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November 28, 2021 6:00 pm
As we know today being the last Sunday of November is the last officials of the of our missions month. It is certainly been a stimulating time. As far as I'm concerned, as we have heard from a number of missionaries and considered work of the gospel to the ends of the earth and our missions month theme this year. As you know has been exalting Christ among the nations, drawn from the text in Psalm 4710. Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nation. I will be exalted in the earth. I enjoyed expounding that text last Sunday and today I've selected another text which has a similar focus, and I think will be very helpful to our consideration of the word of God of the gospel of Christ and the work of missions.
Our text today is John 1016 Jesus said, and other sheep I have which are not of this fold them. Also I must bring, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock and one shepherd. This of course is contained in what is often called the good Shepherd discourse, which is really more than one discourse. There are at least two and possibly three different messages that are combined together by John under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in John chapter 10 that all have the common theme of Christ as shepherd and his people as you shrink in. This is indeed a beloved passage to the people of God is filled with both inspiration and instruction. I think that we tend to focus more upon the inspirational part, maybe not as much upon the instructional part but I hope today to be able to bring those two together is to be a great encouragement a great inspiration to us as we consider these truths but there is much instruction here that we need to understand in order that we might know the truth the right might honor the Lord in the truth that he has given.
I will be addressing this text into parts today.
First, the background and secondly the blessing the background is the context in which this text is found without understanding the context I doubt that we can fully understand the text. The background which really is all of the chapter were going to be looking at the preceding 15 verses leading up to verse 16 verse 16. Our text is something of a climax we find Christ building toward this truth when he declares this amazing message to the people of his day that the good Shepherd is going to call his sheep from outside the fold of Israel. Other sheep I have which are not of this fold them.
Also I must bring, that was quite a revelation to the Jewish people in the first century.
Let's look first at the background and there are actually two sections. I think we have the sheepfold of Israel discussed in verses one through five and then the expanded flock in verses six through 18 the sheepfold of Israel. We learn by the words of Christ that this fold that we believe is representative of the nation of Israel of the nation of the people of the physical descendents of Abraham, we learn that it is a sheepfold that is beset by false shepherd most assuredly said Jesus I say to you, he do who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs in some other way, the same as a thief and a robber.
There are those Jesus said who are going to try and and in some cases succeed in gaining access to this history. Old represents Israel but by not coming the proper way.
The God ordained way, the way of truth, the way that represents the one way, the Lord Jesus Christ.
And who can deny that as we study the history of Israel in the Old Testament we find that there were far more false prophets than true in some occasions you had had looked long and hard to find more than one or two true prophets and hundreds of false prophet think of Elijah and the 400 profits of burial on Mount caramel one true prophet of God. 400 false prophets. That's the thing. The kind of thing the Jesus is describing in verse one the false shepherds who have have endeavored and have gained access to the sheepfold but the sheepfold is blessed by a true shepherd.
He who enters by the door is the shepherd of the street to him. Verse three the doorkeeper open and the sheep here, his voice and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. The true shepherd will gain access to the sheepfold by a legitimate entry by the door that is been open to him by the doorkeeper.
Probably a reference to the Holy Spirit of God and having a legitimate entry into the street old.
He calls his own sheep by name.
Now this is important. This is a sheepfold with many shape, or so it would appear they are indeed cheap.
In one sense of the word, but only a certain number of them belong to the true shepherd the true shepherd gains access to this sheepfold representing Israel, and out of that fold. He calls his own sheep by name.
He calls out.
True sheep out of this larger body that is the nation of Israel and we learn that he calls them out. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. We are told in verse three.
A separation must take place true shepherd must separate his sheep from the other sheep who turned out not to be true sheep. It all.
They think they're cheap. They would consider themselves sheep, but they're not true sheep among this flock. This fold of the sheepfold of many shape.
There are a certain number who are the true sheep. They hear the voice of the shepherd.
They are led out of this sheepfold. They represent the genuine flock verse four and when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, and for they know his voice.
Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers sought by the voice of Christ, the true sheep are separated from the larger flock. In other words, they are separated from apostate religion because that's the sheepfold of Israel has become no longer the true worship of God according to the truth that is been delivered to them by Moses and the prophets that followed him no longer worshiping God in spirit and in truth no longer seeking after God with a heart devotion of faith. They have become mired down in ceremony and ritual and have considered that to be the essence of their relationship to God and the religion has departed from the truth of God.
It has become apostate. And so the true shepherd enters into that situation and he calls his sheep out of that fold and they are drawn to the true shepherd and led by the true shepherd out of the sheepfold and they are unmoved untouched on unaffected by false shepherds. They hear the voice of the true shepherd, but the false shepherds.
They pay no attention to. They don't hear their voice. They ignore that as they follow the voice of the true shepherd.
That's the sheepfold of Israel. I remind you if you think about the reality of of life in Christ day in the first century and Israel. I remind you, the false shepherds may be those who are familiar to us.
They may be neighbors. They may be friends, they may be those who are known to us, and yet still may very well be false shepherds not true. They may represent a familiar religion of which we are very comfortable because we have grown up in that. Yet it may be apostate religion. There are applications for our day-to-day. We have to realize that there are false shepherds today.
False false teachers today who sometimes are very warm and very friendly, very personable and very likable and may be very familiar to us, and they may represent a church that we are familiar with and comfortable with, perhaps, having grown up in it and yet that may represent apostate Christianity and these may be false teachers and we need to be careful.
We are listening to the voice of the true shepherd and hearing his word so that we are not misled by false shepherd. But if we have a sheepfold of Israel described in verses one through five.
Then we have the expanded block described in verses seven through 16 as Christ begins to talk about this true flock that he is called out from the sheepfold of Israel and what characterizes them and eventually gets to that climactic verse. Our text for today. Verse 16 where he makes it very clear that the flock that represents the true sheep is much larger than the nation of Israel in that flock. Some come from the nation of Israel called out from that sheepfold, but other sheep I have which are not of this them. Also I must bring, and they will come to and they will constitute one large sheep one large flock with the true shepherd.
So what does he tell us about this expanded flock in verses seven.
Following are not going to read to get all of these verses. But I'll make reference to what I have read. We are told in verse seven, the Christ is the door. He's the way into this true flock. Though there are many false doors that abound. That would be well. I will read verse seven.
Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep verse eight. All who ever came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. You could hear that that truth repeated several times in this passage true shape.
Do not listen to the voice of false shepherds. Why not because they are given the ability to stick to distinguish by the spirit of God. Why not because they are destroyed. Dissuaded from being misled by the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit of God, they would just as easily be misled as others except they won't. They can't, they shall not because one of the characteristics of true sheep is, they ignore false teachers. But they follow the true shepherd and those who properly and accurately represent him. But there are false doors. Christ is the true door. There are false doors in other words, there are many, many voices that are claiming to offer a way of life.
Some of them tell us that there are many ways to God. It doesn't matter which way you take as long as your sincere wrong lie.
False shepherd false teaching. Some of you have heard that.
No doubt, probably all of the sale. Some of you may have sent that in your ignorant past, but hopefully you would never say or affirm such a statement again.
There's only one way to God. Jesus said I am the way the truth and the life no man comes to the father but by me. One way one way along with her many who are promising fruitful ways, enticing ways a way of life but as Jesus tells us here.
Their motive is not to help shape it is. Their motive is to take advantage their motive is to rob to fleece to manipulate to become rich at the expense of the people that they are misleading but again Jesus tells us that the true sheep will not listen to people like that were told in verse nine this wonderful truth of Jesus welcomes all who will come to him. I am the door.
Verse nine if anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.
Probably at that point in his discourse. The disciples are not thinking of that word.
Anyone, including anyone outside the nation of Israel, but eventually they got to realize that that's what Jesus means by this. Anyone certainly anyone among the people of Israel who will follow Jesus.
He will be say he will have spiritual freedom.
The bondage of Moses will be lifted off his shoulders. He will go in and out freely. You will find pasture provision true nourishment for his soul. If anyone anyone will believe in me, and as we come to understand that means anyone in all the world, whosoever believe within me shall not perish but shall have everlasting life.
Christ welcomes all who will come to him for salvation. Christ welcomes all who come to him and gives them freedom Christ welcomes all who come to him by faith and they enjoy his provision, but the stakes you see are very high burst. Have the thief does not come except to steal and kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly to possibilities destruction or salvation, death, spiritual death and eternal death or life.
It's a momentous choice and it is a choice. It's not that our choices the determining factor is that the work of God spirit in our heart leads us to make the right choice, but it is indeed a choice. You will either choose to follow falsehood to your eternal destruction or you will chose to come to Christ to your eternal salvation. It is a momentous matter in one of the most obvious distinctions between false teachers and the true is that the true shepherd is a sacrificing shepherd the true shepherd is a giving shepherd the true shepherd. We read in verse 11, lays down his life for the sheep. In contrast to the false shepherds who come to steal, and to this, try they'll come together they come in the tank.
They don't come that they come to earth and the Lord Jesus Christ of true shepherd comes to give and he gives so greatly and so freely gives his own life that she may have eternal life.
Salvation is costly not to you, not to me but this to him. Be careful how you present salvation is free to us because there's nothing we can do is not a matter of is nothing else you gotta do except to believe it's not that while your puppeteer chewing gum it's dear friend come to understand how bankrupt you are come to understand that you have nothing to offer come to understand that there's no goodness with within Utah come to understand the truth is, there's nothing you can do and you are completely shut up to the mercy of God and of God doesn't do something for you. You are doomed, but come to understand that God has made a provision because there's no way that we could contribute to God's provision. The only way to have the benefit of that is to believe and yes, in one sense that's all you gotta do, but in the much more profound sense. That's all you can do that before his throne fall on your face before his cross recognize your other bankruptcy and lay hold on him. Please lay hold of that that scepter of mercy that he extends to you, and recognize that it's all of his grace and out of your petition true shepherd gives salvation is costly, but it was necessary.
The sacrifice of giving his life. That was the only way for a just and righteous God to bestow salvation without neglecting his holy justice. That's the only way it could be done in a substitute. The only one who qualified to substitute in this way for him to lay down his life in the place of sinners. And that's what he has done the ultimate sacrifice yes self seekers abound. We are told in verses 12 and 13, but a hireling.
He who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees in the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them.
The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care for the sheep. There are plenty of people who will will occupy the place of leadership in things religious who are merely self-seeking. The apostle Paul. One occasion said I have very few people in paraphrasing largely by very few people that I can trust to Cindy because everybody seeks his own hard-to-find faithful under shepherd hard-to-find faithful teacher whose only motive is to honor the Lord and to help the sheep self seekers abound, and then the closing words before we come to our text is a reminder that salvation is a relationship.
Verse 14 on the good Shepherd and I know my sheep and am known by my own as the father knows me. Even so, I know the father and I lay down my life for the sheep. Salvation is a relationship, Christ knows an intimate relationship is treat, and therefore his shape, to know him by intimate relationship and this is what so astounding that relationship of the believer to Christ is similar in some respects to the relationship within the three persons of the triune Godhead. The familiar relationship that the father has with the sun and the sun has with the father course of the Holy Spirit is not specifically mentioned here. This would also be true of him as well. And if you can imagine the relationship the personal relationship between the three persons of the one true God that mistreated, we can never understand. But if you can think of the relationship between the three persons of the triune God and then realized that the relationship which believers have with Jesus Christ is is similar to that is modeled on that and I presume, when we get the glory will approach that level of personal intimacy. I can scarcely imagine, but that's what is indicated in these verses. Now we come to the blessing the text of looking at today. Verse 16 Jesus goes on to say another sheep. I have which are not of this fold them.
Also I must bring, and they will hear my voice, there will be one flock and one shepherd.
Five words that I'm going to used to describe the contents of this text number one possession number two expansion number three. Intention number four assurance and number five unification. Let's take them up one by one and quickly possession other sheep I have said Jesus other sheep I have these talking as we see as the verse unfolds about Gentiles who have not yet even heard the gospel not yet believers but they are identified as his shape.
They are already his shape.
How can that be true if you don't see the doctor of election and that you not looking is here is there are other sheep who have not yet believed as far as we could tell looking at them or not treat their goats. Some of them are most of them.
I think her worshiping pagan idols in their enmeshed in darkness but Jesus says I have sheep.
They are shaped they are my sheep. I already own them. I already possess them, and they are mine and in the proper time, midway.
I will bring them other sheep I have the already belong to Christ. They are his shape is much as those who have already been called out and let out by the shepherd and are hearing his voice.
These who have not yet believed, are as much. He sheep as they are, there is equal standing among all the sheep of Christ, whether they be Jew or Gentile. They are all sheep no less than shape. What a wonderful privilege no more than sheep you don't have important sheep are not in and not important sheep you don't have a big shot sheep and little shot sheep you got sheep were all shape in the same flock along to the shepherd that's possession number two expansion other sheep I have which are not of this fold. They don't belong to the Jewish full. There is actually distinction throughout this passage between the fold in the flock. Jesus talked about the fold in verse one most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some of the way the same as a thief and a robber but as we've already seen as a continuous talking tells us that he must go into that sheepfold and call care sheep out of that sheepfold.
They must be separated out of that fold and brought into use flock and that's the way he operates. There are Gentiles are also going to be brought into this flock.
They have never belonged to this fold represents Israel, but they will be equal members of the flock. When Jesus calls them unto himself. They are Gentiles which are not of this fold, but they belong to Christ as much as the Jewish sheep who believe in him, Christ. You see, has enlarged his flock by this statement, the people of God the flock of Christ are no longer defined or defined in terms of national Israel as they seem to have been up until this time is God called Abraham out of the Chaldees and made him the nation gave through Moses the law and constituted the people of God. A special people of God, and those were his people and his his saving work was largely confined to those people for many centuries but now something is changed now. The old covenant has been fulfilled. Now the one who was inaugurating the new covenant is about to shed his blood and to inaugurate that new covenant with his blood, the testimony of his blood.
The cup which is his blood which inaugurates the new covenant, and when this new covenant is inaugurated, then Jesus is going to expand his flock manyfold. In fact, as we look at it today, we see that there are a whole lot more that are not of the fold of Israel, as are of the fold of Israel there some from both but Jesus has greatly expanded his flock expansion number three intention other sheep I have which are not of this fold them. Also, I must bring intention is really too strong a word, but that's the one I chose for this particular point, but this is an infallible intention is not the kind of intention. We have like I intend to make this phone call tomorrow. I tend to go to this store tomorrow and I may or may not get it done. But when Jesus tells us if he intends to do something you can market down. God if he said he's going to do it.
He says he plans to do it.
It's a certain as if it work already done other sheep I have which are not of this fold them.
Also I must bring now isn't this interesting think this through. He has Jewish sheep who have been brought he brought them and now there are others whom he will also bring so is bringing here that applies to those that were brought out of the sheepfold of Israel as well as those who will be brought out of the darkness of pagan superstition Jewish sheep must be brought in Gentile sheep must also be brought them. Also I must bring Jewish sheep must be brought. This is something that many of them did not understand they thought their standing with God was automatic by their birth I was born into the nation of Israel. I'm born into the line of Abraham.
I have been circumcised on the eighth day.
I keep the law.
Listen to all the things that Paul used to look at when it was all used to look at the with confidence for his standing before God, all the things he did what she thought qualified him for right standing before God because they were things that came to him automatically that he and his good good intentions and in efforts that kept them up that he could brag about those things now we realize that's not what does it nobody comes in to the true flock of Jesus unless they have and brought they must be sought and when sought they must be brought in when brought, then they become a part of this flock to become one of the sheep. This bringing is necessary them. Also I must bring its necessary for salvation.
Blessings to be secured. No one has salvation blessings unless they have been brought into a right relationship by Christ. This is necessary because they cannot come on their own. All the men and women would understand that you must be brought thank God you you may be brought you can't be brought as a Savior who died to bring sinners to himself a different you can't get there on your own, you can't get there on your merit. You can't get there on your birth. You can get there on your upbringing you can't get there on your parentage.
You can't get there on the church that you belong to you can't get there on your baptism. You can't get there you must be brought must be carried there by somebody else because you are unable to do that on your own must be brought because they belong to Christ to be, since they already belong to him. They must be brought into the flock.
How many times in the high priestly prayer in John chapter 17 Jesus praying to the father remind the father that he had a particular people that had been given to him by the father verse nine.
I pray for them.
I do not pray for the world. But for those whom you have given me, for they are yours now.
So Jesus, I am no longer in the world is getting ready to send back to heaven.
But these are in the world and I come to you. Holy father keep through your name those whom you have given to me, that they may be one as we are. There's that relationship. The oneness that Christ, the son has with the father says that's the oneness that I that I producing in the lives of those whom you have given to me. Verse 12 while I was with them in the world. I kept them in your name.
Those whom you gave me. I have kept and none of them is lost. There are people that were given to the sun by the father in eternity past.
That's why they're already here sheep, even if they haven't even heard the gospel yet, the father gave them to the sun because they belong to the sun. Jesus said those also I must bring him not to leave them out there in darkness there.
My street. The father gave them to me and I've got to get them I'm the good Shepherd and I got to go go gather up all my sheep. I must bring them because they belong to Christ.
It is therefore imperative, imperative that they must be brought you can market down.
They will be brought this is Christ infallible intention them. Also I must bring the speaks of his purpose. This is his determination to bring them the speaks of his promise. He has promised to bring them the speaks of his integrity. What he promises to do. He must and will perform them. Also I must bring. Do you think any of the elect of God, who were given to the sun are going to fail to be brought to faith in Christ and be found in heaven no, not I must bring this fourth assurance. They will hear my voice sheep will hear his voice contrary to natural desire or ability in his natural state. This is what is true of every one of us, but the match natural man does not receive the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, nor can he know them, because they are spiritually deserted. You let the truth of that sink in. And if you don't come to believe the doctrines of grace you not listen you not less than 10. A natural my exercises will do believe not. As long as it is natural. The things of the spirit of God are foolishness to him. Neither can he know them, he can't he can't he can't say, but he can.
The Bible says he can't say what he must be able to.
The Bible says he can't usually believe you were God and how do they believe, how do they come, how they hear his voice, the must I must bring, they will hear my voice a divine operation enables them to hear his voice, it doesn't come naturally.
It's not by the first birth. It's by the second birth. Divine promise assures that they will hear his voice because the spirit of God will so operate within them that they will come alive.
And now they will hear his voice, and they will follow the shipper to be saved and then the fifth word in our text is unification there will be one flock and one shepherd. One flock of all Christ sheep. One flock similar to what Jesus said in John chapter 11, just across the page of my Bible John chapter 11 verse 49, and one of them. Caiaphas being high priest that year said to them, you know nothing at all nor you do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people and not that the whole nation should perish now.
This he did not say on his own authority, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation and not for that nation only and also that he would gather together in one the children of God who are scattered abroad.
Other sheep I have which are not of this full them also I must bring, and they will hear my voice when these are all brought together there will be one flock and one shepherd. One flock of all Christ sheep, one shepherd over all Christ sheep all the old covenant barriers are hereby remove one people of God.
Paul said this in Ephesians 2 for he himself is our peace was made both one and has broken down the middle wall of separation having abolished in his flesh the enmity that is the law of commandments contained in ordinances so as to create to himself. One new man from the two that is from Jew and Gentile. The two thus making peace and that he might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity all yes much enmity between Jew and Gentile.
If you've read your Bible. I don't have to convince you that, but in this flock all the barriers of God all the enmity is God one people of God with one shepherd. Unity among all Christ are people. What is the nature of this unity is often misunderstood. This is not the unity of external organization that's unity they had the Jewish sheepfold. Jesus said that's not at that's apostate. I got a call my sheep out of that.
That's not godly unity is not the unity of denominational structures.
It's not the unity of the world Council of churches bringing everybody together. It's not the unity the Roman Catholic Church claiming to be the one and only church all the world and everybody must be unified in them. It is not a mixture of true sheep and pseudo-sheep. It is not a mixture of those who have truly been saved and those who claim to be saved have no spiritual life. It is a spiritual union with Christ, and a spiritual unity that centers upon Christ and all who are in the flock of Christ.
Listen to the same voice and believe the same truth and there is a spiritual unity, unseen by those in the world unorganized. Nobody can grid get a hold of this organization to gain control of it. The one true shepherd is in control of it. The bond of unity is the common relationship to the one Lord it's not in a fold like the sheepfold of Israel or anything similar external organization, but these people are a flock there is internal affinity and spiritual relationship. Some of put it this way and it's a good way to think about it, not organization, but organism was a living organism relative body that has life. The church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a living organism. You can't see it someday will see it in heaven but it is one body and it's like into a body many times in Scripture were not all hands were in all feet were not all the same role members of the one body in Christ is the head and there's one life flowing through us all. This is an organism created by God belonging to Christ and all who belong to Christ are part of this. All one body we wanted a hope and doctrine, one in charity, you can't put this together in one organization and it's futile to try that's not what's involved here. This is a spiritual organism and all who belong to Christ are part of that unity.
Now let me draw a couple lessons out of this passage we see something about the nature of Christ, enlarged body, which we know elsewhere by the term the church. The large body of Christ is not national Israel enlarged, that's what the Jews were anticipating. They knew that the Scriptures have foretold a time when Gentiles would be brought into the people of God that it was the people of God would not forever be only Jews, but they still didn't understand how this was going to happen.
We read in Isaiah 54 single barren. You have not borne break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you who have not labored with child for more. Are the children of the desolate and the children of the married woman says the Lord. That's picture that's an analogy more are the ones that are born out of the nation of Israel than the ones who are in the nation of Israel and are in that respect, the wife of Jehovah, but there are more outside enlarge the place of your tent and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings do not spare lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes for you shall expand to the right into the left and your descendents will inherit the nation and make the desolate cities inhabited. That's one of many Old Testament texts that speak of the. The people of God expanding beyond the confines of national Israel, but what Israel apparently conceived of when they read these promises and when they thought about their fulfillment was God's going to in some way enlarged attempt of Israel, so the Gentiles will come into the tent in any said in essence become Jews. That's the way it's going to be done. But that's not what Jesus is telling us here is not national Israel enlarged, it's not Gentiles becoming Jews. Here's another similar text, Micah 412 now shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills and peoples shall flow to it.
Many nations shall come and say, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, and we shall walk in his paths for out of Zion, the law shall go forth in the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. What is that mean to the Jews. It meant well, Gentiles, and finally see the light begging to come to us to come to Jerusalem to come to the temple therein to come to Mount Zion.
They acknowledge that we were right. They are going to submit to Moses and become the people God is going to be Gentiles who brought into the nation of Israel, but I would submit to you that there's another way to look at this and that is to say no that symbolic language.
It's not that Gentiles are going to become Jews in order to come to the flock of God it is that Jesus is creating one new flock he's pulling he's calling sheep out of the sheep of Israel. He's calling sheep out of the darkness of paganism. They are all one flock with one shepherd and it's not that Israel is going to become larger by Gentiles, becoming Jews on their way to becoming followers of Christ, but it is that Gentiles are going to become followers of Christ, bypassing Moses, bypassing Israel that temple there.
Coming to on Mount Zion is a spiritual temple that is the Lord Jesus Christ that Jerusalem they're coming to is the Jerusalem from above, the Paul talks about in the book of Galatians Jews and Gentiles called out into one new flock in this dear friend explains the use of the word world and the Bible in many places God so loved the world what does that mean that means not only Israel lost sheep of the house of Israel, but other sheep I have which are not of the Israel fold them. Also, I must break out of every calendar, every kingdom every nation every time all over the world. Indeed, lesson number two. The mark of Christ through sheep. We learn here, the Christ through sheep hear his voice, they are all drawn to his word is not that they are drawn to religion is not the art. They are drawn to their friends who have a particular religion of they'd like to join them. It's not that they are drawn to a particular church. Although all those things will happen when a person comes to faith in Christ. He had, he will have a religion for sure. True religion, he will have friends in the body of Christ that will become dear to him more dear than his own family he will come into a Bible believing church and enjoy all those benefits but that's not the essence of it. You can do all those things without being born again, and many have a question is do you hear his voice.
The question is are you hearing his voice.
What is his voice.
This is not a voice that's whispers to you and in the night. This is the Holy Spirit making the Bible making the word of God alive.
Real powerful applicable you hear the voice of Christ in the word of God and that is the mark of Christ. True sheet they hear his voice in the word, which causes them to love the word and that becomes probably the most important mark of a true believer in Jesus Christ. He loves the word because he hears the voice of his Savior, shepherd, so he wants to read the words he wants to hear the word he is drawn to the word attends church is really interested in the sermon wasn't really interested in the work kinda hangs around the periphery of things in sort of enjoys the fellowship of the people, but doesn't really have any heart love for the word if you're in that category, dear friend.
You are in great danger. The mark of a true sheet Jesus Christ is that he hears the voice of his shepherd. The final lesson is this to remind ourselves of the way that he or she pure his voice. There's two parts to it. There's gospel proclamation which is our part in their spiritual enablement which is his part. Now I can't do anything to change your heart. I can't do anything to cause your ears to truly hear that's not that's not my in my ability.
That's not assigned to me, give me that responsibility. So I don't take responsibility for. It's not my responsibility to somehow talk you into it to twist your arm to to provide to apply psychological pressure to somehow get you to the front to pray a prayer or do any of these things.
That's not my partner if I try to take over the Holy Spirit's part to make a royal mess of it, like so many have and why we have so many people who think they're saved were lost. It's my part to proclaim the word and pray that the spirit wise will open line. My part is to proclaim the word. It's God's part to open hearts and missions is the extension of gospel proclamation to the ends of the earth.
I can proclaim the gospel here and anyplace. The Lord allows this ministry to extend I told you Tuesday night at the preservice with wonderful preservice Tuesday night is those of you who were here no I told you Tuesday night.
How encouraged I was, by this visiting couple on Sunday night just showed up turned out they live in Florida.
They drove up here to meet me and to scope out this church because they been listening to us sermons on sermon audio quite an extension from this pulpit. That's a long ways from Burlington, North Carolina. But I've only got a limited area that I can proclaim the gospel by our commission is to go to all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
So what is the work of missions.
It is to find people who are called and commissioned and enabled by God to go to the ends of the earth and proclaim the gospel.
That's the human part praying that the spirit wise will open blinded eyes. It's amazing how often he does that.
Don't you just really reports like the one we heard from David the gospel goes to because were on the Internet today.
I have to be careful what I say here. The gospel goes to a dark land to a land dominated by another religion.
The place where it seems very unlikely the people will be saved and for a long time just laying foundation laying foundation years go by a couple of decades go by and then suddenly that word begins to take root and bear fruit in the spirit wise is opening blinded eyes and now there are scores if not hundreds of belief and where did they come from gospel proclamation empowered by the spirit of God are part is to proclaim the gospel to the ends of the earth so that these other sheep that belong to Christ might hear the gospel, it might be brought into the flock along with us, shall we pray father how we thank you for the encouragement of this text that we thank you for the enlightened which this text gives to us now. Lord help us to live in the light of what we have heard pray in Jesus name, amen