I could do all things, Philippines 4:13 says, I could do all things through who? Through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.
You have grace to the race that God has called you to. You have grace for this relationship. You have grace for this job, you have grace to be the father or mother that he's called you to be. You have grace in this season of your singleness, you have grace in this challenging season I want you to know that with Christ strength, you have the grace to be who you need to be and do what God has called you to do in this season. Whether you're in a season of trial, or tribulation, or joy, or ecstasy, whatever it is, I need you to know, it's the grace of God that's gonna enable you to get through, to what it is that God has called you to do.
Romans 8:37 says, I'm not just a conqueror, but I am more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus who strengthens me. Now, let me give you an example of what the more than is. A conqueror is, many of you know that I come from a background where I experienced sexual abuse for many, many years at the hands of several different men. I grew up the daughter of immigrants in the poor zip code in my state. I was left in a hospital unnamed and unwanted when our was born. So I didn't have the best start in life. I had a lot of shame. I had a lot of rejection, I had a lot of fear, I had a lot of anxiety, I had a lot of insecurity. I had a lot of anger, a lot of unforgiveness and a lot of bitterness. And that's normally what happens with people that have got my kind of brokenness and my kind of background and the things that happened to me.
And so I could have lived as a victim for the rest of my life. And you know what a lot of people would have felt sorry for me, and rightly so what happened was not fair. What happened was not right. But Jesus says, "I didn't come just so you could get by, I came to give you life and life more abundant, which means Christine, I could redeem, I could heal, and I can restore and make up everything that the enemy took from you, and I can give you a life better than you, otherwise would have had in and through a relationship with me".
And so then it would have been one thing to just conquer and go, you know what I'm living a victorious life, I've overcome by the grace of God, the obstacles of my past, the pain of my brokenness, the pain of abuse and the pain of the hurt of the things that happened to me. But more than conqueror becomes the point where you can now start using your pain for a purpose, when your past can give somebody else a future. And so not only did Jesus bring me through, but then by the grace of God in 2008, he enabled us to start a21. And we were able to start rescuing the victims of human trafficking from all around the world. We're into 15 different countries as of the time of this recording right now. And that's growing all the time. And we're seeing people impacted.
And I think to myself, every time we put a trafficker in jail, every time a young woman or a child or a man is rescued out of sex trafficking or forced labor trafficking, I think, "Devil I bet you wish you left me alone. You could stick that in your pipe and smoke it". Because the very thing that the enemy meant for evil, God turned it around, and he worked it together for good. So what's more than a conqueror? Not that just Jesus redeemed me and restored me and helped me but then he gives me the capacity to reach back and open the prison doors for those that are still bound, not just a conqueror myself, but more than means I'm now using it to help somebody else.
God didn't come just to set you free, but to enable you to set others free around that. So we are more than conquerors. Ephesians chapter one, verse three says, blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in heavenly blessing. You could just pause the recording right here, or you just tuned in and you went, "What do you mean every spiritual blessing"? I know, it's in the Bible. Can you believe what's in the Bible? It is unbelievable what is in the Bible, that it says the God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus, every spiritual blessing.
There is power in prayer. Remember the weapons of our warfare. And if you remember the kingdom that you're from, you remember the fight that you need to have. And you remember that we are here to bring heaven to earth. We are here to bring all the forces and the power of heaven and unleash it here in our lives on earth. 2 Corinthians chapter five, verse 20. It tells us that we are ambassadors, therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ. God making his appeal through us. We implore you, on behalf of Christ to be reconciled to God. God has given us all this ministry of reconciliation.
We are all ambassadors, wherever you are, whatever your workplace is, whether you're a stay at home mother, home schooling four kids, whether you're a corporate CEO, whether you run your own business and you're an entrepreneur, whether you're a full time student, whatever you are, if you are in Christ, I'm here to remind you today that you are an ambassador for Christ. That every one of us has been given the ministry of reconciliation. We're not in, this is not just for people in vocational ministry. This is not for the navy seals of the Christian church. This isn't just oh no, no, that's for mama joy. So that's from Chris Caine. No, it's not. It's for every single Christ follower. Anybody that has been born again, anybody that is a follower of Jesus Christ has been given the assignment of being an ambassador for God on this earth.
So when you turn up at the lunch table, and all your friends are going, "Look, what are you doing"? You just go, "Oh, I'm on assignment". "What do you do"? "I'm an ambassador". "What government do you work for"? "It's a secret one. Yes, I'm an ambassador and I've got a heavenly assignment. And I've got", look people think you're cray cray. So don't do that, okay. That's not what I'm saying. But if you in your spirit, no, hang on a minute, I'm on assignment today. Do you know that changes how you talk to people around you? That changes how you interpret what people say to you, that changes what you do with every aspect of your life, with your time, with your talent, with your treasure, 'cause you know, I am an ambassador. I'm only on this earth for a bit brief vapor. I'm not here for very long, but I'm an ambassador of God, while I'm here on this earth.
Now the job of an ambassador is to represent someone. A lot of the work that we do at A21 of course, we're in different nations all around the world. And so our different offices and a different country directors often meet with ambassadors in different nations and go to different functions. Now when an ambassador is there in that nation, my friend's in Greece and the team in Greece that often have lunch with the American ambassador in Greece, well, that ambassador is not there for their own purpose. They are not there representing themselves. They're representing the country and the government that they have been sent over by. They represent everything that that country stands for. They represent the laws of that nation. They represent the spirit of that nation. That's what they bring.
They don't bring their own opinion, they don't just bring, "Oh well, this is what I think today". It's like, "Hang on a minute, let me check what our government stands let me check what our policy is on this thing". They don't just sprout up their own opinion, they don't just give their own resources. They distribute the resources of the nation that sent them. They give the policies of the nation that has sent them. An ambassador according to Acts 11:26, represents the one who sent them. In 1 Corinthians 15, verse one to four, an ambassador, the Bible says speaks the message of the person that sent them. And Matthew 28, an ambassadors speaks with the authority of the person that sends them. Jesus says, "Go into all the world and make disciples, I have given you all authority".
An ambassador is in constant communication with the one who sends him. 1 Thessalonians 5:17. And so you understand that ambassador is not there for themselves. Now we live in a world, especially in the West, when we think it's all about us. And now we all have social media and blogs, we just get our own opinion about what we think about everything, and God's saying, "Hang on a minute. You're an ambassador from heaven". You are here to represent the king. What does the king say? What are the king's words? What are the kings edicts? What does heaven have to say about this? I wonder if we think about that. Do we think what does heaven have to say about this?
Instead of me just telling you what I think, let me say what God says. If you can say what God says, instead of what you think, you can start having what God says you can have, you can do what God says you can do. You can be who God says that you can be. But we are ambassadors of heaven.
And we live in such an individualistic culture. We live in a world that is all about me. I mean, when they pull out time capsules of 2019, bet in about 200 years, they're gonna find what was the most famous phrase of 2019? It'll be like you do you, boo. And they're gonna think, "Those people that we are weird". I'm here to say no, don't do you, boo. Do what Jesus said, boo, become like Christ, boo. We are here to be conformed and transformed to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are here to be sanctified through and through. We are ambassadors of Jesus. It's not about leave your best life now. Well yes if your best life is the life to be found in Christ. The life to be found in Christ.
An ambassador doesn't represent themselves. Do you know how counter cultural this message is in the world in which we live? Everything in our world says you will be satisfied if you just gratify yourself. You just please yourself. You just discover yourself. You just maximize yourself. You just self actualize. Honey, you look for yourself, you're gonna find you roses. The best thing you can do is find Jesus Christ, find who he created you to be, find who he called you to be, and you will flourish when you become who he has called you to be.
We are ambassadors of heaven, so that means you think, hang on, I'm on divine assignment every day. I'm on divine assignment in my family. I'm on divine assignment with my friends. I'm on divine assignment when I get on social media. I'm on divine assignment when I go to work. I'm an ambassador for the king. What does my boss see? What do my colleagues see? What are they watching me scroll on my social media? What are they watching me look at on the computer? What are they watching me? Look at when the books that I'm reading, the movies that I'm watching, the people that I'm hanging out with, the things that I'm talking about around the lunch table.
Am I acting as an ambassador for the King? Or am I just living according to my own flesh? And the fact is, it changes what we do when we remember that we're an ambassador for the king. We are representatives of the King of heaven. You know, in Hebrews 9:24, it says that Jesus is our representative in heaven. He sits at the right hand of the Father, and the Bible says he makes intercession for us, thank God. Thank God that Jesus is making intercession for us day and night to the Father. But we according to 2 Corinthians, chapter we are his representatives here on earth.
So how are we representing Jesus? That's my question. How you represented him, to your family, to your neighbors, to your friends, to your colleagues at work, to your friends at university and school, how are you representing him? Because whether you like it or not, you are if you are in Christ, you are an ambassador for Christ on this earth. And every now and again, it does us all good to remember that we are just here for a fleeting moment on this earth, and that we are all gonna stand before God and we are all gonna give an account for our one and only life on this planet.
Did we live our life for the glory of God? Did we live our life as ambassadors for Christ? I'm not saying that we live a perfect life. I'm not saying that we live a mistake free life. I'm here to tell you openly I make more mistakes. I make as many mistakes as anybody else. But that doesn't mean you can quickly not get up and say, "You know what, God, if we can repent, the Bible says if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all and righteousness".
We can keep short accounts with God. We come before God, we don't say, "I'm perfect", 'cause if that was the case, none of us would wanna be an ambassador, because none of us can be perfect all of the time. None of us get it right all the time. We all make mistakes, we all fail. And I'm here to tell you we can get back out, we make it right with God and we keep going. But I'm saying as a pattern of our life, are we desiring to be ambassadors for the king? Are we desiring to make our lives count for the glory of God?
So he sends us out into this world with all of the resources of heaven behind us, and he says, "What are you gonna do? Are you gonna represent me in your relationships? Are you gonna represent me in your social media interactions? Are you gonna represent me when it comes to your ethics and your morality on this earth? In your workplaces, in your priorities, in your spending, in your values, in your quest for justice on the earth"?
Are we gonna start acting like who we are, ambassadors of the king? Are we gonna start acting like who we are, ambassadors that are called to bring heaven to earth? Are we gonna stop living our life our own way, for our own comfort, for our own is, for our own self actualization? And are we going to start living a life that brings glory to king Jesus? Are we gonna start living a life that says, you know what I gave my life to Christ, it is no longer I that lives but Christ lives in me, and this life I live now I live by faith, through the Son of God in Christ Jesus.
I want my life to bring glory to God. I have decided to follow Jesus and there is no turning back. I am on this earth for such a short amount of time, but I plan to give glory to the king. I plan to make the Father's business my priority. I plan to go into the harvest field, the highways and the byways and usher in as many as I can to the kingdom of heaven, 'cause I have one major assignment on this earth, and that is to bring heaven to earth, in Jesus' name. In Jesus' name. Amen.