PILGRIMS AND STRANGERS

Peter tells us, that as believers, we are “pilgrims and strangers” on this earth. The word “stranger” has the idea of a person who lives for an extended time in a land that is not his own. He is there long enough to need a house to live in, but he is not a permanent resident. He has no legal rights, he has no social standing. He is a stranger, an exile who lives in a foreign land. The word “pilgrim” has a meaning that is more temporary than the other. This word refers to one who is merely passing through one place on the way to another place.

Both of those words describe who we are as children of the Lord. We are living in this world, but this world is not our home, Phil. 3:20. We are here, God willing, long enough to need a house to live in, and a job to feed us. But, we are not permanent residents. We are merely strangers living in the midst of an alien culture. We are pilgrims passing through the earth on our way to Heaven.

If you have ever had the opportunity to meet someone from another culture, you have recognize the fact that they think and act differently than you do. Well, as believers, we are supposed to think and act differently than the natives of this planet. Our new birth and our new nature are all products of heaven. As a result, we are to be heavenly minded. Our legal status is in heaven. We are not to live by man’s laws and man’s ways! Man’s laws and ways are lower than the standards heavenly citizens are to live by. We should obey the laws of the land, but the law and will of God are far superior to that of this world. In other words, if we are truly heaven-born people, then we are to live like heaven-born people! This is what Paul had in mind in Col. 3:1-3. (If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.)

Until Jesus comes, we will be “pilgrims and strangers” in this world. Let us remember that we are surrounded by an alien culture that needs to hear about Jesus and that needs to see His truth lives out by those who claim to know Him. They used to encourage visitors to the national parks to “leave them cleaner than they found them.” We should seek to promote the culture of Heaven in this world to leave it better than we found it!

Nicole C. Mullen – My Redeemer Lives

 

Who taught the sun
Where to stand in the morning
And who told the ocean
You can only come this far
And who showed the moon
Where to hide till evening
Whose words alone can
Catch a falling star

Well I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
All of creation testifies
This life within me cries
I know my Redeemer lives
Yeah

The very same God
That spins things in orbit
Runs to the weary
The worn and the weak
And the same gentle hands
That hold me when I’m broken
They conquer death to bring me victory

Now I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
Let all creation testify
Let this life within me cry
I know my Redeemer

He lives to take away my shame
And He lives forever I’ll proclaim
That the payment for my sin
Was the precious life He gave
But now He’s alive and there’s an empty grave

And I know my Redeemer, He lives
I know my Redeemer lives
Let all creation testify
Let this life within me cry

I know my Redeemer
I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
I know that, I know that, I know that, I know that, I know
I know my Redeemer lives

(Because He lives I can face tomorrow)
He lives, I know, I know, I know.
He lives
(I spoke with Him this morning.)

He lives.
(The tomb is empty)
He lives.
(I’ve got to tell everybody)