For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
Philippians 3:20 (KJV)
Conversation – The famous Billy Graham once said, “My home is in heaven. I’m just traveling through this world.” He, like many of us, believe this to be very true. When a believer dies, they go to heaven, right? While there are several verses that might give this impression such as this one in Philippians, it is hardly the case.
The Greek word here is politeuma which the translators would like you to believe means ‘conversation’ implying that if we’re the ones conversing with God, surely it would be in heaven. Also in this context we’d understand that this ‘conversation’ belongs to, and comes from ‘us’ by the word ‘our’ in this sentence. But neither of these quite satisfy the interpretation of Paul’s statement, and we’ll notice this once we rightly define this word.
Politeuma is the administration of civil affairs or of a commonwealth. It is the acts of government departments. You can almost see the word ‘politics’ within it. So in this statement, Paul is assuring those in Philippi not to be so dismayed by their government because our administration is in heaven. It’s not ‘ours’ because we democratically elected Yeshua as our king. It’s ours because we belong to it – not the other way around. The governing rules of the kingdom of heaven are that by which we live here on earth.
It’s about taking that which was spiritually ordained by God and applying it to our physical lives. It’s not about abandoning the physical. Often times our focus is in the wrong direction. Rather than trying to partake in the restoration of this world, our focus has moved on to some spiritual realm.
My friends, we aren’t going to heaven. Heaven wasn’t created for us – earth was. Earth is our domain. Surely we should be storing up treasures in heaven and our hearts should be there, but when we receive those treasures where will we be standing? We’ll be standing on a new earth. And the New Jerusalem wherein we shall live, will be on earth as well. Although we might see heaven when we stand before the Great White Throne, we won’t be living there.
So let’s take that which is spiritual and apply it in our lives here on earth. Let’s take His administration and live by those commandments. So live spiritually! This doesn’t mean abandon the physical. Too often we abandon the teachings of God because we consider His commandments physical, but don’t forget, Paul said they were spiritual (Rom. 7:14). And finally, earth is our dwelling, so let’s make an effort to help restore it back to the Garden whenever possible. It will never get there, we know, and God will have to destroy it to bring it back to it’s former state, but the commission God gave to Adam to dress and keep the garden still lives on. So while our administration may be in heaven, our place is on earth!