Pop quiz: Will Jesus-followers become citizens in the kingdom of heaven someday? Or are they already citizens of the kingdom? Discover what Scripture says on the matter in this devotional from The Great Rescue Bible (NIV).
‘Round the bend
Heaven is both here and not yet.
While we’re on this fallen earth, Jesus is with us and within us (see Matthew 28:20; Colossians 1:27). But it also works the other way. We’re also “in him” and seated “with him” while he’s in heaven (see Romans 8:1; Ephesians 2:6).
Somehow we’re seated in heaven with Jesus. By knowing him, he serves as a portal to show us things of heaven. That means that as we walk with Jesus in this world, we’ll experience foretastes of what heaven will be like. When we come to him anxious and ask him to help, maybe that’s why we leave more peaceful.
Mysteriously, this next Scripture passage was written to believers still alive on fallen earth — and it’s not written in future tense, so it seems that it’s describing what is happening now: “You have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect” (Hebrews 12:22–23).
We’re already citizens of the kingdom of heaven, and we can learn to celebrate what heaven’s residents celebrate. In heaven, angels and people rejoice in God and in the things of his kingdom. They rejoice when people turn away from the ways of evil, when goodness is spread and when Jesus-followers make the world look more like his kingdom.