Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11
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Seeds of the Kingdom

Tourists, Residents or Citizens?

by Roger Pook

6 September 2011

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`Lord, Lord! In your name we spoke God`s message, by your name we drove out many demons and performed many miracles!` Then I will say to them, `I never knew you. Get away from me, you wicked people!`
Matthew 7:22-23, GNB

We have lived in Hungary for nearly sixteen years, and we love it here. At first we had tourist visas, then temporary residence permits. Finally we got permanent registration as residents of Hungary. Now we can stay here for the rest of our life, enjoying all the benefits that Hungary can give `retired` people, including healthcare and free transport.
But we are not full citizens of Hungary. We are British and we have no allegiance to this country, however much we love it. And if ever we commit some misdemeanour, Hungary will deport us back to the UK.

It`s a bit like that with the Kingdom of God. Some people enter as tourists, enjoying what`s on offer but with no commitment. They enjoy Christian events and Christian company, the whole atmosphere of the Kingdom, and sample various churches, conferences and organisations. But they are still citizens of the world.

Some people like the Kingdom so much that they become permanent residents. They enjoy all the benefits of residence and do the things that real citizens do. They may even look and sound like citizens of the Kingdom – but they are still citizens of the world, not committed to the Kingdom. If they try to claim the rights of Kingdom citizenship, they will be thrown out.

So the vital question is this – what is our status in the Kingdom of God? Are we a tourist, a resident, or truly a citizen? Because if we are a tourist who simply likes the atmosphere - or a resident who lives, works and enjoys the benefits but without full allegiance - at the end of the age the King will say “Get away from me, I never knew you, you wicked people”.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I don`t want to be a tourist just enjoying the Kingdom of God, or a resident who looks the part but who doesn`t really belong. I want to be a full citizen with full allegiance to the Kingdom and its King. Today I renounce my citizenship of the world and ask for your grace so that I can enter your Kingdom with the precious citizenship that Jesus won for me. Amen.

Roger Pook For 21 years Roger Pook and his wife Christine served in Central and Eastern Europe, based in Hungary at the Úr Rétje centre of Ellel Ministries. From there they travelled and ministered across the length and breadth of the former communist world. In 2018 Roger retired as Regional Director and they now live back in the UK, where Roger still serves on the Executive Leadership and as a trustee of The Christian Trust. They still travel for the Kingdom!


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