In Heb.11:14, the writer calls the place of Abraham’s inheritance a “homeland.” “For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return” (Heb. 11:14-15). This homeland is not the land from which people of faith had gone out. It is not their physical homeland. Rather, it is their spiritual homeland.
He adds, “But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city” (Heb. 11:16). This homeland is a “better country.” It is a “heavenly one.”
Then in v. 17, he calls it a “city” prepared by God. “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son” (Heb. 11:17). Abraham was looking forward to this heavenly homeland, this better country, this heavenly city of God.
What is your favorite city in the world? I have two favorite cities—Bacolod City and Hong Kong. Bacolod City has wider streets vs. Cebu. Less traffic. Great food—chicken inasal, manokan, Calea cakes, Cansi, batchoy, etc. Great mountain spring resort—Mambukal Resort and new resort today—Campuestuhan.
Hong Kong is also a great city. Well-lighted streets. Fast trains. Comfortable subways. Easily accessible places at low cost. Great food. Great shopping—the very expensive and the very cheap. Disneyland. Ocean Park. Kowloon Park. Cheaper than Singapore.
But Hong Kong is nothing compared to the Heavenly City of God. If you walk by faith, you will have this attitude of looking forward to this heavenly city. You belong to this heavenly city. You are a permanent resident of this heavenly city. Paul said in Phil. 3: 19-20, “Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we wait a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
People of this world live by their belly. Their belly is their god. They worship their belly. Their belly gives them physical pleasure. They worship physical pleasure. Isn’t that a good description of this world? Worldly people live by their belly.
Worldly people set their minds on things of this world. But heavenly people set their minds on the things of heaven. You think according to the perspective of heaven. You stop thinking according to the worldview of this earth. You know that you belong in heaven. Your citizenship is in heaven.