The author of this tract’s name is James Andrew Pilgrim, Jr. He was born to James Andrew Pilgrim, Sr., and Cora Lee (Elliott) Pilgrim. He is, therefore, a Pilgrim by birth and name. The things contained herein have nothing to do with the writer’s family name. Neither is this short piece an attempt to change anyone’s name to Pilgrim. Sammie Joyce (Tyler) Pilgrim did that when she married the writer.
The purpose of these writings is to remind each reader that each one is a pilgrim, although one may not wear the formal name. The Hebrew writer said all of whom he wrote “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.” (Hebrews 11:13). The Holy Spirit moved Peter (2 Peter 1:20, 21) to write, “Dearly beloved, I beseech ye as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.” (1 Peter 2:11). Jacob talked to Pharaoh of the days of the years of his pilgrimage and of the days of the years of the pilgrimage of his fathers. (Genesis 47:9). God told Moses that He had established His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob “to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers.” (Exodus 6:3, 4; Genesis 17:1-8; 28:4).
It is clear from these verses that one’s journey from birth to eternity is but a pilgrimage, a journey. All are pilgrims on the journey through this earth. We are strangers and pilgrims, that is, so-journers upon this earth, heading to death (Hebrews 9:27), the Hadean world (Luke 16:19-31), the final judgment (Matthew 24-26), and then into eternity in heaven (John 14:6; 2 Corinthians 5:1) or hell. (Matthew 25:30, 41).
From this realization, one should learn a few things. First, every person is on a temporary journey through this brief walk upon this planet. As the song says, “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing thru.” The Psalmist said we are “soon cut off, and we fly away.” (Psalm 90:10). As David wrote, I go the way of all the earth” (1 Kings 2:3), and so will each and every person embarked upon this journey.
Second, in the words of David to Solomon his son, “I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man: And keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself.” (1 Kings 2:1-3). Cf. 1 Timothy 6:8-21; 2 Timothy 2:1; Ephesians 6:10ff; 1 Corinthians 16:13-15. Be faithful to God. (Revelation 2:10; Mark 13:13; Psalm 1:23).
Third, many song writers have understood that all are but on a brief journey through this life. Consider a few songs wherein this idea is presented. The late and beloved L. O. Sanderson, a gospel preacher and prolific writer of some 500 songs and music, a publisher of song books, and much more, wrote the song, The Precious Book Divine. In this song, brother Sanderson reminded all that the Bible is one’s guide to heaven as one travels this pilgrimage. (Psalm 139:17; 119:105, 130). The song, Come to Jesus, speaks of Jesus sharing His glory with those who come to Him when one completes this pilgrimage. (Matthew 11:28-30). Close to Thee, is a song which reminds us to walk with Jesus through His word all along this pilgrim journey. (1 John 1:7). Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah, pilgrim through this barren land, speaks of our following Him as we journey here. (Psalm 73:24). When We All Get To Heaven, reminds one that all are on a pilgrim pathway journeying through this life. (Hebrews 5:8, 9; 2 Corinthians 5:1).
The song, Every Hour Of The Day, suggests that one rely on the word of God as one travels this pilgrim way. (Luke 9:23). I’m A Pilgrim, And I’m A Stranger, reminds all that there must be a continual plodding along the way. (1 Peter 2:11). The Eastern Gate, keeps one aware of the weary pilgrim being faithful and ready, watching and waiting. (Matthew 24:42, 44). I Am Just A Pilgrim, does not allow one to forget what this world is about, that one ought not to place too much emphasis on the things of this world. (Matthew 6:19-21). I’ll Live In Glory, teaches that one should be of service along this pilgrim way. (Matthew 25:34-45). Jesus, Hold My Hand, reminds those who travel thru this pilgrim land that Jesus is the friend one needs, and to serve Him faithfully, and to live with Him eternally. (John 15:14; Colossians 3:24). Let me Live Close To Thee, calls upon Christians to bear some poor pilgrim’s load. (James 1:27; Luke 10:30-37).
Looking For A City, shows strangers and pilgrims to be on the move. (Hebrews 11:8-16). Yonder Over The Rolling River, reminds one that this life is filled with lurking foes, and that one needs Jesus to overcome, enabling heaven to be achieved. (Revelation 2; 3). There Is A Fountain Gently Flowing, calls upon prodigal pilgrims to come back to Jesus. (Luke 15:11-32). Welcome Home, Weary Pilgrim, calls upon the stedfast to come home, to receive the crown of life. (Matthew 25:34). Beautiful Star of Bethlehem, guides the pilgrim thru the night. (Psalm 119:105, 130). Do You Know My Jesus, Calls upon pilgrims to check the spiritual heart. (2 Corinthians 13:5).
Beloved, you are a stranger and a pilgrim. It likely is not in name, but you are journeying thru this life. Soon your pilgrimage will cease. (Psalm 90:10). Unless the Lord returns before your journey ends, you, like all others before you, will meet the appointment of death. (Hebrews 9:27; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54; 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18) Your journey here will be over. Your last opportunity to obey the Lord will be gone. Your eternity will be determined.
QUESTION: Are you ready? Are you prepared to die and meet the Lord in judgment? Have you heard the gospel; (Mark 12:29; Romans 10:17), believed in God and Jesus (Hebrews 11:6; John 3:16; 8:24); repented of Sins (Acts 17:30, 31; 2 Peter 3:9); confessed your faith (Acts 8:37; Romans 10:9, 10); been buried with Christ in baptism for the remission of sins, to enter Christ and His church? (Romans 6:1-5; Acts 2:38; Mark 16:15, 16; Galatians 3:26, 27; 1 Corinthians 12:13). Are you faithful? (Mark 13:13; Revelation 2:10; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Titus 3:1). Good friend, do not wait another second. Call someone who wants to see you saved to aid you in obedience to the one who loved you, and who died for you, and who wants to save you.