Whether we like it or not, life itself has a way of forcing us all to consider what lies beyond it. Perhaps in earlier times life was so leisurely and complacent and quiet that men and women really regarded it as something almost permanent and everlasting. So all their energies and attention were directly to living life in this world, and if you talked about death and the life beyond, that was really unnecessary. But we, in our folly, have turned our backs upon God and the spiritual world, and we are trying to settle down in this earthly life. Suddenly came the world wars that destroyed everything, forcing us to think of the beyond. I cannot but think that such events have been a judgment that we have brought upon ourselves. We are beginning to see some point in considering the whole transitory nature of life in this world.
Now the Bible has always invited us to do that; it has always asked us to start in that way. So let me expound to you now what the Bible has to say about life in this world. It is temporary and transitory. It is nothing but a great journey; the world is something through which we are passing. We, according to the Bible, are but pilgrims and strangers in this world, sojourners. This is put in a classic phrase in the Epistle to the Hebrews: “Here have we no continuing city” (13:14). That is the message of the Bible from beginning to end. We are moving through; we are pilgrims and strangers, travelers.