Earlier this year, hundreds of fishermen were rescued from a life of slavery on Thai fishing boats. These men had been trafficked and sold to work on these boats for up to 20 hours a day. Some were kidnapped, others were lured there with promises of money or work prospects. Yet instead of these lies, they were paid with beatings, torture, and sexual abuse.
When the Indonesian government stepped in and rescued them, the world cheered. Others had done for them what these fishermen could not do for themselves. However, once they had been freed, they had nowhere to go and no one to help them cope with adjusting into being part of the real world.
There is a spiritual parallel to this story. Christ has done for sinners what they are unable to do for themselves – He took the punishment for our sin, because we could not pay that debt. Since the Father accepted Christ’s payment, those who trust in Christ for eternal life have been rescued from the domain of darkness. Fortunately, though, we are not left to ourselves. Our story doesn’t end there.
As Paul began his letter to the Colossian believers, he reminded them that not only were they rescued from sin’s domain, but they were also rescued to a new domain. Read the verses below and look for where believers have been transferred to:
May you be strengthened with all power according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light. He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
God the Father transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves. While we were removed from sin’s jurisdiction, we also get a complete change of citizenship. Only those in authority of a country can determine who gets to be a citizen; no other country’s declaration, decision, or complaint can affect a given citizenship. As such, God can add anyone – from any background, region, or nationality – to the kingdom of the Son He loves. Those He has chosen to transfer into Jesus’ kingdom are the ones who trust Jesus’ payment on the cross and trust Him for eternal life.
And it’s not like God has rescued us and then placed us into some other far-off area where life is just little better than it was before. The Father doesn’t just send us on our merry way. We aren’t left to figure out the question of “What do I do now?” or “How do I deal with the leftovers from my past?” On the contrary, we have been transferred into the kingdom of the Son He loves. Given how much the Father loves the Son, then the benefits of that relationship will spill over to those who identify with the Son!
During His last night on earth, Jesus told His disciples:
For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came from God.
We have redemption, we have the forgiveness of sins, but we are not left behind as orphans without a country. Instead, we become part of the one Who is dearly loved by the Father! We now have both a place and a purpose. We have a new life as citizens in Jesus’ kingdom.
Never forget where we were rescued from, and always remember where we have been rescued to.