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Now, for the sake of my illustration, I want to break a flock of sheep down into 3 groups.

1. The first group of sheep had DECIDED to look to Shepherd & follow Him wherever He leads.

These are the "Good sheep" who follow the "Good Shepherd. Jesus said: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27 KJV

2. The 2nd group wants nothing to do with the Shepherd. They want to run their lives their own way and they deliberately DECIDE to walk away from Him. These are the pagans and atheists of society. They don't want to hear Jesus' voice... they don't want to follow.

3. But the 3rd group DECIDES that they like the Shepherd. They want to hang out with Him... but they don't want to get TOO close to Him. They still want to keep their options open. They want to look for their own grass once in a while. They want to nibble at a little of this and a little of that....

George Orwell once observed: "On the whole human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time."

That's the problem with this 3rd group of sheep.

They like being close to Jesus... just not too much, and not just all the time. And because they have this "loose" connection to the shepherd they're the ones who end up wandering off. They're the ones that end up getting lost. They're just close enough to the Shepherd to feel secure. And just far enough away to not hear His voice.

"My sheep hear my voice... and they follow me." says Jesus. John 10:27

And so, they wander off into their own little world, and they end up getting hurt and making bad decisions. And those bad decisions cause them pain and heartache.

As Proverbs 13:15 says, "...the way of transgressors is hard." (KJV)

Because they've chosen NOT to listen to the Good Shepherd and to follow Him closely, they are without the protection of that Shepherd and open to the attacks of Satan and this world.

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