There is a very real sense in which Christian people live in two worlds. As Christians we live an earthly life, but at the same time our citizenship is in heaven. Paul wrote, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 3:20) Those who live their earthly life without God have no city except the one they have here on earth. Their only rights are those that they enjoy from secular things. Scripture says of them that their end is destruction, their god is their belly, their glory is in their shame and they mind earthly things. (Philippians 3:19) It is a terrible tragedy when a person is living only for this world. Christians have a heavenly city, a New Jerusalem. “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.’ (Revelation 21:2) Christians have the rights and the privileges of that heavenly citizenship.

          Solomon gave a vivid description of our earthly life. Solomon wrote, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8) If God allows you to live long enough you will come to know each of the things Solomon mentioned in this list. In Solomon’s search for the true meaning of life, he came to understand that as you live you will see good times and bad times and this will be repeated generation after generation. We must understand the brevity of earthly life and we must focus on living for heaven. Because of the brevity of life our prayer should be, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” (Psalms 90:12) Earthly life is so brief and uncertain. David speaks of life's uncertainty by noting that "There is but a step between me and death." (1 Samuel 20:3) Solomon declared the same thing saying, “There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death.” (Ecclesiastes 8:8) Our brief earthly life will end and we will face God in judgment. Whether we are in youth or in the later years, all of us must be prepared to meet God in judgment, "For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether it is good or whether it is evil." (Ecclesiastes 12:14) We have no guarantee on life. We hold no lease for so many years. We must all learn this lesson that is often forgotten, that is, that death is coming to us. When death comes we will live in another world. Where will you spend your eternity? You do not just cease to exist. Jesus said, “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Matthew 25:46)

          Some of us have lived in two worlds here on earth. The world that we lived in years ago was far different from the world we live in today. In the world into which I was born, Harry S. Truman had just become president of the United States. The cost of a first class postage stamp was 3 cents. The United States Population was 139,928,165. Hitler had just committed suicide. The Atomic Bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Art Linkletter and Arthur Godfrey started their radio careers. In 1945 the cost of a new house was $4,600.00. A gallon of gasoline cost 15 cents. The average cost to rent a house was $60.00 per month. A portable typewriter cost $68.37. Living in that world you would raise the food you ate, have an outhouse, take a bath in the creek and heat your house with wood in a fireplace. Each family member would not have their own room in the house or their own closet or their privacy! In those early years we had no telephone, no electric or gas stove and no television. Those of us, who have lived in that world and now live in the world that we live in, have certainly lived in two worlds here on earth.

         The world we live in today is a very different world. The Bible teaches that people should dress and act in a modest way. Sadly, the world that we live in today is filled with immodesty. The Bible says, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array.” (1 Timothy 2:9) The Bible teaches that our life should be lived in reverence before God. Sadly, our music and movies are filled with the filth of gangster rap and other vulgarities. Those who write the music control the hearts and the minds of the people. Our music and movies are marked by a total absence of reverence for God. It cannot be that way for those of us who are Christians. “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” (Hebrews 12:28) Today’s world is also filled with all kinds of gadgets. Often these things are a blessing, but sometimes they are a curse. What do you do with your cell phone? What do you do with your phone during worship? Do you look at your Bible or do you read and send text? Do you leave your phone on during worship and when it rings disturb other worshipers with the ringing or with your going out to talk to someone about something that is of little or no consequence? Our computers, tablets or recorders can be a great blessing, but they can also be used in very, very bad ways. These things can be used in ways that demonstrate much reverence for God, or they can be used in ways that demonstrate absolutely no respect for the Almighty. How does God feel about the way that you use your electronic gadgets? Do you use them for His glory? We live in a wonderful world, but remember in all that we do and we must reverence God.

          Even with all our gadgets, we must teach our self to keep our eyes on God. When you look at a beautiful mountain or valley you do not have to imagine that mountain, you just see it. The same applies to our relationship with God. David said, “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.” (Psalms 27:4) To become a Christian you must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (John 8:24), repent of sins (Acts 17:30), Confess Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized to be saved. (1 Peter 3:21) We must nurture our faith and use the gadgets that God has given us to draw closer to Him instead of allowing those things to distract us from our spiritual journey. “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.” (Psalm 89:7)

By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037