We had the privilege of receiving a message from Don McNiven this week who challenged us to step up and be responsible as dual citizens. Don is the Director of Affiliate and Donor Relations at Evangelical Fellowship of Canada. He previously served as general secretary of the BIC (North America) and as executive director of the International BIC Association. Much of his early career was in education, including serving as president of Niagara Christian Collegiate. Don is passionate about music, especially jazz, and is a member of our Westheights worship team.
LIVING WITH DUAL CITIZENSHIP
Message by Don McNiven – July 1, 2018
1 Peter 2:13-17 (MSG) Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level; they are God’s emissaries for keeping order. It is God’s will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you’re a danger to society. Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules. Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government.
Romans 13:7-8 (NLT) Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority. Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law.
Romans 13:1 (NLT) Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.
1 Timothy 2:1-3 (MSG) The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.
Matthew 22:21 (ESV) Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.
LIVING WITH DUAL CITIZENSHIP
Philippians 3:2 (ESV) But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ…
John 3:3 (ESV) Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Romans 14:17 (NIV) For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peaceand joy in the Holy Spirit.
Hebrews 13:14 (NIV) For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.
1 Peter 2:11-12 (MSG) Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.
Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world, for it contrasts with the kingdom of the earth in every possible way. This is not a simple contrast between good and evil. The contrast is between:
1. Ways of doing life
2. Mindsets and believe systems (worldview)
KINGDOM OF HEAVEN VS. KINGDOM OF EARTH
1. Trusts the power of the cross, vs the power of the sword
2. Advances by exercising “power under,” vs “power over”
3. King of heaven – servant leadership
1. Seeks to transform lives from the inside out, vs seeks to control outward behaviour
2. Centred exclusively on carrying out the will of God even if this requires sacrificing one’s own interests, vs rooted in preserving, if not advancing, one’s self-interests and one’s own will
1. Intrinsically universal, vs tribal in nature
2. Centred on people living for the sole purpose of replicating the love of Jesus Christ to all people at all times in all places without condition, vs. heavily invested in defending, if not advancing, one’s own people-group, one’s nationality, one’s ethnicity, one’s state, one’s religion, one’s ideologies, or one’s political agendas leading to perpetual conflict
PRIORITY AND RESPONSE
1. Returns evil with good (turn the other cheek) and bless your enemies, vs eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth
2. Loving is top priority, vs winning is top priority
1. Invisible warfare, vs visible warfare
2. Not against enemies of blood and flesh but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places, vs earthly enemies and, thus, fights earthly battles
WHEN THE VALUES OF YOUR TWO CITIZENSHIPS (LOYALTIES) CLASH
Biblical Examples: Moses’ parents and midwives of Egypt; Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego; Peter and apostles
Acts 5:29 (NLT) But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than any human authority.”
DO NOT COMPROMISE YOUR LOYALTY TO GOD IN ORDER TO FIT IN WITH MAN
Psalm 139:13-16 (NLT) You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
John 15:19a (NLT) The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world …
Matthew 5:16 (ESV) In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
HOW DO WE LIVE AS CHRISTIANS?
We live, love and act as Jesus would – showing respect and treating others as people made in the image of God. We are to be Salt and Light.
If possible, we should participate in the process of the country we live in to promote Christian values.
THE EVANGELICAL FELLOWSHIP OF CANADA
Uniting Evangelicals to bless Canada in the name of Jesus
1. Citizens of heaven encourage, respect, lift up, honour and love others – even our enemies. Refuse to demean, defame, deniegrate, damage.
2. Citizens of heaven model righteousness, integrity and truth in their family, market place, church, community and country.
3. Citizens of heaven partner with others to speak truth to our leaders.
4. Citizens of heaven pray for everyone, including our leaders.