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Watch 2022 online sermons » Derek Prince » Derek Prince - Our Citizenship Is In Heaven

Derek Prince - Our Citizenship Is In Heaven

Derek Prince - Our Citizenship Is In Heaven
TOPICS: Why Should We Be Longing?

Now, for the rest of this evening I’m going to offer you some Scriptural reasons why all Christians should be longing for Christ’s appearing. I have four main reasons. The first one, I think, may surprise some of you. But I hope I can give you solid, Scriptural basis for it. The first reason is that Christ’s appearing will bring about the consummation of our personal salvation. Which is the transformation of our physical body. Our salvation is not complete until we have received our resurrection body, which is like His body. I want to read from Philippians 3. I’ve been much impressed by Paul’s motivation as stated in this chapter. I think if you can read it with an open mind it will give you a new perspective of your salvation. See, the end of salvation is not dying and going to glory. That’s not the end. That’s one stage which is a very important stage. But it’s not the end, there’s something beyond that.

Paul says in Philippians 3:8: But indeed, I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish. That I may gain Christ, and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith. That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection – can you say amen to that? And the fellowship of His sufferings – can you say amen to that? It takes some doing to say amen to that, doesn’t it? I had to acknowledge to the Lord for many, many years, Lord, there are some things that Paul said that I can’t say amen to. But I hope you’ll change me, so that I will be able to. I’m going to read that verse again. That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; if by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. That phrase: by any means, it could alternatively be translated: somehow. If somehow I may make it through the resurrection.

That indicates to me that he gives tremendous priority to that. No matter what it costs, no matter the obstacles; that’s my aim. To make it through to the resurrection of the dead. There’s an unusual word used for resurrection which means the out resurrection. In other words, it’s not the general resurrection of all the dead. But it’s what’s called, the first resurrection, concerning which it says: Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection. Paul goes on to make it very clear that he has not yet attained at the time writing. Not that I have already attained, or I'm already perfected. But I press on that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has laid hold of me. You see, Paul had purpose in his life. Nothing distresses me more than to meet Christians who are aimless, who are just drifting, carried to and fro by the currents of life. Paul had a definite, positive, specific aim. He united his purpose with the Lord’s purpose for him.

The Bible says, He that doeth the will of God abideth forever. When you make God’s will your will, you’re unsinkable, unshakable and undefeatable. Now let’s go on to the end of that chapter, where Paul, in a sense, explains what he means. And why this is so important; that is, Philippians 3:20–21. For our citizenship is in heaven. We are resident on earth, but our citizenship is in heaven. It’s important to realize that. Our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Notice again: eagerly wait. That’s a consistent theme. It’s an attitude that is continually emphasized. Who will transform our lowly body, that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is also able to subdue all things to Himself.

Notice that’s the climax of the chapter, the climax of Paul’s purpose. What does it consist in? The transformation of his body. He says at the present time I’m in a body of humiliation. That’s the literal meaning. But he says, I’m looking forward to a time when I’ll have a body of glory. Like the glorious body of the Lord Jesus. You may be wealthy, you may be strong, you may be healthy. But let me serve notice on you, you’re living in a body of humiliation. Which is the result of man’s fall. It’s manifest in many ways. You ladies can put on the sweetest perfume, make yourselves look very delightful, praise God for that. But if you run around and get hot and flustered you’ll start to perspire. That’s just a little token of your humiliation. Or, we may be able to afford to eat in the finest restaurants and choose the choicest steaks. But you know what will happen? We all have to go to the bathroom.

That’s a continual reminder of our humiliation. Do you understand? Why are we humiliated? Because we rebelled against our Creator. And we are in a body which is a continual reminder of that fact. We’re going to be in that body until we die or ‘til Jesus comes. But, that’s not our permanent condition. Praise God. We are going to get a new body. And it’s going to be a body of glory. We’ll be released from our humiliation. And we’ll enter into the Lord’s glory. And that is what Paul says he is aiming at. He doesn’t just talk about dying and going to be with the Lord. He’s mentioned that in the earlier chapters of Philippians. But he goes beyond that to the appearing of the Lord, resurrection and the resurrection body. That’s the final consummation of our personal salvation.
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