Citizens of Heaven
Paul and the other New Testament authors provide us with several basic principles that help us answer that question and that help us understand our relationship as believers to earthly civil magistrates. First, we are clearly told who we are. As believers in Christ, we are citizens of heaven. As Paul puts it: “Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20). Peter uses the language we encountered in the Old Testament and calls us “sojourners and exiles” (1 Peter 2:13). Jesus Christ is our King. We are, first and foremost, citizens of His kingdom. Our relationship to the lands in which we were born, then, is somewhat comparable to that of an ambassador who lives in a foreign land. We may have a love for the land in which we temporarily reside, but there is always a homesickness. We long to see our true King.