Our Pilgrim Status
In order to be a Christian, with persuasive power and daily reverence, you must personally come to terms with your pilgrim status. This earth is not our permanent home. (In fact, this earth is not anyone's permanent home, see 2 Pet. 3:10-13). Nobody will live on the earth forever because the earth will not last forever. Peter puts it simply: "...both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up!"
I bring this up because if we don't get this, we cannot effectively learn or apply the teachings of Christ in the New Testament. We must not just play with the idea intellectually, we must personally embrace it. We are pilgrims.
"Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation," (1 Pet. 2:11,12).
You cannot consistently abstain from fleshly lusts until you recognize your pilgrim status. You cannot participate in the defeat of those things that war against the soul if you are holding to this earth as your home. You cannot wholeheartedly engage in honorable conduct "among the Gentiles," until your attachment to this world is put in true perspective. You cannot lead people to glorify God in the day of visitation, while living in denial of your pilgrim status.
As Christians, we are more related to heaven than earth. If we don't get that, we cannot get the rest of it right. May our confession be: "I am a stranger in the earth; do not hide Your commandments from me," (Psa. 119:19).
By Warren E. Berkley
The Front Page
From Expository Files 12.5; May, 2005