A Pilgrim People

by John Yoder on January 16, 2014

This is a weblog, now called Pilgrim Posts, for the primary benefit of Hope Reformed Baptist Church.  The name has to do with our identity as pilgrims who are traveling through the wilderness of this evil age to our eternal home in heaven (1 Peter 1:1-5; 2:11).  In fact, the people of God have always, “confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth” and desired “a better, that is, a heavenly country” (Heb. 11:13-16).

The classic allegory, The Pilgrim’s Progress, which John Bunyan wrote while serving a twelve-year sentence for preaching without a license, illustrates this theme as Christian travels to the Celestial City.  In Part Two, where the reader follows the journey of his wife and children, Bunyan expresses the life of the pilgrim in a lyrical poem.  It became the well-known hymn, “To Be a Pilgrim,” but its original words read:

Who would true valour see,
Let him come hither;
One here will constant be,
Come wind, come weather:
There’s no discouragement
Shall make him once relent,
His first avowed intent
To be a pilgrim

Whoso beset him round
With dismal stories,
Do but themselves confound,
His strength the more is.
No lion can him fright;
He’ll with a giant fight,
He will have a right
To be a pilgrim

Hobgoblin nor foul fiend
Can daunt his spirit;
He knows he at the end
Shall life inherit.
Then fancies fly away,
He’ll fear not what men say,
He’ll labor night and day
To be a pilgrim

No, it is not an easy to be a pilgrim.  We will face many difficulties, temptations and enemies along the way to our inheritance in heaven.  Yet, by God’s grace, we shall persevere to the end and be saved.  However, we don’t make this journey alone without the help of others.  We have been united to one another through the gospel of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit to walk together in the church.

It is my hope that, in a small way, this weblog will help to maintain our unity and promote healthy congregational  life.  Its design is two-fold: (1) first, it is a place for making announcements and providing information about various classes, activities, and events.  (2) Second, it will serve as a means for further educating our church on its doctrine and practice with a wide range of articles, book reviews, quotations, and teaching.

So let us press on as a congregation of God’s pilgrim people with a living hope in light of the glory in the age to come.  As we do, I continue to be humbled and thankful to be your pastor.  I look forward to serving you as we seek to grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, until we have finished our journey and joined the saints at rest in heaven.  “To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity” (2 Peter 3:18b).

Yours in Christ,

Pastor John Yoder

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