Welcome to the Kerwin Baptist Church broadcast today. Our question, If for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him, for they know not the voice of strangers. This parable spake Jesus unto them, but they understood not what things they were, which he spake unto them. Then said Jesus unto them again, verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. By me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved and shall go in and out and find pasture. And all God's people said, amen. Number one, I want you to look, as I look at a passage, there's hundreds of different ways to look at any given passage.
I don't think that any of them are necessarily wrong. There's just different ways to study God's word, to understand God's word, to help your mind and my mind grasp God's word. So as I look at this passage, what I'd like to do is I want to deal with the subjects of the story of this parable that they really didn't understand as he began to give it to them.
I want to look at the subjects. And if we understand the subjects of the passage, then we'll understand the theme and literally the message of the passage. I want you to notice number one, we want to look at the sheepfold, the sheepfold. Verse one, he brings this up. He says, very rarely I say unto you, he that enterth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same as a thief and a robber. What is a sheepfold?
And why is this given here? And what is it literally an illustration of? Well, in Bible days, a sheepfold was literally, it was a container. Normally that if you look at an average, what you would probably think of as a farm or a ranch, however you want to term it, that literally shepherds and things, what they would do is they would have an outer gate surrounding their property or their home and inside of that outer gate, they would have a smaller enclosed gate of some kind called a sheepfold. And what it was, it was all guarded and had one narrow opening and as you got into that opening, that was the sheepfold. It's where that the sheep were kept and they were taken care of and obviously they would be taken out to pasture and different things, but they would be brought in for numerous different reasons. So it is the sheepfold.
And this is in this passage a comparison to the church. You see, the church is a gathering of God's sheep. So I want to look at a couple things just real quickly for us to understand about the sheepfold, why it illustrates or literally mimics a church and why it is important for us to understand it because Jesus is the one that brought this up. Notice, I want you to notice number one about the sheepfold is it is separated. You see, a sheepfold is separated from everywhere else. It's where the sheep are kept to keep them from everything else, to keep everything else from getting to them and from them getting to everything else. It is guarded, it's protected.
It is separated from something. Everybody understand that? Do you know that the church is to be separated from the world? Why is it important for you to be part of a local church? Because you need to be separated to Christ. We ought to be literally separated from the group, the world, the culture, and that's what the church is. It is a place for us to come out of the world to worship, to have communication with our Father, which we have every second of every day if we wish, but corporately as a group, this is where we gather.
It is separated. Notice secondly, it is safe. The church is to be a safe place. The church is the place where you come that is protected. And notice the Bible says that literally as we obey them that have the rule over us because they watch for your souls.
You ought to be part of a good Bible believing, Bible teaching local church. And when you're part of that church, and if that under shepherd in that church is doing his job, getting in the Bible, giving you doctrine, and all those things, then that should be a safe place for you. It means this, that I need to listen to what is said. I need to heed the warning that is given, because that is going to help keep you safe from the things that are outside of the sheepfold. Amen. Why does a shepherd train his sheep to listen to him, to follow him, all those things? Because when you get out of that sheepfold, if you don't listen to the shepherd, you're gonna get into trouble. Notice number three. This is going over great, I can tell.
This is a wonderful, maybe we should have spent another five minutes. And Amber, come on back, no, I'm just joking like that. Notice number three, it has many sheep. Why is it similar to the church? What is a sheepfold? It has many sheep. I mean, if you're gonna be in the sheepfold, you don't just get in there and say, you know what, I like this, you all stay out. This is all about me. The sheepfold's for me.
No, no, no, no, no, it's not just for you, it's not just for me, it's for us. And who controls the sheepfold? The shepherd, not the sheep. I don't mean me, I mean Jesus as the shepherd, do you understand?
I was like, I can see how that could be a little bit confusing, that's not, I'm the under shepherd, he's the shepherd, everybody got that. You and I have to understand, it has many sheep, and church has many sheep. And all those things, and you know what, listen, it's about the safety of the flock, not the comfort of one of the sheep. Notice fourthly here, it has sustenance. The sheepfold has sustenance. This is where they're fed and nourished. Now they go out and find pasture, but they're fed in a different way at the sheepfold.
It's contained, it's controlled. They're fed and they're preserved. They literally have sustenance there. They find water, they have all those things. And listen, you can go out and do a pasture and you can eat grass, but there might not be water in that pasture, but the sheepfold has not just food, but it has drink.
In fact, the Bible tells me that I have a shepherd that leads me beside the still waters. The sheepfold, it has sustenance. Notice next, it gives strength. You see, the sheepfold is where the sheep would go to rest so that they could have strength. You see, literally, they need strength. It doesn't seem like sheep do a whole lot of important things.
They just are there, and they're either gonna be sheared to be useful, or they're gonna be shish kebab to be useful, but that's really the only way that they're gonna be useful. You see, look at me. The sheep need the help of a shepherd because they're kind of a dumb animal, but in return for the help of the shepherd, the shepherd uses the resources of the sheep. See, you and I need Christ, but in return, Christ wants to use you. It's interesting, but notice last, it offers solitude. You know, Psalm 23 says he leads me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul. The sheepfold is where they would rest where they didn't have to worry what was coming at them. They didn't have to worry about the boss at work.
That's always on their case. They didn't have to worry about that coworker that is always ridiculing and abusing because they're a follower of Christ. Literally, the sheepfold is where they found solitude. It was a controlled environment by the shepherd. I wonder sometimes if church really actually does offer solitude.
It should, but sheep can have a tendency to really mess up the solitude of a sheepfold. The sheepfold, number two subject we find introduced here in this passage is a number three. It's a word, the porter, the porter. To him, the porter openeth.
Openeth what? Well, the door or the gate to that sheepfold and the sheep hear his voice and he calleth his own sheep by name and he leadeth them out. So the porter here has really one job and that's just to open the gate, to open the door for them to get. He's what we call, this word in the Greek literally means gatekeeper.
It means warden. These sheep pens in Jesus' day were constructed with a single narrow opening and as a shepherd was leading his sheep and taking his sheep back into the sheepfold, the porter, he would need someone to open that gate and he would lead the sheep in. Number three, we find the next subject is the stranger. Verse five, it says and a stranger will they not follow but will flee from him for they know not the voice of strangers. Now, so we find so far that literally Jesus as the real shepherd and we're gonna find next week he's not just the real shepherd, he's a good shepherd. But as the real shepherd, he's compared literally to a stranger.
In other words, there's a contrast there. So there are strangers and there are shepherds and they're not the same. And notice as he brings up the stranger, we see that the real shepherd here is compared in contrast with a stranger. You see the stranger sheep don't follow the stranger.
At least they're not supposed to. We find here that sheep don't run to a stranger. According to this verse, they flee from him. In fact, a stranger sheep don't know his voice.
At least they shouldn't. Number four, he brings up another comparison. And that's of Jesus the real shepherd with the thief. Look at verse one. Barely, barely I say unto you he that enterth not by the door into the sheepfold but climbeth up some other way. The same is a thief and a robber.
So the shepherd is not just compared in contrast with a stranger, but the shepherd is compared in contrast with the thief. And literally, this is an individual that did not have the authority to get in through the door. He did not have any reason or right and had no good motive and there was no good result of him getting into the door. So he wouldn't be allowed by the porter to get into the door.
So he literally had to climb in, the Bible says, some other way. Some interesting things here about the thief. You see, this passage is evidence that when it comes to the sheep of Christ, look at me, get this this morning, there are thieves and robbers.
He wouldn't have introduced it if it wasn't applicable. It means this, that in this parable, there is a real shepherd, but there's also strangers and there's also thieves and robbers. And it means this, that in our life, we have a shepherd, but make no doubt about it and don't even question it. There are thieves and robbers that are after the sheep of Jesus Christ. There are those that come to do mischief to the flock and damage to the owner. What do thieves do? They steal and they not just steal, but thieves often what? They hurt or disrepair the property. They'll break into a door, break a window, break off a lock, whatever the case might be.
They don't mind the damage they do just so they can get what they want. That's what a thief does. Notice here the thief enters not by the door because a thief has no authority to enter that door.
So what happens? So he climbs up another way. At a window or some breach in the wall, whatever is surrounding that sheepfold, the thief and the robber will find a weakness anywhere he can and get into the sheepfold. Are you all with me this morning? Am I the only one even remotely excited about Jesus being the door?
This is a picture of the church. Let me put it this way. How industrious are wicked people to do mischief. They will find a way somehow to get into the sheepfold. Just because they can't enter the door doesn't discourage them. They work overtime to find a way to get in and ruin the flock. Matthew Henry said this about these thieves and robbers. What plots will they lay? What plans will they take?
What hazards they will run in their wicked pursuits of the flock? May I put it this way? There is no playing fair for thieves and robbers. That's why I've always thought it's the dumbest thing for us as a country to say we're just gonna collect all the guns so that there's no guns for anybody to hurt anybody with. As if thieves and robbers are just gonna walk in and display and give their guns because they have a good heart on the matter. What idiot thinks that that, even the Bible tells you that you can't do that. Even the Bible tells you that's not gonna happen. Thieves and robbers don't operate that way. They can't get in legally by the door but that doesn't mean they're not gonna keep trying to get in. You say preacher, I think you're being very direct this morning.
Well let me put it this way. When they cannot clearly come in the door they will find a way to get into the sheepfold. Satan's thieves are always after the sheep. And you and I as sheep are often dumb enough and naive enough to let them in. Satan as a roaring lion the Bible says walketh about seeking whom he may devour. The Bible says that grievous wolves shall enter in among you not sparing the flock. They will get in any way they can. Listen to me this morning.
Number five is coming up real quick but I gotta get done with number four. Satan's thieves will get into your marriage. They'll get into your mind. They'll get into your children. They'll get into your habits. They'll get into your attitude.
They'll get into your spirit. They'll get in any way they can. They'll get in through the TV. They'll get in through the internet. They'll get in through social media. They'll get in through your phone. I don't care what you have and how well you think you've protected or how well that literally the church has set up protection. If you allow a weakness, if you allow an opening, if you give Satan any inch he will take the mile. I will tell you that he will walk around and continue to walk around any barrier, any wall, any structure and he will find a way, find an opening to get in and ruin your life if we let him. The thieves and the robbers.
It happens every day. Number five, the shepherd. Aren't you glad we're getting into some good subjects? The shepherd, look at verse three. To him, the shepherd, the porter openeth and the sheep hear his voice and he calleth his own sheep by name and leadeth them out and when he putteth forth his own sheep he goeth before them and the sheep follow him for they know his voice.
Interesting. Look at verse two. But he that enterth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. So let's look at the characteristics that distinguish the shepherd from the stranger, that distinguish the shepherd from a thief, that distinguish the shepherd from a robber, that separate the shepherd from a stranger.
I want you to notice just a couple things. First we see this, that the shepherd has a place for the sheep to live. He built it. He prepared it. He put the work in. He put up the walls. He mounted the gate.
He provided a safe place for the sheep to live. The thief didn't do that and the robber didn't do that and the stranger didn't do that. You see, they wanna show up and ruin what somebody else has built. Happens in church all the time, by the way. You have people that'll be at a church 30, 40 years, put in the blood, sweat and tears, paid the money, built the buildings, vacuum the carpet, somebody'll show up, wanna join a church in three months, they're trying to tell everybody else how to do it. Watch out for that. It's amazing how you can have a church, people join a church, think it's the greatest thing since the wheel and a month later they wanna change everything about the church that they thought was the greatest thing since the wheel a month ago. You gotta watch out for that church. It's a tough crowd today. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. So I guess I'm just gonna have to crank it up a notch.
What are these characteristics? Look at me, Bible says he's preparing a place for us. Do you know that Jesus put the work in and founded and built the church?
Not only that, he is building a place for you for eternity. Notice the shepherd has a place for them to eat. The sheep, the stranger didn't have that. The shepherd is the one that led them to pasture and back.
The thief didn't do that, stranger didn't do that. Notice the shepherd here has a place for them to be protected. In fact, the thief and the robber are trying to keep them from being protected, but the shepherd is the one that gave them a place and put the work in that helped them to be protected. It's amazing how many sheep, while they're being protected by the shepherd, long to be out of the sheepfold. Boy, they think life's so great outside of the church. Get me out of these rules, get me out of these restrictions, get me out of the confines of the word of God.
Let me go enjoy the world. Yeah, you get out of the sheepfold and see how great it is. Listen to this, if thieves and robbers are trying to get in, imagine how many of them are out there waiting.
Interesting. Notice this, that the shepherd actually cares for the sheep. The thief does not. You see, the shepherd actually loves them and cares about them and has put the time and work into it, but the thief and robber, they don't care about them at all.
In fact, they hate them. The stranger doesn't care about them because they don't know the stranger's voice. You see, the stranger hadn't put the time in to get to know them and love them and sacrifice for them and lead them and guide them. That's why the sheep know the voice of the shepherd, but they don't know the voice of the stranger. It shows that the shepherd actually cares for the sheep and the others don't. I notice here that in verse two, the shepherd enters in by the door. All the rest of them have to get in some other way.
Why is that? Because the shepherd is the one that has the authority to go in through the door. The shepherd is the one that has the right to go in through the door. May I say this, that the shepherd, whenever the shepherd comes to the sheep, he comes to do something good for them. You know, Ezekiel 34 talks about our shepherd and says that he will bind up that which is broken and strengthen that which is sick. That's what our shepherd does for us, but let me tell you something. Those that don't come in the door, the Bible says they're thieves, they're robbers, they're strangers, and they do not want to do good things for you. Let me tell you something.
What this world has to offer does not want to do good things for you. I notice this about the shepherd that he calls them by name. Isn't that interesting? Look at verse three. The sheep hear his voice and he calleth his own sheep by name, now that's, if you've got a large herd of sheep, I don't know that many of them just name all of them. Maybe they do, I don't know, I would name them sheep. I would name them all that. So I hear sheep, I named them, sheep, hear sheep, whatever. But he named all of them by name. Can I, may I say this, that your shepherd, Jesus Christ, knows you.
He knows you by name, he knows your weaknesses, he knows your strengths, he's put the time, the effort, he loves you, he created you, he's died for you, he knows your name. May I give you something else interesting in this passage if you've never seen it? Look at verse four.
Notice this about our shepherd. The Bible says when he putteth forth his own sheep, what does that mean, putteth forth? That means when he moves them around, when he moves them out of the sheepfold or moves them back in the sheepfold, it's direction, it's moving them places. Notice this, when he putteth forth his own sheep, notice this next phrase, he goeth what? Before them and his sheep follow them. They follow him. Look at me, you and I, we have a shepherd that doesn't stand behind pushing us, we have a shepherd that gets in front and leads us. Wow, he's not behind us with a whip, with some kind of instrument to strike us.
Hey, you go do what I'm not doing. No, he's out in front. He leadeth me in paths of righteousness. He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He goes before me, that's the kind of shepherd we have. I've told you guys before, I coach basketball, varsity basketball here one year, when we had a school years ago. When I played basketball in high school, I got tired of the coach blowing the whistle and making us run suicides and laps and everything else. He'd stand over there on the side with his potbelly and his whistle, you know, and all this making us out there. I was in Florida and we did most of our practice outside.
Man, it was wretchedly hot. I mean, we're just drenched with sweat running, trying to get ready for sports and all this stuff, and he's just over there not doing one thing, blowing that whistle, telling us what to do. And I can't tell you how many times I ran by, I thought, hey, buddy, you give me this whistle, you get out here and we'll see what really happens. So I became a basketball coach, varsity coach here.
So I determined, I said, you know, I'm gonna do things different. I'm gonna run every drill with my players. We would run laps and stuff, and they would line up behind me and many times to get conditioning, we would run through the school building.
Wherever I went, they had to follow me. I would run into a classroom, run around here, we got, you know, 15 basketball players running around in a classroom there in the school building. We'd go out that door, run down the hall, I might go out that door, I might go up around a house, I might go around the auditorium, they never knew where I was going, because I said, if they're gonna run these drills, I want to lead them, not push them. And let me say this, by the end of the season, we have the most out of shape basketball team you've ever seen in your entire life. Most practices were like this, shoot around, shoot around.
Whew, scrimmage, quick scrimmage, quick scrimmage. Hey, it's not easy to get out in front and lead. Look at me as pastor of Kerwin Baptist Church, it is not easy to be the guy out in front, because the guy out in front is subject to a lot of things. You see, when you're leading the sheep, a lot of times sheep are dumb and they're naive and all those things, and boy, how many times has the Lord tried to lead me, and all I did was buck against what he was trying to do. Not easy leading, but that's the kind of shepherd that you and I have.
He leads with compassion, he doesn't push with pressure. The shepherd, I want you to notice next, he brings up the sheep, and we're almost done. Look at verse four, and when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him, for they know not the voice of strangers. So we're told here what the sheep do, and notice first that the sheep belong to the shepherd. Do you notice, did you see this in verse four? And when he putteth forth his own sheep. If nothing else, that's the difference between the shepherd and a stranger, and the shepherd and a thief, and the shepherd and a robber, and the shepherd and anyone else. He owns them. They belong to him, and look at me, it doesn't matter what you and I think, what we agree with, what we don't agree with, the bottom line is if you've been saved, you belong to him.
Amen. You're no longer your own. The Bible says we were bought with the price of the precious blood of Christ. The sheep belong to the shepherd. Notice secondly, the sheep hear and know the shepherd's voice. People often struggle, am I saved or not? Well, I'll tell you an easy way to know if you're saved or not.
Do you hear, feel, sense the Holy Spirit in your life? Hey, if you're a sheep, you're gonna hear the shepherd's voice. I don't mean you're gonna sit around and this audible voice is gonna come out or whatever the case might be, but I am telling you this, you know when the shepherd is talking to you. You see, the sheep know the shepherd's voice. They hear it, and they know it.
And oftentimes, you and I, we hear him, but we don't know him. We hear him, but we don't obey him. May I say this about sheep, that sheep need a shepherd's help. Sheep could not feed themselves. They couldn't protect themselves. They couldn't lead themselves. They can't guide themselves.
Sheep need a shepherd. Thank you for listening today. We hope you received a blessing from our broadcast. The Kerwin Baptist Church is located at 4520 Old Hollow Road in Kernersville, North Carolina. You may also contact us by phone at 336-993-5192 or via the web at kerwinbaptistchurch.com. Enjoy our services live and all our media on our website and church app. Thank you for listening to the Kerwin broadcast today. God bless you. We'll see you next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-18 06:12:13 / 2022-11-18 06:24:23 / 12