I am praying that as a church MCC will have a heavenly influence in the people who walk through the doors of this church building to worship with us. I am praying we will have a heavenly influence upon the lives of people who are outside of these doors. That’s what we are supposed to be doing. We are to have a heavenly influence.
When Paul says in his letter to the Philippians that we are citizens of heaven, most Christians interpret that to mean we should look forward to leaving earth and going to heaven, which is our true home. But that is not what the passage meant to first-century readers. The city of Philippi in Greece was a Roman colony, where many had the privilege of Roman citizenship. The citizens of a colony were not supposed to aspire to go back to Rome. Their job was to secure a conquered country by permeating the local culture with Roman culture. By telling Christians they are citizens of heaven, then, Paul was telling them to permeate the world with a heavenly culture.
A Roman colony was to model itself after Rome so that anyone who wanted to know what Rome was like did not have to travel all the way to Rome. All they had to do was visit a Roman colony like Philippi. To be a colony of Rome was to take Rome and plant it somewhere else. As Christians in the Church (the bride of Christ) with a heavenly citizenship, we are to be such that if people want to get an idea of what heaven is like they should be able to find a heavenly culture by being around us.
Unfortunately, many churches give anything BUT such an impression. May the Lord help us to be such an influence upon each other, our teens and our children, anyone who visits and upon people in the surrounding neighborhoods.