The Bible is the #1 best-selling, most-read book of all time. But right behind it, is The Pilgrim’s Progress, widely considered the second most-read book in history. It was written by Puritan John Bunyan, in the form of an allegory: a man, “Christian”, receives God’s word from a messenger named “Evangelist,” so he leaves “The City of Destruction” and heads towards “The Celestial City.” Of course it is all a parable, representing the story of every “Christian” on our journey through this world to heaven. There are a number of very clever characters in the story: “Mr. Worldly Wise Man,” “The Giant Despair,” and many others Pilgrim encounters which represent people and circumstances we all deal with in life. If you have never read this classic book, you really should. It is very insightful.
But the “big picture” you get out of this book is that for “Pilgrim,” the Christian, this world is not our home. We are just passing through, on a journey to heaven. And this is one of the most important attitudes that we as Christians need to adopt. We are just “pilgrims,” temporary travelers through this world. This world is not our home. If we “get” that; then we will be able to deal successfully with a lot of the things that face us in life. If we don’t “get” that, then we will FAIL in a lot of ways, because we’ll wonder why we have certain difficulties, or why people don’t “accept” us, because we haven’t realized that we are only temporary residents, “pilgrims” in this world.
This morning, we are beginning a journey as a church body through the Book of I Peter, and one of the themes of this book is that as Christians, we are “pilgrims” in this world like Bunyan talked about. We aren’t living for the pleasures and applause of this world, but we are just traveling through it, and we are living for the God who has called us to our ultimate home with Him in heaven. So let’s look together at what the first couple of verses of this insightful and challenging book have to tell us: Continue reading