Vian Baptist Church
IPeter 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Here begins the exhortation drawn from the second motive. Sojourners: pilgrims – The first word properly means, those who are in a strange house; the second, those who are in a strange country You sojourn in the body; you are pilgrims in this world. Abstain from desires of anything in this house, or in this country. John Wesley John Wesley defined two terms for us. The first is strangers. He defined it as a person in a strange house and he applied it to Christians. Hebrews 11 tells us of early Christians that faced wickedness that persecuted them. Hebrews 11:13-16 “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.”
I have traveled often, far too much in my life. Between the United States Navy and Harris Corporation I was often in foreign countries. The feeling Peter was refering to was that you never quite feel at home when traveling. In all my travels, I was never comfortable for I never knew the customs or the language of the people in the country I was visiting. He wants us to know that Christians should not feel comfortable in a house that is not our own or in a country that is not our own.
Remember this as well…like the song tells us… “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through. My treasures are layed up somewhere beyond the blue. The angels beckon me from heavens open door and I cant feel at home in this world anymore.”
Comfort in this world means we need to accept things that God condemns. The dictionary tell us that comfort is the easing or alleviation of a persons feelings of grief or distress. As a Christian, we should have distress with the wickedness of the world. Too many Christians want to be comfortable in this world. Many do not want to face the issues that are presenting themselves more raapidly than at any other time in our nation’s history. We have middle schools presenting drag queen shows, or teaching sex education to eight year olds or pushing the Woke adgenda. The days of simply teaching ‘Reading, Writing, and Arithmatic” seem to be over as teachers want to teach acceptance of perverse lifestyles that are condemned in Scripture.
The Old Testament uses the term sojourners” to describe God’s people. Leveticus 25:23 “The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me.” The definition of sojourner is a temporary inmate or a mere lodger as a resident alien in a foreign country.
God, who created Earth does not claim it as His home. If we are His people, then this is not our home either. Just like it tells us in Hebrews, we should be looking for “a better country, that is, an heavenly”.
Romans 14:17 “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” So many people are satisfied with meat and drink, a dry place to live, a little jingle in their pockets and they do not plan for the future. I talked to a girl on the phone. Her name was Destiny so I asked her if she was prepared for destiny. Of course, she asked, “What?” I told her destiny come just after death and we are destined for one of two places, heaven or hell. Since she was a paid soliticer, she listened but I’m not sure she totally understood. She told me she hoped she was ready and we ended the call.
It is important to be SURE of your eternal destiny! This world is mostly a Proving Ground for the people who live on the earth. Will they accept the Gospel of Christ? Will they “take up their cross and follow Jesus”? Will they lay up treasures in heaven instead of building a comfortable life on earth? So many questions to be answered in a short lifetime when eternity is so long.
If you are reading this and have never asked God to save you, cleanse you, and make you a child of God, why are you hesitating? It is spoken of as a gift in Romans 6:23. The Bible tells us it is given by grace and not by works in Ephesians 2:8-9. If you are willing to turn from your sin (repentance) and turn your life over to God, then you may be saved by simply asking Him to save you. Romans 10:13 tell us, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Now if you have asked for salvation, are you nest building here on earth or feathering your nest in heaven? Comfort here means you aren’t building there. They are mutually exclusive.