In the concluding part of our series on the “Heavenly Census Register” (read Lamb’s Book of Life), we focus on yet another aspect of this transcendental subject…
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ…” (Philippians 3:20 ESV)
Invariably, if in a country’s context, the subjects…citizenship and census register…are inter-linked, then in the spiritual realm too, the subject of a Christian’s citizenship and the Lamb’s Book of Life are also inter-twined.
A Christian whose name is registered in the Lamb’s Book of Life, at the point of former’s regeneration, we are awarded citizenship in Heaven that very moment. So if our Citizenship is in Heaven, what is our role in this world? A hopeless one of living aimlessly? No way! We are Christ’s ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:20)! Then again, if we are Christ’s ambassadors…are our lives measuring up to our noble calling?
For the uninitiated it needs to be retold that in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic relations in 1960…On the basis of several worthy historical precedents, it was decided to grant “Diplomatic immunity” to the ambassadors. This would mean that an ambassador of, say, India, in not-so-friendly Pakistan (I am all for friendly ties with Pakistan (See Rom. 12:18), though historically India and Pakistan have sadly for so many reasons not been the “best of chums” )…Laws of distant, not immediately-visible India would apply, and not the Laws of visible, oh-so-close (to him physically) Pakistan… Even as he tries to promote the best interests of India in adverse circumstances in Pakistan. Being a bit Pro-Pakistan at the cost of Indian interests would be tempting to him, too, considering the appreciation which would come his way from people in his immediate vicinity. But can he afford to compromise his duty of always upholding the interests of the Indian Government that, trusting his integrity, put him there in the first place?
By the same token, for a Christian who is Christ’s ambassador in this World…The holy laws given by the invisible King of Heaven would apply (read-all the Scriptural Statutes), and not the apparently “juicy laws” of this visible fallen world where he resides, which entice a Christian to satisfy his lust of the eyes, flesh and pride of life. For instance: The law of the world may say, “get even with your enemy especially during times of extreme provocation!” But the one given by the King seated on the Heavenly throne would warrant exactly an opposite course of action: Love your enemy and pray for him (See Matt 5:39-48)… Though there is every temptation to go by the dictates of the World, that tit-for-tat policy that is accepted and welcomed by this World. Hey…you are representing the invisible King who is observing you! Obey His laws in faith, and not that of the visible people right around you of this World! Remember that if we were to see our King physically, there would be no role for faith in our lives (See 1 Peter 1:7-8).
Duty demands that I also project the somber “other side of the coin” on this subject. Will not the Ambassador who is not representing his native country properly be recalled by the same? Ditto with the ambassador for Christ who is not representing the Heavenly King in a manner worthy of his/her calling. Some sober words of “a premature recall” from the “place of posting” are recorded in the Scripture about the compromising Christians (they had been given a long rope) as a warning:
“That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.” (I Cor 11:30-32)
Oh yes…here in this context “recall” doesn’t mean immediate “deletion from Lamb’s Book of Life” itself, but rather, experiencing highly avoidable, painful consequences on not being a “good ambassador”. It would serve us well to go about our ambassador’s duties earnestly lest these words apply to us.
Finally Dear friends… In conclusion I would like to state, in whichever nation the good Lord in His sovereign wisdom has placed us, while we eagerly desire nothing wrong about it, to have our names registered in our country’s census register so that all the Government-launched welfare schemes would apply to us… With greater desire we need to take all the steps possible to not only have our names registered in the Lamb’s Book of life, read Heavenly Census Register, by seeking Christ the Savior first with contrite and repentant hearts, but also retain it for eternity by obeying Him faithfully till the end of our lives from the point of regeneration!
Hallelujah! What price any theology, which doesn’t end with doxology!
Prayer: Father, we thank Thee for giving us the high privilege of being Your ambassadors on Planet Earth. Empower us to live lives worthy of our high calling. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
J and SM Ministries
(To access the entire “Heavenly Census” mini-series, please click here!)