The dictionary definition of sojourn is “a temporary stay.” The Bible frequently refers to God’s people, both the Israelites in the Old Testament and Christians in the New Testament, as sojourners and exiles on the earth.
1 Peter 2:11-12 exhorts Christians as “sojourners and exiles” to live honorably among unbelievers, and Hebrews 11 recounts the faith of many of God’s people in the Old Testament and describes them as “strangers and exiles on the earth” who were waiting for and desiring “a better country, that is, a heavenly one” (vv. 13-16).
Sojourn Church was named with these verses in mind. As Christians, we are living temporarily as sojourners in a world that is not our home. We are seeking and longing for a heavenly country that is to come—our true home, which God has prepared for us and for everyone who believes in his Son, Jesus Christ.
Psalm 119:19 – I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not your commandments from me!
1 Peter 2:11-12 – Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
Hebrews 11:13-16 – These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.