One of my friends sent me an online geography test the other day. The countries of the world were outlined and you clicked on the name of the country to place it in the proper place. It took me a long time to get it right. I travel overseas frequently and thought this would be easy. I had never heard of some of the countries listed. I was looking for names that were no longer used. I knew I had been out of school for some time, but I thought I kept up with world events. There were countries that divided into smaller countries, and countries that changed names. Boundaries were different than they used to be. My world had changed more than I knew.

Of course, if you find a map just a few hundred years old, the country where I live will not be listed. The state where I live used to be a country. Before that, it was part of a different country. For a short time, it was part of a country that seceded from the country it is now part of again. How can you keep up? What will the world map look like when my grandchildren's grandchildren study it?

Then there are those parts of the world that have clearly defined boundaries, but the tribes and cultures cross those lines. So they have practical boundaries that differ from the formal ones. There are people who have citizenship in one country but live in yet another. Every time the Olympics are held, there are athletes who change allegiances in order to compete for different countries. Some athletes have competed for different counties in successive Olympics.

So how do you claim allegiance to a country that no longer exists? Can you have national pride in a country that is no longer a country? Some nations were quite powerful at one time. Some were empires that ruled much of the world. And now they are gone. Countries just do not last. They never have ... and evidently they never will.

So what I really want is to be part of a country — a kingdom — that would last. It would be a kingdom more powerful than any country or empire. It would never be defeated. It would never be conquered. It would not be constrained by any geographic boundaries. It would be a kingdom that my children, my grandchildren, and my descendants through the ages could be part of. It would be a kingdom that would never end. It would be a kingdom that anyone could join. That is the kingdom to which I could give total allegiance.

And I am a citizen of a kingdom just like that. You can be too.

It is the kingdom of God.

If you want to know more about becoming a citizen of this kingdom, write me at Or join our blog discussion at

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