The Christian Pilgrimage

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TEX: Hebrews 11:13-16

INTRODUCTION: The glorious & happy effects of grace are here set forth

Died in faith

Had confidence in promises not yet fulfilled

Confessed that they were strangers & pilgrims on earth

They sought for another country as their home

The hope that grace gives enables us to break all earthly ties, and to set forth on our own pilgrimage

I.          this life ought to be spent as a journey toward heaven

A.        We ought not desire the world & its enjoyments, but we should desire heaven

1.      We should seek first the kingdom of God

a)      Above all things desire a heavenly happiness; to be with God

b)      We may be surrounded with many outward enjoyments, but be willing to leave them all

2.      A traveler does not stay long at comfortable & pleasing places

a)      He is not enticed by the fine appearance of things along the way

b)      He has no thought of settling in to a comfortable hotel

c)      He has only the journeys end on his mind

d)      He may tarry a night and refresh himself, but he is for going forward

3.      We should desire heaven more than the comforts & enjoyments of this life

1 Corinthians 7:29-31  But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.

B.        Our journey to heaven should be on the straight & narrow path

1.      This path is the way of holiness

Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

a)      Denying all our sinful inclinations and interest

b)      Anything that hinders us on our journey to heaven should be laid aside

c)      No matter how pleasant the gratification of any appetite, we must lay it aside

2.      This path is the way of obedience to all of God’s commands

a)      Even the difficult as well as the easy, for the way to heaven is up

b)      We must be content to travel up hill, though the way be hard and tiresome

c)      We should take up our cross and follow Him; it is the path He followed (in meekness, love & doing good)

3.      This path is the way of labor

a)      Long journeys are often accompanied by toil & fatigue; especially through a wilderness

b)      In our journey we can expect to suffer hardship and weariness

C.        The whole of our life should be spent in traveling this road

1.      It should be the work of every day

2.      We should persevere in it as long as we live

3.      We should often think of the journeys end, and travel in the way that leads to it

4.      We need to travel the road with patience

a)      Though the road be difficult, we must endure hardship

b)      Though the journey be long, we must not stop short

c)      All our thoughts and desires should be to press forward until we arrive

II.       why the Christian life is a pilgrimage

A.        This world is not our abiding place

1.      Our time spent in this world is very short

2.      All the things of this world will one day soon vanish away

B.        The future world is designed to be our everlasting dwelling place

1.      The world to come is a lasting habitation, and a lasting inheritance

2.      Our present state is short, but our future state is everlasting

3.      Our future state is of so much greater importance than our present state, that all of our concern should be on our future state

C.        Heaven is the place where our highest good will be obtained

1.      God is the highest good for man; therefore, the enjoyment of Him is the only happiness that can satisfy the soul

2.      We do not attain to our highest good until we are brought to God

a)      In this world we have a very imperfect union with God

b)      Imperfect conformity, service & knowledge

c)      In heaven our imperfections will become perfection

3.      To fully enjoy God is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here

4.      Why should we labor for anything, but that which is our true happiness

D.        This world was made for a place of preparation for another

1.      Man’s mortal life was given him, so that he might prepare for his eternal life

2.      All that God has given us here is for training us for the future world

III.    the knowledge gained by professing to be a stranger and a pilgrim

A.        The death of a dear Christian friend will not be as painful

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Corinthians 15:19-20 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

B.        Those on the pathway to hell have nothing to look forward to

C.        The time of conversion is the beginning of the pilgrimage

IV.    a challenge to spend our life as on a pilgrimage to heaven

A.        Labor to obtain the best heaven possible

1.      To what better purpose can we spend our life

2.      We are placed in this world with a choice given to us, which way will we travel

3.      Realize the vanity of this world

B.        This is the way to make death comfortable to us

C.        If we are not on the road to heaven, we are on the road to hell

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