Posted in theology

Independence Day in the US today, but a future freedom awaits

By Elizabeth Prata

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; (Philippians 3:20)

Charles Spurgeon preached on this verse:

Citizenship in heaven

Our text, I think, might be best translated thus— “Our citizenship is in heaven.” The French translation renders it, “As for us, our burgess-ship is in the heavens.” Doddridge paraphrases it, “But we converse as citizens of heaven, considering ourselves as denizens of the New Jerusalem, and only strangers and pilgrims upon earth.”

I. The first idea which is suggested by the verse under consideration is this: if our citizenship be in heaven, then WE ARE ALIENS HERE; we are strangers and foreigners, pilgrims and sojourners in the earth, as all our fathers were. In the words of Sacred Writ “Here we have no continuing city,” but “we desire a better country, that is an heavenly.”

Let us illustrate our position. A certain young man is sent out by his father to trade on behalf of the family: he is sent to America, and he is just now living in New York. A very fortunate thing it is for him that his citizenship is in England; that, though he lives in America and trades there, yet he is an alien, and does not belong to that afflicted nation; for he retains his citizenship with us on this side the Atlantic.

Yet there is a line of conduct which is due from him to the country which affords him shelter, and he must see to it that he does not fail to render it. Since we are aliens, we must remember to behave ourselves as aliens should, and by no means come short in our duty. We are affected by the position of our temporary country.

Do you eagerly await our savior? I do. It’s Independence Day here in the United States. There will be fireworks, barbecues, beaches, parades, and gatherings. When Jesus comes, we will have a magnificent independence! The Great Gathering will happen and then we will be freed from this body of death. We will be free from the presence of sin. We will be free to gaze in adoration upon the Savior all the day long, and bask in His glory light in wonder and in love.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36).

No flags in heaven, but the presence of every nation, tribe, and tongue.

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:9-10).

collage fourth of july

Posted in encouragement, theology

There is true freedom in Jesus

By Elizabeth Prata

I’m originally from New England. New Hampshire’s state motto is “Live Free or Die”.

It’s so cold in NH, locals say ‘live, freeze, and die.’

That witticism aside, the motto actually comes from a letter penned by a veteran of the French & Indian Wars and the American Revolution, General John Stark. In 1809 Stark sent a letter to his compatriots at a reunion long after the war had ended. His letter included a brief passage to be read as a toast to the veterans: “Live free or die. Death is not the greatest of evils.”

The secular person’s view of freedom is quite different than a saved person’s view of freedom.

The Revolutionary War veterans fought to get out from under the yoke of tyranny. The tyrannical entity in that case was Britain. But there was a greater tyranny under which they were living, if they were not in Jesus: the tyranny of sin.

There IS a greater evil than death. It is our sin against a holy God. The Revolutionary War was considered treasonous by the king of Britain. However, sin is “cosmic treason” as RC Sproul famously said.

“Sin is cosmic treason.” What I meant by that statement was that even the slightest sin that a creature commits against his Creator does violence to the Creator’s holiness, His glory, and His righteousness. Every sin, no matter how seemingly insignificant, is an act of rebellion against the sovereign God who reigns and rules over us and as such is an act of treason against the cosmic King. Source

There is something worse than death, and that is eternal death in the Lake of Fire enduring God’s wrath for our treason. Sins, that great evil, must be repaid, and thus God has made a plan for those who perpetrate it will pay.

But God!

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, (Ephesians 2:4-6)

Consider your freedom today as you go about in worship of the Lord. My gratitude for Jesus having set me free flows through my soul as a balm. He set me free…

Free from the wrath of God
Free from the guilt I carried
Free from the burden of worry
Free from ignorance
Free from enslavement to sin
Free from pursing a vain life
Free from biblical blindness
Free from darkness

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1).

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (2 Corinthians 3:17).

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36)

Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. (1 Peter 2:16)

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2).

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. (Romans 6:22).

free indeed verse