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The Life and Times of a Christian - Its a Stranger Thing

The Life and Times of a Christian  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Its Stranger Thing

1 Peter 2:11

“Dear friends, I urge you as strangers and exiles to abstain from sinful desires that wage war against the soul.”
Strangers and exiles? how are we stranger and exiles? we all live here, sure some of us have come from other towns. we have some from Griswold, some from Douglas other have been here for a long time. other moved away and came back.

Main Point - We are not of this world.

But why are we called strangers?
I don’t seem that strange aside form the fact that Im a pastor, you don’t seem that strange right?
but here is the kicker…
Slide
Thats right! Aliens!
nope we are not that kind of aliens but “we are not of this world”

Main Point - We are not of this world.

Strangers, Aliens, not of this world!
these kinds of toipcs can be found on Space Channels “X-Files” Molder and Scully better get here quick cause the truth is out there and in fact right here as well.
okay, enough with the science fiction stuff.
We really are not of this world, we are really strangers but not the way we think we are. So lets take a journey and unpack the meaning behind the point of this message.
We are not of this world. No better place to start than our birth place.
and no none of us were born on Krypton… hold up… IS there a Clark Kent here? no… okay good.

A Citizen of Destruction

Each of us were born right?
When each of us were born into this world we were born into captivity, we were born into a country called destruction
we were born, blind and ignorant toward the gift of mercy towards God. We learned early on the struggles of life and tasted sin when we were still young. On top of all that we were also born with a special gift of ungratefulness toward our creator.
now that might seem unfair to say but, think of it this way, even Dogs and Cats know their owners and appreciate their master’s care for them.
Think of it this way, even Dogs and Cats know their owners and appreciate their master’s care for them.
Think of it this way, even Dogs and Cats know their owners and appreciate their master’s care for them.
we feed the dog or cat. They love on us, if we treat them well. Most of the time they are loyal and will not harm anyone unless provoked. They know when you are about to come home, they get all excited to see you. they appreciate you and love you for the care. Even when we beat them they still remain loyal.
This is a trait that none of the citizens of destruction have toward their creator. The loyalties of these citizens can vary from time to time.
Some are loyal to parents who care for them.
some are loyal to the governments who protect them and give them a reason to work.
Some are loyal to each other who support them such as a husband or wife.
Most appreciate other people for the work they do, they money they give, they food they provide, the entertainment they bring.
But none of them are appreciative of God who provided all of these things including life it self. no matter how you slice it all the blessings we get come from God, they might be in the form of a food bank, a job, a new car, a life saved from an accident. God has worked in everything for the good of His children.
But a citizen of destruction does not see it that way and would rather brag about our smarts.
I got this job because “I” worked hard at school. Because “I” worked hard to climb that corporate ladder. Because “I” spent many many sleepless nights making sure that “I” can secure a good paying Job. So “I” deserve the high paying job and the corner office. I deserve the praise for a job well done. I deserve the fancy car, big house, kitchen full of food, designer furniture.
A Citizen of destruction would rather sink into a state of deep depression, and buy a $20 worth of vodka and drink themselves into oblivion. They would rather get their hands on any kind of drugs be it pain medications or coke to kill the pain of everyday sober life.
A citizen of destruction will get lost in a digital world. just a quick look on facebook turns into 40 minutes of lost time. Just a few more youtube videos turns into a 2 hour binge watch.
why? because I worked hard all day or all my life so I can get a few minutes of rest and relaxation.
But one day, some people hear something. For the first time in their life they hear a sound, confused at first but it becomes clear as day the sound of Hell licking its chops in anticipation of devouring them.
But one day, some people hear something. For the first time in their life they hear a sound, confused at first but it becomes clear as day the sound of Hell licking its chops in anticipation of devouring them.
Campo, Pat. Pilgrim's Progress in Today's World and Today's Language (p. 6). Pat Campo. Kindle Edition.
Gospel Message - what I saw at Canada’s refugee reserve.
What good is it if a person gets the whole world but in the process loses their life?
Transition: These words may be hard to hear and sink deep into the depths of a person and yet are beautiful in hindsight. That persons eyes open for the first time and reality hits, they have ears to hear and its time to run from destruction.
Words that are hard to hear but sting deep into the depths of a person and yet are beautiful.

Becoming a Refugee

In a moments notice we go from being a citizen of destruction, ignoring and mocking God to asking the question “What am I going to Do?”
we become aware of our personal sin. We feel personally accountable for our sins and we want desperately to correct it.
The sin in our lives become real, the weight of sin is
Just like last week the box of sin (List) we carry around becomes heavy and prevents us doing what we were made to do.
our old home, the one we built with our own desires, plans, motivations, and will is lost. We no longer find comfort in the youtube videos, the glow of the television becomes cold , the “goals” we had in mind lead to nothing.
everything we knew becomes meaningless and we for the first time or the first time in a long time know that nothing is every going to be the same. We become refugees in search of a new home.
along this path we can hear the calls of our former life. Our drinking buddies call us up begging us to come out for a drink. Just like the old days...
Our phones beep with that new notification, Netflix just emailed to let us know that season 3 of Stranger Things just got released.
The mailman just dropped off a new set of bills that we cant afford. The boss called saying they want to see you in their office on Monday morning.
yet in our minds and hearts we can see the dangers of going back to the country of destruction. We may still be citizens but we cant go back!
we say “I want to live!” I don’t want to die, I don’t want to be weak any more. I want life to have meaning and purpose.
It is at this point we turn to Jesus Christ, we recognize that nothing we can do can lift away the burden of sin we carry. Try as hard as we do we cannot be free from sin on our own. We must accept Jesus Christ as our Saviour.
Then we are born again into a new life, we have come to Christ not by works but by faith. We trust Jesus will care for us and take us in. He removes from us the burden of our sins a cost that we must be willing to pay.
We are no longer refugees in search of a home we become adopted into the kingdom of Heaven. We are called sons and daughters of God through the price Christ paid at the Cross.
As we surrender our entire lives, we revoke our citizenship to destruction and through Christ we made new.
We no longer desire the fleshly wants of this world.
Transition - its over right? the story is done. We made it to the end of the road, we are no longer refugees. Not a chance. We are only just getting started.

Living as a stranger in a Foreign Land

We are strangers… We are pilgrams, we are not of this world. says “ But they saw them from a distance, greeted them, and confessed that they were foreigners and temporary residents on the earth. 14 Now those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they were thinking about where they came from, they would have had an opportunity to return. 16 But they now desire a better place—a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”
But they saw them from a distance, greeted them, and confessed that they were foreigners and temporary residents on the earth. 14 Now those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they were thinking about where they came from, they would have had an opportunity to return. 16 But they now desire a better place—a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”
that is right we are merely foreigners of this world now! we are only temporary residents on this earth.
That being said, we no longer have the rights that we use to have. We learned last week that the cost of a follower of Christ is one that comes at a great price. By saying yes to Jesus, we have revoked our citizenship to the country of destruction and in turn we have found shelter in Christ Jesus that leads to life.
the
This means that we become strangers in this land, we still live here but we no longer have the same “rights” as the citizens of this world do. Our obedience is to God and God alone and we seek Him every waking moment, we do good works not for our own gain but out of pure love for one another. we care for each others well being, we follow the commands of our Lord Jesus Christ. We seek first the kingdom of God, and we share our faith with others regardless of time of day or situation. We no longer seek personal gain or wants.
This means that we become strangers in this land, we still live here but we no longer have the same “rights” as the citizens of this world do. Our obedience is to God and God alone, not to our own personal gains or plans.
Now we seek God every waking moment, we do good works not for gain but out of pure love for one another. we care for each others well being, we follow the commands of our Lord Jesus Christ. We seek first the kingdom of God, and we share our faith with others regardless of time of day or situation. We no longer seek personal gain or wants.
A very good converstation came up just this past week. Joe and I had gone out on a short term mission trip. When we got to a home we were allowed to meet in we could not help but notice the condition of the living area. After the mission trip. We got to talking about the events of what just happened.
We shared the gospel with a few people and 2 of them confessed that their need for a saviour and wanted change to take place.
As we drove home I could not help but think of this message today on Sunday. We are strangers in this world, but we have to be so carful not to judge the state of living conditions and want to apply our own in the hopes of trying to “Fix” the problem. W
how natives live
how Canadians live
how Christians live
but that gives us an opportunity to live out the Christian life. So over the next few weeks we are going to dive a bit deeper into the this small passage found in 1 peter 2:11-12 we are going to cover two key areas.
We no longer desire the things that would destroy our lives, we seek to mend broken relationships. we look different, we smell different, we sound different, we act different.
people who know you, have known you for many many years will look at you again and say:
first discipline is the inward purity, living as a stranger. the second is our outward expressions that the world is going to see.
Rob…buddy. you use to laugh at my dirty jokes, you use to come to the bar every Friday night.
Candace whats wrong with you. you never swear anymore.
we look the same at first glance. But when we start talking to people they notice that we are different. They notice that we are strangers.
before I close, I want to cover one last area, a warning about the need for fellowship.
One thing I have learned in my short time here as the pastor of this congregation is the need for fellowship.
During World War II, the enemy conducted experiments to find the most effective type of punishment for eliciting information from prisoners. They found that solitary confinement was the most effective. After a few days of solitary confinement, most men would tell all.

During World War II, the enemy conducted experiments to find the most effective type of punishment for eliciting information from prisoners. They found that solitary confinement was the most effective. After a few days of solitary confinement, most men would tell all.

That is why we need fellowship—without it we too become easy prey for temptation and abandonment of our values.

not like it use to be (Not the same rights)
The importance of fellowship
Text:
That is why we need fellowship—without it we too become easy prey for temptation and abandonment of our values. Once we become strangers to the rest of the world it becomes a strange new place for us as well.
our first instinct in a strange place is to hide and keep to ourselves so we don't get taken advantage of and we look for places of seclusion.
this is not the same as seeking a quite place to be with the Lord, that is very important as well, the type of hiding I am talking about is when we think that we are strong enough to do this on our own is one of the most deceptive lies the enemy can tell you and become an easy target for the enemy.
Its at that point we run the risk getting separated from the fellowship and become an easy target for the enemy. To think that we are strong enough to do this on our own is one of the most deceptive lies the enemy can tell you.
but there is another side to this as well. Let me tell you story about a Russian girl.
After many months of waiting, a Russian girl finally obtained a visa to visit her relatives in Canada for three months. She arrived in Canada and was shown around the various attractions, amusements, and entertainments.
The young Russian seemed immensely impressed by the amount of things that people were wrapped up with. As the three months drew to a close, everyone expected her to defect and seek political asylum in Canada.
1
She surprised them all by expressing a desire to return to her family in Russia and the small group of believers to which they belonged.
She explained that in North America everyone seems wrapped up in “things” and doesn’t have time for people. In Russia, they don’t have as many material possessions and consequently they need each other.
She wanted to return to a place where people relied on each other, where fellowship was important.
folks, we live as strangers in one of the hardest mission fields. sure we don't face death, starvation, or prison because of our faith… but we do face spiritual starvation, spiritual prison, and even spiritual death every moment we stop observing the culture and start partaking in the culture around us.
Do not let the “Things” of this world rob you of the precious fellowship that we need with each other. We are strangers in this land, here as ambassadors of Jesus Christ
Transition - Beloved…I urge you as strangers and exiles to refrain from sinful desires that wage war against the soul.
This Week’s Challenge

This Week’s Challenge

My challenge is simple spend time with each other. reading the word together, prayer, encourage one another.
This week make an effort to call up one another and go for coffee or tea. Take time for a quick bible study, and prayer time then spend some time fellowship with each other.
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