The word gentile or pagan or heathen refers to everyone except the chosen peoples. There is no common understanding of the word gentile amongst people who claim they are the chosen people. The Jews considered themselves as the descendants of Abraham and Yahweh made the covenant not to any other race, but only to them. In the Latin world the gentiles are non Israelites or people who are not Roman Citizens.
Today the Latter Day Saints Church understands that non members of their church are the gentiles. During the public ministry Jesus included all the gentiles in His teachings but they refused to welcome Him. After the resurrection of Jesus some of the Apostles believed that those who have not received the gift of the Holy Spirit are gentiles. Saint Paul made the claim that Christianity is for all both Jews and non Jews when he wrote that
If your lips confess that Jesus is Lord and if you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, then you will be saved..... it makes no distinction between Jew and Greek: all belong to the same Lord Roman 10, 9-12
And again Paul wrote in the Galatians 3,28 that
There are no more distinctions between Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female, but all of you are one in Christ Jesus Gal 3,28
The gentiles who converted to Christianity brought with them many annual festivities that later on became the Christian's celebrations of the universal Church. After the conversion to Christianity the pagan element in us was not dead but being suppressed and from time to time as it strives to resurrect. It is the internal struggles when we are attracted to the material and world glory. When the attractiveness is strong and powerful we feel the internal conflict that is rather hard to resist. It blurs our inner eye and disconcerts our inner peace. Without persistence in prayers for God's grace and help our resistance against the temptation is weakening and we will fail to fight against the evil forces. There are different fronts and levels of conflicts such as the conflict of choosing between loving God and our neighbours and loving of the world. It is the conflict between justification by reasons and justification by faith. It is the conflict is between condemnation and forgiveness. It is setting up boundaries between friends and foes. It is the conflict between ignoring to do something good and choosing to do evil.
When we are in Christ we are free to act because the commandment of love God and love our neighbours set us free. The rule of love requires us to respond to the need of a person as the whole: both physical needs and spiritual nourishment. When we submit ourselves to the world our freedom to act is taken away. We are slave to rules and regulations of a society we belong to. Their rules are more concerned with protecting the physical world and it tends to neglect our spiritual needs. God's love allows us to move freely and act with compassion and love.