Summary: We must have the same characteristics as a pilgrim that Abraham had if we are going to finally find that city that God has built for us.
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Pastor James May
A PILGRIM’S HEART!
Sunday, December 01, 2002 PM
Tonight I want us to take a look at the characteristics of a Pilgrim as found in the 11th chapter of Hebrews, verses 8-16.
Hebrews 11:8-16, "By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. 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."
Thanksgiving Day 2002 is gone forever but one thing that I will always remember about Thanksgiving is the story of those first pilgrims that came to our continent so many years ago. They were called Pilgrims because they had left their homes and their native lands to seek out a land that they knew very little about. They didn’t know where they were when they got there but they did know that it had to be better than where they came from.
Their entire journey began as an idea that was placed in their minds by Almighty God to seek a place of freedom from tyranny and slavery under the old European monarchs that ruled their lives with such a tight fisted grip. They also were seeking a freedom from the oppression of the state run and organized churches and the religious hierarchy that was forever making rules and regulations that brought their congregations into deeper and deeper despair. There was no joy, no power of God, and no deliverance in the message of the church anymore, only more ways of extracting money and enslaving the people to the wishes of the church leaders.
I think that each of us can relate to the way they must have felt so long ago for the heart of man is ever under the oppression of the power of sin and iron fisted rule of the devil. We come to Christ as a beginning on the long, trouble filled and sometimes despairing journey toward a land that we know very little about.
Just as Abraham, we are seeking a city without foundations laid by the hands of men, but of God. We seek a city, a home that is not of this world but of the world to come. By all definitions of what a Pilgrim is, we are pilgrims in a journey from our old life to a new and more glorious life in the Heavenly realms.
Abraham, like the pilgrims, had the same 8 general characteristics that I want us to notice. All true pilgrims, you and I included, will show forth these same characteristics. Should the day come, before we reach our final home in glory, that we fail to show forth these characteristics, that will be the day that we cease to be pilgrims any longer and we surrender to the wiles of the devil.