Christians do not belong to this world
12 I am not saying that I have already reached that place in my life. I have not yet completely become the person that God wants me to be. But I am trying very hard to reach that place. That was Christ's purpose when he first made me his own. 13 My Christian friends, I do not think that I have reached that place yet. But this is what I do: I do not think about past things that have already happened. Instead, I try hard to reach the things that are in front of me. 14 I am like a runner who wants to reach the end of the race. I run straight towards that place, so that I can win God's gift. Because I belong to Christ Jesus, God has called me to live with him in heaven. That is God's gift to me at the end of the race.
15 All of us should agree to live like that, if we properly understand God's message. If you think differently about these things, God will show you clearly what is right. 16 But we should continue to live in the way that we already know is right.
17 My Christian friends, you should try to live in the way that I do. Carefully watch other people who live like that. We have shown you what is right. 18 Many people live in a way that shows they do not agree with God's message. I have told you about these people many times before. And now I am crying when I tell you about them. I am very sad, because they speak against Christ's death on the cross. 19 In the end, God will destroy them. Their stomach is what they worship. They are proud of things that should make them ashamed. Their thoughts are full of things that belong to this world. 20 But as for us, the home where we belong is in heaven. We are waiting for the Lord Jesus Christ to come from there. He is the one who will come from heaven and save us. 21 He will change these weak bodies that we have now on this earth. He will make them become strong and beautiful, like his own body that he has in heaven. Christ will use his great power to do this. That is the power that he uses to rule over everything.