Christians as sojourners on earth…

Fellow believer, this world is not our home. The psalmist declares, “I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not your commandments from me!” (Ps. 119:19). Puritan Thomas Manton’s sermon on this text lists several reasons for this “strangers on earth” mindset by Christians. Let me summarize them for you…

(1) They are born elsewhere — born from above, by the Spirit of God! 1st John 5:4a says, For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And 2nd Peter 1:4 says, …he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. Heaven, not the USA, is our native country.

(2) Their inheritance lies in heaven. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” declares Eph. 1:3. The best that our heavenly Father has for His spiritual children is held for us there, not here. In somewhat coarse language Manton tells us why, “Here God will show his bounty to all his children; it is a common inn, where sons and bastards are entertained; a place of trial, not of recompense, God’s footstool, not His throne (Isa. 66:1).”

(3) All our spiritual kindred are there in heaven. Manton writes, “There is our Father, it is His house… and there is our elder brother [Christ].” And, there are our spiritual brothers and sisters who have gone on ahead. See Col. 3:1; Matt. 8:11.

(4) There they abide the longest. All the time we spend here on earth is “but a night” compared to the time we will spend there in heaven. This place is not our final resting place (Micah 2:10); rather — like saints of old — we seek a continuing city, a heavenly city (Heb. 11:16). See also James 4:14.

There is more to say, but this should suffice for us to hold fast the title of pilgrim and press on to our true home — where, because of Jesus Christ, our Father will welcome us as His own! ” Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.” (Heb 11:16b).


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