Monday, July 27, 2015

Do You Have Your Passport?

If you’re anything like I am, the night before a big trip outside of the USA, I tend to panic a bit.  Do I have all the right clothes packed?  How about my prescriptions and vitamins?  Do I have all the travel documents, plane tickets, and is there a transfer involved anywhere?  Down the mental list I go, and then I remember the most important thing, my passport.  Forget all the other stuff, because without a valid, up-to-date, government-issued passport, no matter how persuasive I might be, the customs agent they ain’t letting me in or out.

This travel talk got me thinking about how important it is to have our spiritual passports in order.  A passport not only proves who we are, but that we are American citizens.  For all believers, our ultimate destination is an eternity with God in Heaven.  But, do you have a passport?  What do I mean by that, you ask, well let me first tell you what it is NOT. Church membership, including a lifetime of adhering to doctrines, dogmas and rituals doesn’t earn you one. So, you say you have a steamer trunk full of good deeds; they won’t get you past the gates.

All those things I just mentioned are fine, in the same way an extra set of underwear comes in handy, but it doesn’t prove our citizenship.  To apply for a passport you must supply your certified, embossed birth certificate.  That cute one from the hospital with that little footprint won’t cut it.  Anyone could makeup a fake one of those, that’s why the official one is vital.  One time mine was questioned because the seal was not as raised as it should be.  They are picky, and rightly so.  So how do we back up our birthright?  Paul, talking to the new believers in Ephesus says this. “In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope. But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:12-13.

What Paul was saying to those folks, and to all seeking Heavenly citizenship, is that there has to be a time when each of us, on our own, must realize that we lack a legitimate birth certificate.  The reason being, we are born into a world separated from God by sin.  No amount of man-made “documentation” equals coming into a personal relationship with our Savior.  Good news, you don’t have to bribe any government officials, because God will always be there to forgive, accept, adopt and transfer your citizenship from this world into his. Don’t believe me, check it out for yourselves. But please, be certain you have one, because he‘s coming back soon to take all of us passport-holders home, and you don‘t want to miss the flight.  “But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.” Philippians 3:20.

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