In four places in the New Testament we are told that we are first and foremost people of the kingdom.
Ephesians 2:19 Therefore you are no longer outsiders (exiles, migrants, and aliens, excluded from the rights of s), but you now share ship with the saints (God’s own people, consecrated and set apart for Himself); and you belong to God’s [own] household.
Philippians 1:27 Only be sure as s so to conduct yourselves [that] your manner of life [will be] worthy of the good news (the Gospel) of Christ, so that whether I [do] come and see you or am absent, I may hear this of you: that you are standing firm in united spirit purpose, striving side by side contending with a single mind for the faith of the glad tidings (the Gospel).
Philippians 3:20 But we are s of the state (commonwealth, homeland) which is in heaven, and from it also we earnestly patiently await [the coming of] the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) [as] Savior,
Hebrews 12:23 And to the church (assembly) of the Firstborn who are registered [as citizens] in heaven, and to the God Who is Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous (the redeemed in heaven) who have been made perfect,
Of course, we are still to be good citizens of whatever earthly nation we are from, which is also made clear in scripture. For example, we should prayerfully and intelligently research the issues and then vote in the upcoming election. Being a citizen of heaven does not mean we don't participate in the activities of earthly citizenship.
What does being a citizen of God's kingdom mean for us? It means that our confidence is not found in things like our person winning the presidential race or an upswing in the economy. It means that our confidence is in the rulership of God and in the fact that His kingdom is everlasting and will remain forever, long after the kingdoms of this earth pass away.
What are our responsibilities as citizens of God's kingdom? Let's look at what these four New Testament passages have to say.
Ephesians 2:19 says that we have rights as citizens. In the U.S. a citizen's rights include the right to vote. As kingdom citizens we have the right to pray, to approach God boldly and ask Him for anything in accordance with His will. In Matthew 16:19 we are told "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you (declare to be improper unlawful) on earth must be what is already bound in heaven; whatever you (declare lawful) on earth must be what is already d in heaven." So we even have the authority to change things on earth through prayer!
Philippians 1:27 instructs us that we are to conduct ourselves as citizens of the kingdom, conduct worthy of those who have embraced the gospel of Christ. In the presidential election here in the U.S. things have gotten very ugly and divisive. We need to remember that our words and our conduct should reflect where our true citizenship lies. This passage also instructs us of our need to stand in unity together, in spirit and purpose, striving side by side and contending with a single mind for the faith. Are we contending together for the spreading of God's kingdom, or are we too busy contending against each other?
Philippians 3:20 instructs us that as citizens of the heavenly kingdom we should be earnestly and patiently waiting for the return of our King! Take heart! The kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our God and of His Christ and He shall reign forever and ever! Be encouraged and lift up your head!
The passage in Hebrews 12:23 goes on to give us some clear instructions in verse 25. "So see to it that you do not reject Him or refuse to listen to and heed Him Who is speaking [to you now]. For if they [the Israelites] did not escape when they refused to listen and heed Him Who warned and divinely instructed them [here] on earth [revealing with heavenly warnings His will], how much less shall we escape if we reject and turn our backs on Him Who cautions and admonishes [us] from heaven?" As citizen's of God's kingdom it is vital that we do not reject our King or refuse to listen to Him. It is important that we heed and obey His instructions to us.
Whatever happens in the upcoming election and afterwards it is important that we keep focused on these foundational truths, God is still on the throne and I am still a citizen of His kingdom. Now let's hold our heads up and live like it.
(Scriptures above are taken from the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition)