The Shepherd And His Sheep

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1 MESSAGE FOR THE LORD'S DAY EVENING, JANUARY 12, 2014 CHRISTIAN HOPE CHURCH OF CHRIST, PLYMOUTH, NORTH CAROLINA by Reggie A. Braziel, Minister TOPIC: DISCIPLESHIP, CHRISTIAN LIVING The Shepherd And His Sheep JOHN 10:22-30 (NKJV) Please turn with me in your Bibles to our scripture in the Gospel of John, chapter 10, and let's read verses John 10:22-30 (NKJV) 22 Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon s porch. 24 Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly. 25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father s name, they bear witness of Me. 26 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father s hand. 30 I and My Father are one. P R A Y E R

2 Introduction One thing that comes as a surprise to any student of the New Testament is what little success Jesus had in converting lost sinners. Multitudes followed Jesus when He was healing the sick or when He was miraculously producing food to feed thousands of people. They could accept Jesus as a miracle worker and as a Teacher, but most of them could not accept Him as the Savior of the world. John tells us in VERSE 24, Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly. Then notice Jesus' response in VERSES 25,26... I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father's name, they bear witness of Me, but you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep. Jesus was saying, If you don't believe that I am the Christ, the Messiah, after all the miracles you have seen me perform, there is nothing else I can do to make you believe. You don't believe because you are not one of My sheep. I believe all of us here this evening would identify ourselves as one of the LORD'S sheep, after all we've made our great confession of faith and been baptized, and we attend Church services most Sundays. But how can we be sure that we truly are one of the Good Shepherd's sheep?

3 I. The Marks of The Good Shepherd's Sheep 1. In verse 27, Jesus gives us two identifying marks of His sheep. (A) They HEAR My Voice (v.27a) Do you know this a characteristic that distinguishes sheep from one flock to another? Sheep will only respond to the voice of their shepherd. ILLUSTRATION Many years ago a traveler to Israel wanted to disprove that sheep only respond to their shepherd. He and the shepherd switched clothes. The tourist, dressed in the shepherd's clothes, called the sheep but they would not respond. However, when the shepherd, dressed in the tourist's clothes called to his sheep they responded to his voice. ILLUSTRATION Where I grew up back in Indiana our next door neighbors had sheep. Quite often I would walk over to their fence and call for the sheep, but they wouldn't come to me. Even when I said, Here sheepy, sheepy in a kind, soft voice, they still wouldn't come to me. But late in the evening, Mr. Hughes, our neighbor would give a loud whistle and call to his sheep and they would come running to him. THE SHEEP KNOW THE VOICE OF THEIR SHEPHERD.

4 In I JOHN 4:1-3 (NKJV) John warns us that there are many voices calling to us in this world. He says, Beloved, do not blieve every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is NOT of God. If you and I are truly the LORD'S SHEEP there is only one voice we will respond to and that is the voice of our GOOD SHEPHERD. And just what does the GOOD SHEPHERD'S voice sound like? His voice sounds like THE WORD OF GOD. II Timothy 3:16, 17 (NKJV) 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. So the FIRST MARK of a true sheep of the Good Shepherd is that WE HEAR THE VOICE OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD.

5 The second way Jesus identifies His sheep is... (B) They FOLLOW Me (v.27b) v. 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, AND THEY FOLLOW ME. It only stands to reason that if the sheep will only respond to their shepherd's voice, then he is the only one they will follow. ILLUSTRATION: I saw this truth in a very vivid way when I was in India several years ago. Most mornings when I went out to preach in the Indian villages, we would encounter a number of shepherd's along the road. Although there might be a group of three or four different shepherds traveling together to the pastures, the different flocks didn't mingle together. Each flock followed its own shepherd. There is a special bond between the shepherd and his sheep. It is a relationship of love. The shepherd loves his sheep and the sheep love their shepherd. The sheep trust in their shepherd for protection. They depend upon their shepherd for nuture and care. And therefore they follow the shepherd wherever he goes. That is how we ought to follow Jesus. -We ought to follow Him in His LOVE. Christ loved us and gave Himself for us, so as Christ's sheep we ought to follow Christ's example and be willing to lay down our lives for our brothers.

6 -We ought to follow Christ in His PRAYERFULNESS. Christ was a man of prayer. He often went to places of solitude to spend time alone with His heavenly Father. If you and I are truly His sheep, then we ought to give ourselves to much prayer. -We ought to follow Christ in His GOODNESS. The scriptures teach us that Jesus went around doing good to others. Where there was hopelessness He brought hope, where there was sorrow He brought joy; where there was heartache he brought peace. If you and I are truly His sheep then we ought to devote our lives to doing good to others. -We ought to follow Christ in His HOLINESS. While Christ was the friend of sinners, He separated Himself from sin. He was in the world, but He was NOT of the world. Likewise, if you and I are truly His sheep, we ought to be holy as He is holy. DO I HEAR THE VOICE OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD? DO I FOLLOW THE GOOD SHEPHERD? These are the marks of a true sheep of the Good Shepherd.

7 Secondly, let's consider... II. The Blessings of The Good Sheherd's Sheep 1. In these verses Jesus reveals three blessings that we receive from Him. (A) The blessing of being KNOWN by the SHEPHERD (v.27) v. 27 My sheep hear My voice, AND I KNOW THEM... There are many people who claim to follow Christ, but remember Jesus' stern warning in Matthew 7:21-23? Not everyone who says to Me, LORD, LORD shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, I I NEVER KNEW YOU, DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS. JESUS KNOWS HIS TRUE SHEEP. HE KNOWS THOSE WHO TRULY BELONG TO HIM. (B) The blessing of ETERNAL LIFE (v.28a) v. 28a And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. One thousand years from now you and I will be alive in the presence of the LORD. Increase the multiple to ten thousand years, and you only increase the truth that ETERNAL LIFE IS ETERNAL.

8 While here on earth our lives are measured in time. We live our lives within the confines of seconds and minutes and hours and days and weeks and months and years. But in heaven we will live outside the bounds of time. We will dwell in a place where the days will have no end, therefore our lives will have no end. (C) The blessing of ASSURANCE (v.28b) v. 28b Neither shall anyone snatch them from my hand. Many of the once saved, always saved proponents like to point to this verse and say there is absolutely nothing one can do to lose his eternal life. But notice the wording Jesus uses in this verse. He says, Neither shall anyone snatch them from my hand. What Jesus is saying is no man can take your salvation away from you. No man can rob you of your salvation. But is it possible for me to willfully wander away from Christ on my own? Yes it is! In fact, you and know many people who have done that very thing. Jesus says in JOHN 8:31 (NKJV) If ( if is a conditional word)... IF you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. In JOHN 15 (NKJV) Jesus stresses the importance of ABIDING IN HIM. He says in v. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered, and they gather them and throw them into the fire and they are burned. In REVELATION 2:10 (NKJV) Jesus says, Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. You see, if you and I are to enjoy the blessing of ASSURANCE, we must abide with Jesus our Good Shepherd.

9 C O N C L U S I O N Several years ago, Bob Crabtree, the Attorney General of Ohio, went to Russia. While traveling one of the rural Russian roads one day, Crabtree saw two shepherds come together in the middle of the road. As they stood and talked, their flocks, numbering around 300 sheep altogether, merged together. As he waited for the shepherds to get their sheep out of the road, Crabtree said, I wandered how they would ever separate all those sheep. Pretty soon when one of the shepherds started to leave, in a low, soft voice he bade his sheep to come and the two groups separated immediately. Right now we, the Lord's sheep, are mingled in with the rest of the world. But one day our Good Shepherd will call for us, and we will follow Him to our eternal home.

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