There has been much conversation over past months, and even the last few years, about America's borders and American citizenship. One perspective is that America should be more receptive in accommodating citizens of other countries. In fact, some would state that they are for open borders and that America, the land of the free, should be open to all persons. A more conservative viewpoint might be that we have a more strict vetting system. Perhaps many in the conservative ranks would advocate walled borders. At a minimum, most conservatives would be united in their belief that anyone desiring American citizenship should be required to meet certain standards relative to the absence of criminal behavior, the learning of the English language, and the acquisition of basic facts about American history.

The foregoing is not designed to spark a political debate. The paragraph above is designed to provoke contemplation on citizenship and what it means to be connected with a particular group of people. John 15:19 speaks of such a citizenry:

"If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you."

Close study of John 15 reveals a context dealing with the subject of bearing fruit. Jesus has explained that He will soon go to the cross and is letting His disciples know that in His absence, their primary objective is to witness and bear fruit. Why? Because this world is not their home. They are as pilgrims traversing through this world as they await being established in a new country. John 14:2 speaks on this wise:

"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you."

Born again, regenerated believers must realize that this world is not our home. We need to be busy bearing fruit so that others may experience the citizenship we have in heaven. America is often spoken of as the land of opportunity. Might I suggest that the ultimate land of opportunity is heaven? May I recommend that the borders of heaven are only open for a time? We need to be busy bearing fruit because the Lord will one day close heaven's gates. May Christ's work on the cross help us to never lose sight of this principle. God desires glory and the channel through which this glory is received is salvation.

I would encourage every reader of this devotional to spend time today reading about the home that awaits us. Space does not permit the replication of the entire chapter of Revelation 21, but we find a few marvelous and descriptive verses below:

18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.
19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

Believers know that Christ's return is not only imminent, but that it will be abrupt. This writer personally believes that our Lord will return soon. Might we all commit to bear more fruit before the trumpet sounds so that others might rejoice in the heavenly home that awaits those who believe. A few of the last words authored by the Holy Spirit bring ultimate clarity:

Revelation 22:20, "He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus."

williamson

Written by David Williamson
Vice President - BSWE
September 5, 2018