A Free Citizenship!
All over the world millions of people wonder if theirs is the right citizenship. There are places devastated with war, hunger and persecutions for faith believers. Many places lack opportunities for jobs and those caught in such nations wish theirs was some other country to secure a better future.
Once, the Apostle Paul, had to deal with the issue of citizenship. He had just been arrested because of his preaching. But then, “As they stretched him out to flog him, Paul said to the centurion standing there, “Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been found guilty” (Acts 22:25). Caught off guard, the centurion went and immediately reported to the commander who on confirming so, held back. “Those who were about to interrogate him withdrew immediately. The commander himself was alarmed when he realized that he had put Paul, a Roman citizen, in chains” (vv 29)
Throughout history there has always been nations at the top whose citizenship is the desire of all. At the dawn of the millennium the Romans controlled much of the known world and to be a Roman citizen was the ultimate achievement. At its zenith, the Roman Empire included today’s countries and territories: most of Europe (England, Wales, Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium, Gibraltar, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine), coastal northern Africa (Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Egypt), and the Balkans (Albania,).
Meanwhile the British Empire once covered around 25% of the world’s land surface, including large swathes of North America, Australia, Africa and Asia, while other areas – especially in South America – were closely linked to the empire by trade. It also oversaw around 412 million inhabitants, or around 23% of the world’s population at the time and people described it as, “the empire on which the sun never sets”.
Lately, we know we have seen the American Empire and how being a US citizen is craved by many. Perhaps it will be followed by the Chinese Empire.
As we see with Paul, there are many benefits of being a citizen of a great power. People can often go at great length to pay for citizenship of those super powers. “Then the commander said, “I had to pay a lot of money for my citizenship” (vv 28). Even today there are many who would do almost anything for that all elusive citizenship. They would wade through dangerous seas. They would sell all their possessions. They would pay any price for that hope of taking on the citizenry of a great nation. Getting it would mean access to the best education and health care. Once they have it they walk around with their heads high holding on tightly if not boisterously to that all important passport.
But one thing with all these citizenship is that there are all of temporary natures! The citizenship of the nations of this world all come to an end when we leave this world. Yet there is a citizenship that is eternal. When someone surrenders his life to Christ and becomes born again (John 3:16); he takes on a new citizenship of being a child of God. He is now a member of God’s precious family.
The centurion who arrested Paul had to pay for his citizenship. But the citizenship which God offers us, Christ has already paid for it, by his blood on the cross. What good reason, then, can you have for turning down the most important citizenship, which is not time barred!
#Win Gospel Pamphlets are written and shared by African Digital Christian Communications Ministry. For Daily Devotions and inspiring Christian literature visit us on: https://africanchristiancommunication.org