“Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.” - 1 Peter 1:17.
“Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” - 1 Peter 2:11-12.
I served in the United States military, the U.S. Air Force; I served for four years. I pledged allegiance to this country; I was willing to defend it, defend it with my life. I feel it was one of my obligations as a citizen of the United States of America.
When I served in the Air Force, I was not a Christian. I believe there was a God; I knew He had power, was Sovereign and I understood as soldiers, we were His agents of wrath (Romans 13:4 says “For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.”). This is one of the purposes of government. I knew about God but had no relationship with Him. Once Christ found me, that all changed.
Because I am God’s child, my citizenship is in heaven (“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,” - Philippians 3:20.). At the same time I live in the United States and I am a citizen. I have temporary dual citizenship— forever in Heaven, temporarily a U.S. citizen.
God through the Holy Spirit and the pen of Peter in 1 Peter 2:11 says we are to live as “strangers and aliens in the world.” Aliens are defined as “a person born in another country, a foreigner, and so not entitled to citizenship where he lives.” I have the best of both worlds—a citizen of the United States (although temporarily), born here, a native as it were. When I became a Christian, I was “born again” into the kingdom of Heaven, a citizen of heaven for eternity.
The good news is this—some day when I go home to be with the Lord, my temporary U.S. citizenship will end. That’s what I look forward to. In the meantime, I will live here; I won’t let my roots go too deeply into this life and this terra firma called the U.S.A.—my eternal home or citizenship as it were, is in Heaven.
This world is not my home, I’m just passing through says the Old Negro spiritual. It’s good to be reminded of that. All things on this side of heaven are temporary. Good news for this old country boy.