Taken from: God’s Pilgrims: Their Dangers, Their Resources, Their Rewards by Philip Mauro
The true Hebrew is one who has come out of the country of his birth, leaving all its advantages and associations, because he has heard and believed the report of a better country which he has never seen; and he is now passing through the intervening territory, not settling therein, and not mindful of the country whence he came out, though having opportunity to return thither. Of such it is written that God is not ashamed to be called their God, and He has prepared for them a city.
Abraham was not an Israelite. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Sarah, Isaac, Rahab were not Israelites. Moses was, rather a Hebrew than an Israelite, for he never had a place in the Land of Promise. These were all true Hebrews, who had seen by faith the far-off promises, and were persuaded of them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
The Scriptures speak of many things that God has prepared for them that love Him—things which are in the nature of rewards, not gifts, and are quite distinct from remission of sins and eternal life. These latter are gifts bestowed upon all who believe; but not all believers will obtain the rewards. Great is the reward promised to those who maintain the character of Hebrews “to the end”; and correspondingly great is the loss that will be incurred by those who, through neglect or unbelief, turn aside from the pilgrim’s path. In view of this, we would point out, as plainly as possible, the dangers to which God’s pilgrims are exposed, and the provision that He, in wondrous grace, has made to safeguard them from those dangers. May it be the purpose of both writer and readers to be “not slothful, but followers of them who, through faith and patience, inherit the promises.”