Our pilgrim’s journey
Life for everyone is a journey, there are only two destinations.
We are all pilgrims on earth. No one gets out of here without suffering, being injured or scarred. We all face hardships and tragedies in a fallen world. It’s what we do with life’s travesties that make a difference in our character now and what we will be later.
The world will suck the life out of you, it’s not your friend; The Bible says whoever loves this world is an enemy of God.
Does bad talk offend you, does cussing, are you offended by some of the things in our culture and the music? I hope so. If not you may have become too friendly with the world.
John 15:18-19 "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”
Jesus said “it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.” (John 7:7-8) “For everyone practicing evil hates the light” (John 3:19-20)
The light came into the world and the world rejected him. Why? “And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1:5). The mystery of godliness (2 Tim.3:16)
Light and darkness are at odds with each other. Righteousness vs. lawlessness; good vs. evil, there is dichotomy that is far deeper than right versus wrong.
Jesus said, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:17). Again in John 12:47 “for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.’
That was his mission the first time he came. We who responded have received it. There is coming a time, and in some ways is already here where people in many places will not listen and utterly reject you and reject the message He gave us to save them.
1 John 3:13-14 “Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life.”
What is this death that the living participate in? Eph. 2:1-3 explains, “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.”
The world and its system is fallen, and it can certainly influence you by its attractions. Riches are one of the main attractions that can become a hold on you. Yes, you can have it all on earth and at the same time lose all you have, all that really matters because you eliminated God out of your life.
The one we spend the most time with will have the most sway and influence over us. as the saying goes, garbage in garbage out. We are educating ourselves how to live each day.
There is a saying on a bumper sticker that I see every so often, “he who dies with the most toys wins.” Sounds good to those living by the worlds system, but its untrue. Those who pursue this philosophy of life will lose, not win. But these do have a worldly appeal. 1 John 4:5 “They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them.”
The truth is you can’t bring anything with you. What you can look forward to is what will meet you on the other side of this life, in heaven. The people you affected to know Christ and have eternal life .Jesus said. “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (Mark 8:36-37)
You can pursue and get everything you ever wanted and more, spend your life working for it and then in the end lose your most prized possession, your soul. The one thing you have to bring into eternity.
Jesus spoke of a Laodicean church which was rich, thought they had the best of both worlds. They combined both hot and cold, two extremes. This church found the sweet spot, right in the middle. This hot and cold has nothing to do with coffee. Their way made them lukewarm, which the Lord could not stand. and made sure we know it by saying he will vomit them out.
This church wanted to be loved by all and stand against nothing. This church has become prevalent in our day. They say, “Look how progressive we are, we the perfect blend of the past and the present.”
We hear God loves everyone equally therefore he accepts all. Believers, unbelievers, critics, antagonists, come as you are and stay as you are, it’s all the same. No it is not! God does have enemies and He does have those he calls friends. We were once enemies (Rom.5:10; Col.1:21 ). He wants to make us new creatures after his Son’s likeness.
The God who made this world and all there is offers man a continuance in a beautiful place after his journey on earth is done. This is where everything you went through on earth makes a difference. All the heartache, hardships, trials are not for nothing, they will mean something far more than we can understand now.
There is a heavenly country whose builder and maker is God. It’s called New Jerusalem. On earth people would hike up to Jerusalem, it was lighted city on a hill that can be seen from afar off. But one cannot make the journey to the city in heaven on their own.
Are you a registered believer? Is your name registered in heaven? God will not allow illegals in. Only citizens of heaven will be there. There will be no voting, no debating, or name calling. It will be a perfect government, harmonious, peaceful with equality. There is but one way in. To become a citizen one must have their name written in the Lambs book of life, have a spiritual birth. “Rejoice, because your name is written in heaven” (Luke 10:20) your name recorded in the Lambs Book of Life is he who you will spend eternity with.
Christians are more protected than congress. Whether we live or die, we win. Our obituary is written for our earthly life, but our name is on heavens roster where we are permanent eternal citizens. There is where our vault is.
Ever move from one city to another, or another county, you feel out of place but when believers are in heaven we will feel right at home. Our temporary place on earth will not compare our permanent place that was prepared for us (Jn.14).
Paul wanted to be with the Lord in heaven but he would rather stay for the people’s sake to help them. Phil 1:23-26 “For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith, that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again.”
Abraham stood with his cousin Lot before the outstretched land and said to him, choose where he would want to go. Look out, if you go left I will go right if you go right I will go left (Gen.13:9,14). Lot saw the affluence of the land of Sodom and thought this would be a wise choice. Lot chose a land that looked good to his eyes, in the same manner many today choose this world. What they can see attracts them them over a place that they cannot see, but we promised a future home in the word of God.
Heb. 11:8-10 “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”
There is foreign land called heaven. The God who made the world you now live in says so.
We are on a journey, not just to a better place. As beautiful as this world can be at times, there is no comparison to where we are going. It is a place that is basically incomprehensible. Paul had a glimpse of it and said he cannot describe it, it’s illegal to speak what he saw. Words would fail in describing it. Only later John gave us some snapshot portions of the glory that mostly focused on the Lord’s activity in heaven.
2 Peter 2:5-10 “and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)-- then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment.”
Jesus referred to Sodom and Gomorrah a number of times Matthew 10:14-15 “And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!”
That day is time called the Great Tribulation. No one likes to hear about life changing events, but judgment is coming to all. The Bible has not been wrong yet. It took place in the past and it will take place again in the future. Mt. 24:21-22 “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be…”
John 15:20 "because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”
The world is a temporary place we live in for a mere human lifetime, we are told “the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:17). Forever, eternal, never ending. Its a concept of time that is really hard to grasp fully. Are you involved in doing God’s will?
Do you desire that far country that is written of? For the earth will become more and more lawless, chaotic and will see the same fate that the Lord already did to a few cities in the past. Lot eventually understood he made a wrong decision and was willing to leave and was spared the destruction. What will your decision be?