20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 3:20, NRSV)
A beautiful note from NT Wright on this verse. We have so much to learn!
‘We are citizens of heaven,’ Paul declares in verse 20. At once many modern Christians misunderstand what he means. We naturally suppose he means ‘and so we’re waiting until we can go and live in heaven where we belong’. But that’s not what he says, and it’s certainly not what he means. If someone in Philippi said, ‘We are citizens of Rome,’ they certainly wouldn’t mean ‘so we’re looking forward to going to live there’. Being a colony works the other way round. The last thing the emperors wanted was a whole lot of colonists coming back to Rome. The capital was already overcrowded and underemployed. No: the task of the Roman citizen in a place like Philippi was to bring Roman culture and rule to northern Greece, to expand Roman influence there.
Wright, T. (2004). Paul for Everyone: The Prison Letters: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon (p. 126). Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.