Fellow Citizens of the Church

 

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God” – (Eph.2:20).

 

   A citizen is a member of a city. It also has come to mean a member of a state and of a country. When a person is born again of the Holy Spirit, we immediately become citizens of Christ’s Church , the household of God – and we are full members. We are also members of New Jerusalem, Mt. Zion, the city of God. “But ye are come unto Mount Sion, and unto the city of  the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first born…” – (Heb.12:22,23).

 

   We are having a lot of trouble here in Tucson with foreigners crossing our border illegally from Mexico. Many of them are dying in the desert trying to walk across and many are dying in accidents with trucks full of Mexicans. President Bush has now brought in thousands of soldiers of our National Guard to protect our southern border with Mexico. But no matter what our government does thousands of foreigners still come across illegally each year who are not citizens. But not one single person on earth will ever become a citizen of God’s church and New Jerusalem without being born again.

 

   We are told in (Rev.21) that this city that we are citizens of is a “holy city” and it will come down from God out of heaven at the end of the 1000 year millennium rule of Christ. “And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven…” – (Rev.21:2). Only those that are saved from their sins by the Lord Jesus and made holy by the Holy Spirit can be citizens of the greatest of all cities. “And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it…” – (Rev.21:24).  The very moment that we are saved by Christ, we become a saint of God and are fellowcitizens with the saints of Christ’s Church and we’ll one day dwell in New Jerusalem and exercise our citizenship in the golden City of God. This is the greatest city that will ever be on planet earth, built by a loving God, not sinful man. There will be not one single sin in this city as compared to the sinful cities on earth today. This inheritance is ours through Jesus Christ, God’s beloved Son, who has made us saints. Sinful man builds wicked cities, but a holy God builds this one.

 

   There will be no aliens in New Jerusalem. There will be no strangers or foreigners there – all will be full citizens through the shed blood of Christ – blood brothers and fellow citizens. We will not be strangers and aliens worshipping different false Gods but all will serve and worship the one true God and His Son Jesus Christ. “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given to us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life” – (I Jn.5:20). Fellowcitizens with the saints and of the household of God living and worshiping the one true God forever in the holy city of God where no sin dwells. We won’t need security and guns and police to protect us from evil people – for only the saints of God dwell there. What a future to look forward to – a Holy City.

 

   The heavenly Mt. Zion will one day come down to earth. It will replace old Jerusalem. We who are the born again saints of God, His holy ones, will be fellowcitizens of the eternal city of God forever – we will have eternal life. “And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it” – (Rev.21:24).

 

   Right now I have dual citizenship. According to the flesh, I’m a citizen of the city of Tucson and of the state of Arizona and a citizen of the U.S.A. I’m a citizen because of my birth – I was born here of parents who were citizens. And I’m a citizen of Christ’s church and of New Jerusalem because I am born again – born of God’s Holy Spirit. Not a fleshly, physical birth, but a spiritual birth. I have another birthday, a spiritual one that I celebrate every year. One day this fleshly body will die and my fleshly birthdays will cease but my spiritual birthdays will continue forever. I was born again on March 17, 1972 and one day I will have my millionth birthday and then my billionth – PTL Jesus  for eternal life!

 

   You absolutely must be born again through faith in the Lord Jesus in order to become a citizen of God’s holy city. God places his Holy Spirit in you and you become a new creature in Christ – a holy creature fit for the holy city. Citizenship Day in the U.S. is Sept. 17 – my spiritual Citizenship Day is March 17. “Verily, verily, I say un thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God, that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again” – (Jn.3:3,6,7). “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” – (2 Cor.5:17). “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” – (Eph.4:24). Have you become a new man in Christ, a new holy man? Are you born again and now a fellow citizen with the saints and of the Church ? Will you dwell in holy new Jerusalem for eternity with the Holy saints of God?

 

   Domino’s Pizza founder, Thomas Monaghan, is building a new Catholic University and city by Naples, Florida called Ave Maria. Domino’s is Latin for God and he is said to be building the city of God. Gov. Jeb Bush gave a speech there and lauded the development of a new kind of city where faith and freedom merge to create a community of like-minded citizens. Bush is a recent convert to Catholicism. It points to the worldly city of Babylon and the Mother of Harlots riding the Beast in (Rev.17). Ave Maria will be a city given over totally to idolatry. My father’s side of the family came from Naples, Italy, but being born again of my heavenly Father places me in New Jerusalem, the city of God.

 

   O’, how much I feel like a pilgrim and a stranger here on this earth. I’m not at home here. This is a wicked nation and Tucson is an exceedingly wicked city. It vexes my soul to live here in this place of spiritual darkness. But God has called me to be a witness, to shine for Christ and preach the gospel of Christ so that others will be born again – “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as light in the world’ – (Philip.2:15). “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness”- (I Jn.5:19). “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world…” – (Cal.1:4). The Godly pilgrims that founded this nation would certainly not feel at home in this wicked country, but like us would look up to heaven and long for the second coming of Christ.

 

   In order to become a citizen of Christ’s church ye must be born again, born free. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” – (Jn.8:36). True liberty and freedom comes from Christ when our sins are forgiven and we become born again – we are born free. As long as you are in your sins you are in bondage. “For it is written that Abraham had two sons, the one by a  bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh: but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants: the one from the Mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all” – (Gal.4:22-26). I have no desire to visit old Jerusalem in Israel because it’s a wicked city. I have no desire to go on a holy land tour to an unholy city which is no more holy than Tucson, AZ. I long for New Jerusalem, the holy city of God, built by God and indwelt by his holy people who have been free born – born again in Christ.

 

   The Apostle Paul, according to the flesh, was a citizen of the city of Tarsus and a free born Roman citizen. “Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, tell me, art thou a Roman? He said, yea. And the chief captain answered, with a great sum obtained this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born.” – (Acts 22:27,28 and Acts 21:39). You cannot buy your new birth in Christ - it’s free – a free gift of God. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God’ – (Eph.2:8) Jesus Christ’s salvation is a free gift of God and , we are born free, free from sin – (Rom.6:18) We are born again and the new birth gives us eternal life – “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” – (Rom.6:23).

 

   Have you been born again in Christ? Are you a free born citizen of New Jerusalem and a full member of Christ’s Church? Are you a fellowcitizen with the saints, the holy people of God? Your citizenship is free, it’s by God’s grace, a free gift and that gift is His beloved Son on the cross. It cost God a great price so that we could be born again free. O’ how the Father loves us, that He would give His only begotten Son. “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him” – (I Jn.4:9). I beseech you in Christ’s name, don’t spurn the free gift of God of His Son. Repent of your sins and believe on Christ in your heart for forgiveness and remission of sins and you shall be born again. Then you can look forward to living in the Holy City of God for eternity and being a citizen of New Jerusalem, a city of Holy Spirit like-minded people. We will be fellowcitizens with Abraham – “For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” – (Heb.11:10). We will be fellowcitizens with the pilgrims – “For he has prepared for them a city” – (Heb.11:16).

 

Fellowcitizens of the church and New Jerusalem

 

   Pastor Mike Storti

5000 N. LaCholla- Lot 76

Tucson, AZ  85705

Email: BibleWatchman@aol.com

Website: BibleWatchman.com

Would love to hear from you!