Hebrews 11:8 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.

9 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:

10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

13 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.

14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.

15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.

16 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.

24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;

25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.

27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

Hebrews 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. 14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

Philippians 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

MEMORY VERSE: Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul. —I Peter 2:11

CENTRAL THOUGHT: Abraham and the patriarchs, Moses and the prophets, and true saints through the ages have had this distinction, that they were strangers and pilgrims in this world. They did not belong or feel at home here, but their true citizenship was a heavenly one.


Hebrews 11:9 “Sojourned”: to dwell in as a stranger; reside as a foreigner. “As in a strange country”: as in an alien land; one belonging to others. “Tabernacles”: tents.

Hebrews 11:10 “Foundations”: something put down; a foundation stone. “Builder”: architect. “Maker”: maker, creator; someone working on behalf of a group of people.

Hebrews 11:13 “Strangers”: a guest. “Pilgrims”: resident foreigner.

Hebrews 13:13 “Without the camp”: outside, literally or figuratively. To “…go forth from the ceremonial law, from sin, from the world, and from ourselves. Living by faith in Christ, set apart to God through his blood, let us willingly separate from this evil world” (Matthew Henry Commentary). “A man may be said to ‘go forth’ from hence, when he professes not to belong to the world; when his affections are weaned from it; when the allurements of it do not draw him aside; when he forsakes, and suffers the loss of all, for Christ” (Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible).

Hebrews 13:14 “Continuing”: standing; lasting; remaining; enduring.

Philippians 3:20 “Conversation”: citizenship; the commonwealth of which we are citizens; so it is said of Christians.


The eleventh chapter of Hebrews, commonly called “the faith chapter,” is an essay on the lives of Old Testament notables. Each character demonstrated qualities that put them in a certain category. “These all,” it says, were people who lived their lives convinced of a reality that they didn’t get to see with their physical eyes. What was it? A city—a promised city that was enduring, and a citizenship to a commonwealth that wasn’t earthly. Moses forsook the treasures of Egypt for what he saw with his spiritual eyes. The passage lists other saints who endured conflicts and tortures because they had this vision.

In the thirteenth chapter, the thought is referenced again, this time using Christ as the example of one going “outside” the literal city of Jerusalem to be crucified. Spiritually, He and we as His followers go “outside” that which is earthly and human and bear a reproach for doing so.

In his epistle to the saints at Philippi, Paul contrasts those who “mind earthly things” with true saints whose citizenship is in heaven, and who continue to “look for the Savior” and the glory that shall be revealed at His coming.

Our memory verse states Peter’s admonition that as we are members of this group, “strangers and pilgrims,” we are to abstain from fleshly lusts, or strong desires, that war against the soul.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


  1. How may we apply the examples in our lesson (Abraham, Moses, Jesus) to ourselves?
  2. Why is there a reproach put upon those who have this mindset, and how is it often manifested?
  3. Can one be a true “holy person” without having this mindset? Why or why not?


The recognition a true saint of God has deep in his spirit that he or she does not belong to this world, but is actually a citizen of an eternal country, lays the groundwork for many of the lines of separation from the world that are established throughout the Christian journey. Without this settled view the soul loses its moorings. The worldly lusts that are catered to etch away the attachment to Christ.

For it is Christ who is all. His kingdom was the promise for which Abraham and the Old Testament saints were seeking. His church was the “city which hath foundations.” He was “the invisible” One Moses saw. The only way the saints in the early church could endure the persecution from both the Jews and the pagans was that they “looked for the Savior.” The key words are in Hebrews 13:13. “Unto Him.” There is no separation from the world worth anything except it be “unto Him.”

Let us not make the mistake in thinking we must withdraw from people to have the proper mindset of a pilgrim and a stranger; that we should be monks or hermits living in celibacy, poverty, away from society. Jesus set that straight with, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil” (John 17:15). Paul’s admonition that “they that use this world, as not abusing it (using it to the full)” (I Corinthians 7:31) gives us balance, and John’s “love not the world” (I John 2:15) goes along with “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2), Paul’s instructions to the Colossians and Laodiceans.

We can be single or married, have many children or few, live in a hovel or a mansion, in a city or a remote mountain cabin. In every situation, we can still be separate from, nor have a mind for, earthly or carnal things. We can live only unto the Lord, keep our citizenship to that heavenly kingdom current, and keep our white robes—the righteousness Christ gives us— unspotted from the world.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck

David Brainerd
April 20, 1718 – October 9, 1747

David, the sixth of nine children, was orphaned at the age of fourteen, his father dying when he was nine and his mother passing on five years later. He went to live with one of his older sisters until adulthood. During this time he struggled with his Christianity, but wrote in his journal of truly being converted in the summer of 1739. He entered Yale later that year, but his tenure there was interrupted due to an illness he had contracted, later determined to be “consumption,” known as tuberculosis today. After returning to Yale, he was expelled for speaking unkindly about a faculty member as part of a student uprising that questioned the spirituality of the Yale faculty at large. He sought reinstatement many times, but it was not to be. After spending a year preaching from place to place without a license(!), he came to realize that God had a different calling for him, and at the age of 25, he began his ministry working among the various native Indian tribes throughout New England. He labored for nearly four years as a missionary, travelling over 3,000 miles on horseback, often alone.

In the fall of 1746 his body broke down from his debilitating illness, and he was taken into the home of Jonathan Edwards, a New England pastor and one of the early influencers of the Great Awakening. Upon David’s death in 1747 at the age of 29, Jonathan Edwards took his journal and published it, along with notes about his work among the Delaware Indians. Other notable American missionaries, among them William Carey, Adoniram Judson, and Jim Elliot, have expressed that this journal had an extremely impactful influence on their calls to the mission field. Brainerd truly lived as a stranger and pilgrim on this earth.

Quotes Pertaining to His Life’s Work:

“Worldly pleasures, such as flow from greatness, riches, honours, and sensual gratifications, are infinitely worse than none.”

“If you hope for happiness in the world, hope for it from God, and not from the world.”

“I have a secret thought from some things I have observed, that God may perhaps design you for some singular service in the world.”

“Oh, that I may never loiter on my heavenly journey.”

—Bro. Fari Matthews