September 17, 2015
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the Cornerstone. Ephesians 2:19-20
Most people I know don't enjoy paying taxes.
That being said, there is a certain degree of accuracy in the old adage: "Nothing is sure in life other than death and taxes." You will note I said there is a certain degree of truth. That's because there is a way to get out of paying taxes to the U.S. Federal Government.
The way to get out of paying Federal and State taxes is simple: renounce your citizenship.
Yes, I know it sounds like a severe step to take, but there are quite a few people going that route. For example, Eduardo Saverin, the co-founder of Facebook, has severed ties with the U.S. So has Denise Rich, a Massachusetts songwriter-socialite. Those famous folks are being joined by thousands of others who prefer to walk away from the U.S. rather than part with their cash.
Of course, you need to know there are ramifications to such a decision. One of those consequences is such a decision generally can't be reversed. Once you walk away -- you've walked -- and there's no coming home again.
To cut ties with the place which enabled you to have so much is a sad thought to me.
Still, it's not nearly as sad as those who decide they don't want to be part of the family of faith. Over the years I've met many such people. When they're asked why, they offer many replies: Christianity is too confining; there are too many hypocrites in church; they don't like the preacher; they're not too keen on the organist or church pews or service times.
The list goes on and on.
Listening to all those reasons, I have always thought: but look what you are giving up. You are turning your back on the Savior who gave His life to win your forgiveness and save your soul. You are saying, "I have no interest in going to heaven." In Jesus you are looking at the most wonderful gift you have ever been given and saying "Thank You very much, but no thank You."
Yes, it's sad when people renounce their citizenship in God's kingdom.
Thankfully, the decision is not necessarily a final one. Until they die there is still time for the Holy Spirit to bring them back. Until they breathe their last, there is yet an opportunity for them to be rescued from their sad and sorry situation. As long as they are here on earth, there is still time for sinners to repent and make the angels in heaven glad.
Now, since you are reading this Daily Devotion, I assume I am not speaking about you. That's good. Still, I probably am speaking about someone you know, someone you love, someone who is close to you.
If that is the case, I invite you to join me in ...
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant that (name of person you are thinking of) _________ may see how much You love him. Take him to the cross and the empty tomb and grant he may learn to love You as much as You love him. This I ask in the Savior's Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries