We know from Colossians 1:12-13 that believers have been delivered from the power of darkness and have been transferred into God’s kingdom through Jesus Christ. In a sense, we have “immigrated” to another country and we have become “naturalized citizens” in God’s kingdom.
Here’s the catch. Some believers are still living according to the “old world” ways. They’re still talking the language of this fallen world. They’re still following the traditions of their old country. They’re still living as if they are part of the old kingdom of darkness. The Bible calls this walking according to the flesh instead of the Spirit.
If they have truly accepted Jesus as their Savior, they’re still “in Christ.” They’re “spiritual passport” still says they belong to Christ because He redeemed them with His blood. He paid the penalty for their sin and bought them back from the bondage of sin in the kingdom of darkness.
But if they don’t renew their minds to this reality, if they don’t get into the Word to find out about the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of their new kingdom, then they won’t be able to live like a citizen of God’s kingdom.
That’s where a lot of Christians are living, far below what they have in Christ. When Christ returns to gather His Bride, the Church, they will go with Him because they are in Him. But they will have sacrificed so much by not living in the fullness of their relationship with Christ now.
They may end up standing before Christ with little of eternal value to show for their lives, but at least they are with Him in Heaven. What they could have learned now in our “boot-camp training,” they will have to learn then.