Amelia Baptist Church

Immigrant, Tourist or Exile? You can only be one.

1 Peter 1:1-3 says: “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…”

What does this mean? Here on this fallen rock, we have “identity options.” You can be an immigrant. An immigrant is someone who seeks to make this new country their permanent home. They are not from there, they want this new country to be their new home. And that is what a lot of Christians do with this world. They might know up here that they are citizens of heaven, but they treat this world as if this is where they really want to live. So they leverage most of their resources to make a comfortable life here; they obsess about their reputation here; they stress about what they do and don’t have here (Am I ever going to get married; is my ship ever going to come in; why is life here so hard; there’s so much to life I may never experience!).

Option 2 is a tourist : A tourist is the opposite of an immigrant. They don’t want to live in this new country, they’re just visiting.

They don’t form any real connections to the place, but they stay huddled in their groups; If there’s political or social problems going on in that society it doesn’t concern you–you have no connection to that place. This is the attitude some Christians have toward our world. They stay separated; never get involved; feel no connection to the community around them or its problems.

The third option is what Peter talks about here: Exile. An exile is someone whose home is somewhere else, but for an undefined amount of time they have to make their home in a new place. So they invest in this new community, form relationships, learn the culture, but they don’t want to get too attached and all the while they are looking for the day when they can go back home. Christians who live as exiles are not focused on owning a lot, because their real home is elsewhere. They are satisfied with just enough to get by, because their real treasure is somewhere else. It’s like when you are in an airport, you usually have little shops that will sell you necessities at ridiculously high prices. That’s so when you have a layover you can be comfortable. But you know what you never see in these shops? Shopping carts. Because nobody goes there to load up. You buy enough just to get by. It’s a temporary stop en route to your real home.

As ambassadors of Christ, we are exiles ON A MISSION, representing the Kingdom to which we truly belong!


– Pastor Adam Page.