TOPIC:"The Best Is Yet To Come"
by Rev. Dr. Reg Dunlap
"But our citizenship is in Heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body" (Philippians 3:20, 21, NIV).
Here in the verses before us the Apostle Paul sets forth a glaring contrast between those who are counterfeit christians and those who are convinced Christians. With a tender and almost breaking heart Paul describes the destiny of those who pervert the teachings of Christ. In a withering denunciation he declares their doom. Listen to Paul's words in verse 19: "Their destiny is destruction." Phillips is even more forceful: "These men are heading for utter destruction." There you have the eternal destiny of those who reject Christ and His moral teachings.
Now in contrast to those whose minds were exclusively on earthly things according to verse 19, and who depended on those things to gain merit with God, Paul turns his attention to those of us who are genuine followers of Jesus Christ. He describes our destiny in verse 20 this way: "But our citizenship is in Heaven." I like Moffart here: "We are a colony of Heaven." And get this: Our ultimate loyalty is not to Caesar, not to the President, not to Congress, but to our sovereign King, Jesus Christ. Our ultimate allegiance to God transcends all other loyalties.
We are not settlers here. We are pilgrims with a future destination in Heaven. And pilgrims are not tramps. We know where we are going. We can say with St. Paul that God "has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the Kingdom of the Son He loves" (Colossians 1:13). So as Christians with great anticipation we look forward to three great events. I say to you, "The best is yet to come."
First of all, with great anticipation we look forward to the RETURN of the BRIDEGROOM. Notice Paul's words in verse 20: "we eagerly await a Savior from there (Heaven), the Lord Jesus Christ." The bride is expecting their Bridegroom to come. We pilgrims are looking forward to the return of our absent King to take us home to Heaven. I tell you, a Kingly visit in the near future will take place.
The word "await" denotes eagerness and intensity. It speaks of yearning and alertness. It suggests a tiptoe anticipation and longing for Christ to return. We are in waiting. Listen to how this is played out in Paul's writings. To the Romans Paul writes: "The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed" . . .