We are not the Home Team
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Rays 2 Sox 1 003 “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2, NKJV)

A few years ago I had baptismal studies with an elderly man named Oscar. He had just come to the United States from Guam but was actually already a U.S. citizen before ever stepping on American soil. Guam has its own government, but is an unincorporated United States territory. This gave Oscar the opportunity to become a U.S. citizen before even setting foot on U.S. soil.

I had never heard of someone being a citizen of a Country they had never been to before, but then it occurred to me that all Christians are citizens of a land they have never been to before. This world is not our home. The fact that the world is not our home could account for why we do not always fit in. It could explain why the world cheers at things that break our hearts, and why we sometimes cheer and the world does not cheer with us.

Have you ever followed your favorite sports team to a road game? It is a totally different experience than when you are watching them play at their home stadium. When you are on the road you stand up and cheer when your team scores, but you cheer alone because everyone else is for the home team. And when something happens to make the home crowd cheer, you just sit there. Everything seems backwards when your team is playing on the road. I have been to several Tampa Bay Rays baseball games over the years, but one time in particular, I went with some friends from church to The Tampa Bay Ray’s stadium, Tropicana Field, where we watched the first place Rays defeat the second place Red Sox 2-1. It was a great game and the Rays did not win it until the bottom of the ninth, when our catcher, Dioner Navarro hit in the winning run.

While at the game I noticed several Red Sox fans. You could easily spot them with their Red Sox shirts, caps, and jackets. I even sat by one. He assured me that the long fly that Ortiz hit to deep right center for an out would have been a homerun at Fenway Park, where the Red Sox play their home games. I noticed something about the Red Sox fans. They came into our home ball park but still dressed and acted like they would at Fenway, their home ballpark. They did not buy the Tampa Bay Rays t-shirts and caps and try to blend in at all. While most of them were very polite and pleasant to be around, they still made it clear that Tropicana Field was not their home, and the Rays were not their team. They did not mind looking like visitors. They did not mind that they dressed and looked different than the rest of us. They were proud of their team and where they were from. They did not cheer when we cheered. They did not mind standing out in the crowd and looking and acting different. They dressed and acted in Tropicana Field, they same way they would dress and act at Fenway Park.

Do we dress and act here on this earth, the same way we would dress and act in our home, which is heaven?

As Christians, let’s let the world know earth is not our home. While being as polite and pleasant to be around as possible, let it be known that our home is in heaven, not here. We do not blend in with the world because we are not a part of this world. Let’s not be afraid to look different and act different. Let’s be as proud of where we belong as the Red Sox fans were proud of where they belong.

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We are not the Home Team — 15 Comments

  1. [Moderator's Note: Please use full names when commenting. Thank you.]

    Yes the truth is we re on the road on our way home,even if the journey seem 2 be long bt eventually we wil reach home which is heaven cz our drive which is Jesus Christ he is very capable of wat he is doing n nothing wil harm us.

    Like(3)
  2. While not a sports fan myself, I can understand and appreciate this good illustration that helps us see where we truly think of as home. And though this world will actually be our home one day after it's restoration, it's the present atmosphere and thinking that is foreign to the heavenly atmosphere and thinking that must show in our lives while here now. When the earth is restored to it's original state with vast improvements, our minds will not be changed then, and if needed, must change now in order to be part of the restoration of all things.

    Like(7)
  3. Thank you for the great way you said that it is OK to be different from the world. It we are a red ball in a sea of red balls we do not stick out and people will not be drawn to us. But if we are a yellow ball in a sea of red balls, people will take notice of us and come to see what makes us different
    (Christ.
    PS the reason many people post with only their first name is because the field only has our 1st names in it and like me didn't notice until someone pointed it out. Thanks for your time.

    Like(4)
  4. What a wonderful statement of faith you have written William. Just like Abraham, "By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God" (Heb. 11:9-10 NKJV). Everywhere he went he build an altar to God as a witness of the faith he had in the promises of the city that waited for him.

    Like(4)
  5. I have been exceptionally blessed by this illustration,
    Most times we are so quick to forget where our true home is, amidst the multitude of friends, work colleagues, school mates etc we almost always feel outnumbered and out of place, and our fallen nature demands that we avoid the discomfort by blending in....and this never ends well.
    I believe if we regularly meet with fellow citizens and have building discussions on the challenges we face, and if we feed our spirits with the right food, the Holy Spirit will have an avenue from which to build our spirits and stregthen them so we overcome our week bodies and humbly walk the streets knowing where we truly belong.

    Like(4)
  6. Thank you all for your kind words. It is nice to know we all have each other as we travel through this strange world. And Robert is right. The earth made new will be our new home. Meanwhile Jesus teaches that the kingdom of God is among us here and now. We are the kingdom of God. We are citizens of God's kingdom while here on earth. We are soldiers of God's army and on a mission to save others from their cruel dictator the devil!

    Like(8)
  7. According to the free online dictionary, a pilgrim is one who embarks on a quest for something conceived of as sacred. Christians are likened to pilgrims. We are on our journey home. Though sometimes we forget and build permanent camps, we ought to remember that we are pilgrims headed to our permanent home.

    In our pilgrim journey, we may need a brother to pinch or wake us up when we fall into “spiritual stupors.” Praise the LORD for such brothers who keep us on track. Sometimes the cares of this life slow us down, making us forget what we are all about and where we are going.

    Below is summary of characteristics of pilgrims. If we cannot find ourselves in the midst of these characteristics, then we may not be on a “pilgrimage” at all or perhaps we’ve fallen into a “spiritual stupor” and we need a brother to give us a spiritual pinch, so we can get back on the band wagon.

    Pilgrims:

    I. Obey the Call

    Abraham is an example – When he received a call from God to go, he obeyed. He went out not knowing his destination (Genesis 11:31)

    Noah is another example – He received a call to build what would be a “costly” ark, he obeyed and undertook this expensive investment by faith (Genesis 6:22).

    II. Never Settle Down

    Abraham is an example – When he reached Canaan, he did not possess it. For the rest of his life, though in promise it was his, he lived in the country like a foreigner (Genesis 12:1-3). At the time of his death, his only possession in the land was the plot of ground that held the bones of his wife (Genesis 23:3-20; 25:7-10). What about you my brother/sister? Are u treating this world as if it is the only friend u have? Are u trying to gain it all at the expense of your soul?

    III. Look for a Heavenly City

    Abraham is an example - There were many cities in Canaan but he lived with the conviction of what was unseen. He waited for the eternal city which possessed an immovable foundation (Revelation 21:14, 19-20).

    He eagerly longed for this city which Jesus described as a good place for treasures (Matthew 6:20). John described it as a place that reflected the glory of God, and as a place for all who believe and are obedient(Revelation 21:22-27; 22:14).

    Like(6)
    • You mentioned Noah: “All that [Noah] possessed he invested in the Ark”. PP 95

      Noah knew where he was going and anything remaining would be lost. What a lesson!

      Like(2)
      • Robert, I think what you and Angeline said presents us with excellent examples of people committing everything to their faith. Jesus also did the same and told a parable about the kingdom of God concerning commitment:

        Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it" (Matt. 13:45-46 NKJV).

        Like(3)
  8. William,

    Thanks for the post. I like your ideas and illustrations.

    I also like Tyler and Angeline's mention of Abraham and his calling from God. Through the eyes of faith, I can see how God called me away from a world I grew up in, and how He ordered so many of my experiences that have made me different than others. There were a few times in my life I tried to fit in but only because I didn't truly have a loving and caring family and I was looking for the experience of belonging.
    Once we know how much God loves us individually, I don't think it matters if we fit in. It's good to be able to relate to others but not to be like them in every way.

    Like(3)
  9. Your article really hit home. I came here tonight feeling very down and dejected. Reminded that this ain't my home, I'm ready to bat again. Praise the Lord! :-)

    Like(3)
  10. When we forget who we are and Whose we are we lose our identity and confidence. All the partriachs in Hebrews 11 knew Whose they were and they waited for a city with a foundation, whose maker and builder is God. Hebrews 11:10. Hebrews 11: 15 says, "And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out. they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16. But now they desire a better a country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called thier God: for He has prepared for them a city.

    Like(2)
  11. This post was helpful for Sabbath school this week and I shared the concept of how we are not the Home team and it hit home. Thanks!

    Like(1)
    • Jane, I really believe that we ARE the home team. Abraham sojourned in the very land promised to him and his seed forever, and he died believing he will one day possess it. True, we are out-numbered by the "visitors" who will not have any home one day, and so the illustration still fits. But the good news is that soon it will be "home sweet home" and our heavenly Father will make it His eternal home as well. That is the home improvement He has promised us and we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

      I will share this...I live in an area where the home games nearly always have more fans for the visitors. That's just the way it is here. Many have moved to this area from other locations and bring their loyalties with them. So every home game feels like a road game. (no I have never gone to one game, but worked with long-time home fans who attend every season, and they say this is true with rare exceptions)

      So William's illustration is very fitting for the circumstances we face in this life where we do feel like strangers and pilgrims as the vast majority are living for a lie.

      Like(0)
  12. It seems like I have always tried to fit in. My Mom (bless her heart)raised me to be special. Unfortunately I didn't understand, I thought she wasn't happy with who I was and I spent a lot of energy trying to fit in with the 'popular' people. This lead me to a lot of heart ache and shame.

    I am so grateful for your article William because I still find myself not 'fitting' in. Unfortunately I feel more at ease with people I work with that don't have the Jesus I know in there life than I do at church.

    At work I don't feel the need to compete and at church I feel like I just don't fit in. Do I need to get closer to Jesus, yes I do, and I need to keep my eyes on him because the person sitting next to me in the pew will not take me 'home' only Jesus can do that.

    I have so much to look forward to and I will be happy to be wearing the colour of Jesus' home team.

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