Tuesday, November 18, 2014




What is naturalization?  It is the legal act or process by which a non-citizen in a country may acquire citizenship or nationality of that country, and that definition is the focus of this article. There are numerous reasons why one would desire to be a citizen of a country, other than one’s country of origin.  Reasons could range from seeking better opportunities, getting away from persecution, seeking asylum, or marrying someone from that country.   Certain criteria have to be met in order to be granted citizenship anywhere, in any country.  In addition to requirements for naturalization, there are responsibilities that come with citizenship.  I remember, when I became a citizen of the U. S.A, I was admonished to exercise my voting rights to effect changes that will help the country to continue to be the great country that it is.   .      

Requirements for naturalization can be very stringent, and requests are not always granted.  Requests do get turned down, if criteria are not met.  There is however, one country where requirement for citizenship is straight forward; there is no hassle, and no one is ever turned away, unless they try to come in through a back door other than the prescribed opened door (Jesus).  In fact all are invited and encouraged to come, and are all welcomed.  The requirements are the same for each person, regardless of their background. Politics and partiality play no part in this process.  People of all nationalities, cultures, and languages; the educated, illiterate, sick, healthy, rich, poor, male female, adult, and child are all welcomed.  As you can see, no one, willing to come is turned away.  The Maker, Founder, King, and Lord of this country is God Almighty. 

Why are we invited to seek citizenship elsewhere?  Because our current countries of origin are all temporary, full of evil, strife and woe, hatred, wars, and diseases; besides, they will all pass away, sooner or later.  Only the city built by God will last through eternity.  This city is not an ordinary city built by human hands; it is built by God, and its streets are made of gold, like transparent glass, and its gates are made of pearls, and illuminated by the glory of God (Rev 21:22-23), and He (God) will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things have passed away” (Rev 21:4).  The apostle Paul put it this way, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Cor 2:9). 

For a place this magnificent, one would expect the entry requirements to be very tough to meet, but they are rather very simple and straight forward: First and foremost, an applicant must be a sinner, seeking forgiveness of sins and freedom from the power of sin through the blood of Jesus Christ.  Anyone who does not have the need to be forgiven does not qualify to apply.  An applicant has to understand that he or she is a sinner and needs a Savior.  Once a person is forgiven, he or she becomes a citizen of heaven, in training on earth.  

 The training continues till God decides, it is time to go and enjoy citizenship to its fullest.  Jesus comforted His disciples by saying to them, “In my Father’s house are many rooms; … I am going there to prepare a place for you.  And if I go there and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (Jn 14:2-3). Nothing will disqualify anyone who has been granted citizenship, because the Bible tells us, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me from the law of sin and death” (Rom 8:1-2). 

While here on earth, our responsibility is to maintain fellowship with our Father through prayer, and reading, and studying the Word, and working at being more and more like Jesus every day, evidenced by the way we behave and interact with society.  Also, while we are still here, we have the responsibility to encourage and build up others who are also on their way to the magnificent city, and to help those who are not to understand how urgently they need to naturalize.  When we finally relocate to heaven, we will see our Father face to face (1 cor 13:12); and so we will be with Him forever (1 Thes 4:17b). 


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