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OPEN: Years ago, there was popular rock group named Steppenwolf.

How many of you have ever heard of Steppenwolf? (most raised their hands)

How many of you have heard of their song “Born To Be Wild”? (everybody raised their hands)

The chorus went like this (I sang it for them)

“Like a true nature's child, we were born, born to be wild.

We can climb so high, I never wanna die.

Born to be wild …”

Now Steppenwolf was not a Christian band. They were a secular group, but their songs often carried interesting messages. And in this particular song Steppenwolf declared:

“I don’t want to be like everybody else.

I was born to be different than others.

I was born to be wild and free.”

In that song of the 60’s – a song of rebellion and counterculture – Steppenwolf touched on a truth that the Bible has taught us for centuries. And that Biblical truth was this:

As Christians, we weren’t born to be like everybody else.

We were REborn to be different.

We were REborn to be wild and free from this world.

In fact we have our own song that declares that truth.

Sing it with me if you know it:

“This world is not my home I'm just a passing through.

My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.

The angels beckon me from heaven's open door.

And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.

Oh Lord you know I have no friend like you.

If heaven's not my home then Lord what will I do?

The angels beckon me from heaven's open door.

And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.”

This world is NOT my home.

I don’t belong here.

I was saved to be freed of this world.

In fact, that is a repeated theme in Scripture:

• Jesus said: If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. John 15:19

• Peter says it this way: Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 1 Peter 2:11

• Paul wrote: Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is— his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

• John wrote the Christians of his day: Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1 John 2:15

So, the question is: If that’s true –

If it’s true that we don’t belong here.

That we are aliens and strangers in this world

If it’s true that God doesn’t want you and I to conform to… or love this world.

Then, why would we???

Why would we want to belong to this world?

Why… would we love it?

Well, because that’s all we’ve ever known.

ILLUS: In my house have a pet - his name is “Pickles”. He’s a ferret and he’s a lot of fun. When I let him out he runs all over the place. He’ll take food and hide it in a special place to be eaten later (which he never gets around to doing). He’ll also raise the small wastebaskets to find shiny objects he can also hide in his hidey spot.

And then he loves to play. Mostly hide and seek. But we have a game where I take him into the kitchen and slide him across the linoleum. He’ll skittle across the floor and then run right for me, pretending to want to get around me, and I pick him up and slide him across the floor again. I do that with him 4 or 5 times and then let him go do something else.

And he loves to follow me all over the house. He’s a great pet.

But, he lives in a cage. I feed him food pellets and he drinks out of a bottle with a nozzle that drips water as he sucks on it.

I’m always a little concerned that, one of these days, I’ll forget and leave him out of his cage and then open the front door to the house… and he’ll slip out.

Now why would I be concerned about that?

Because he’d probably die.

He’s not a wild animal anymore. He’s domesticated. He’s gotten used to being in my house. You could say he’s become conformed to my world… in fact, he kind of likes it.

When Jesus saved us, He called us out of our cage.

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