The other day I engaged in a very interesting (and controversial) conversation with one of my students. It went something like this:
Student: “Where are you from, Mr. G.?
Teacher: “I am American”
Student: “Ok, but where were you born?”
Teacher: “I was born in Miami, Florida”
Student: “Yeah, yeah, but where is your family from? Aren’t you Cuban?”
Teacher: “Well, let me ask you a question. Are you British, Irish or Scottish?
Every time I say that I am American, people keep pressing me to know my “real” ethnicity. I don’t remember asking other Americans about their country of origin. You see, in America we are all immigrants and even though I will never be ashamed of having Cuban parents, a Spanish grandfather and a Lebanese grandmother, I am also extremely happy to have been born in this blessed nation.
The next time someone ask me about my nationality, ethnicity or race, I will respond in a more biblical and relevant manner. You see, since I came to Christ, nothing else matters. I do not care about my nationality, race, language or anything else that many people attach great importance. I will say:
“I am a citizen of heaven!”
If you are a Christian like me, you have been born again (John 3:3) and therefore you are a brand new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Furthermore, we do not belong to this world anymore since Jesus called us out from the darkness. We now belong to Jesus and we are a holy nation (1 Peter 2:9-10).
Jesus once said to his disciples:
“If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:9)
I am a citizen of heaven. My heart is in heaven; my home is in heaven; my hope is in heaven and my Lord and Savior is in heaven. We are pilgrims in this world and ambassadors of the Lord. Our mission is to proclaim the message of heaven to the citizens of this dying world.
I am happy to be an American citizen, but I am forever blessed and eternally grateful to be a child of God and a citizen of heaven.
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20)