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November 15, 2020 1:00 am
Christians often debate the issue of eternal security. Many wonder if someone who has been saved can ever be lost. The issue is highly contested even now. In this message we look at the words of Jesus about His role as the Good Shepherd, and the security this brings.Click here to listen (Duration 54:30)
Many Christians debate the issue of eternal security. Can someone who has been saved ever be lost.
The issue is highly contested, even now, today a look at the words of Jesus about his role as the good Shepherd and the security.
This brings from Chicago.
We welcome you to The Moody Church. Our weekly service of worship and teaching under the ministry of Dr. Erwin lutes are today we bring you another in an eight part series on the inheritance of the redeemed later. Erwin lutes will speak on the gift of security.
Dr. Luther comes now to open our time of worship. We want to tell you how pleased we are that you're at The Moody Church this morning as we think about tell all that we have prepared for you. It is with God and his benediction and blessing in mind. Today we are going to have the opportunity of stressing the fact that Jesus is the good Shepherd. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture will see that theme running throughout our service but we welcome you as together we sing one of my favorite songs come, thou fount of every blessing to my heart to sing thy praise. Can we pray that that will be the prayer that we indeed pray father come and help us as we worship tune our hearts. May we be free from the pressures of this past week and the anxieties of tomorrow made these moments, Lord, be sacred in your presence. We pray in Jesus name, amen, and in an you or you take will show your love show that to us today.
Father, we ask and grant that are continuing worship will honor you in Jesus name. You babies.
I invite you to follow along with me in your bulletin as we read together sections from John chapter 10. This is God's holy word. I am the door of the sheep. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find past the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the shepherd the good shepherd lays down his life that she, he, who is a hired hand and not a separate who does not only see sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees in the wolf snatch them and scatter them. He flees because he's a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own no, just as the father knows me and I know the father I lay down my life for the sheep. My sheep hear my life and I know they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my the question of whether or not I truly born again person can eternally be lost is one that is often divided the church. The reason that there is a difference of opinion is that there are some passages in the Bible that seem to teach. They are warning as that seemed to teach that a genuine Christian can in the end rebel against God and be lost forever, but there are also some passages of Scripture that clearly teach otherwise, and both cannot be correct and when we look at those passages that seem to teach that you can fall away permanently.
We know that there are alternate interpretations which make good sense. So the bottom line is this what I'm going to be arguing for in this message is the security of the believer. For those who have genuinely put their faith in Jesus Christ. Their souls are eternally secure, and that this happens to be a message entitled the inheritance of the saints, and this is number seven.
The security that comes to all those who believe in Christ want you to take your Bibles and turn now to the 10th chapter the 10th chapter of the book of John and were going to read a few verses and I will comment on those verses and then we will continue through the passage very briefly.
John chapter 10 truly, truly, I say to you, Jesus of course is speaking, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up in another way that man is a thief and a robber, but he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep to him. The gatekeeper opens the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he is brought out all of his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow. But they will flee from him because they don't know the voice of two strangers in verse seven, you have one of the seven statements of Jesus. I am truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.
Just that far for just a moment. Some commentators have wondered how can Jesus Christ be both the door and the shepherd well in the Middle East. It is sometimes said that when sheep are resting in a cave during the night there have been shepherds who actually laying across the door and slept at the door so that if anyone tries to get in to steal the sheep or to trouble them, they have to go past the shepherd. So Jesus here is using a metaphor that can be used in two ways. He is the door through him we have access to the father but he is also the good Shepherd and who are these who come before him, who are thieves and robbers. They are not the prophets of the Old Testament, the faithful prophets they are rather as some of the prophets that were false prophets, and they were in it for the prophets, and so Jesus said they are serious they are false shepherds but I am the good shepherd. Now let me explain to you exactly what were going to do in this message so that you can follow it with. I hope a clarity and a blessing that will absolutely be overwhelming. What I'm going to do is to get you for things that the good Shepherd does for his sheep for things that the good Shepherd does for his sheep and I want you to open your heart to God and just be less by how good our shepherd is and what he does on our behalf. First of all, you'll notice that he calls the sheep he calls them. The text says there in verse three we read it. He calls them all by name and leads them out it on those days shepherds actually because they were connected to the sheep. The sheep were for wool. Some of the sheep lived for 10 years.
The shepherd actually built a bond with these sheep and gave them names. Often they were descriptive names like CAD that might actually describe the sheep like a black ear or short legs or whatever, but the shepherd gave them names and he knew them by name, and the sheep recognized that they had a name, and they heard his voice, and they knew it.
It is said that in the Middle East when there were words are flocks of sheep that spent the night together in order to separate them. The shepherd would simply go outside of the cave and he would just speak words and immediately those who belong to him would come toward him and another Shepherd would do the same, and the sheep would separate themselves because they know the shepherds voice notice he calls his own sheep by name and intimate relationship. Jesus knows your name exact way and you know his voice through his word. It is not only that it is a personal name, personal relationship, but another way to describe it is that it is really a sovereign relationship. In a few moments. Jesus is going to be talking about the fact that there is this group of people that has been given to him as a gift, namely his sheep know in the Bible that word calling really has two different meanings depending on the context. There is the general call. Many are called but few are chosen. But then there's the specific call to salvation and pulses, not many of you are called that not many rich, not many noble, are called the called our biblically the elect and they receive a special call from God. No later I'll explain that you can know whether or not you are part of that company, but 10 is it is so personal, perhaps at founders week you heard Stephen Devi give that wonderful illustration that he was in the India and he walked into this hotel and a man walked next to him came over to him and said I want to tell you. Your future is very impressive. Dressed in a white suit and as Stephen didn't want to but the man was so persistent I want to tell you. Your future and finally Stephen said this to him.
He said all that, you tell my future to me if you answer this question tell me my name and the man looked down and said I can't do that I can't do that as well. You know the deal is over them is not wonderful that you and I have a shepherd who knows our name, and he's the one who also knows our future and when you think of the shepherd out there with all of the sheep even historically during the time when Jesus was speaking this which would've been so relationally correct in terms of the people and their knowledge of sheep. The shepherd has all of the sheep on his heart and is very vigilant as he sees them all today. God has you on his heart. He calls us not only that he leads us.
That's what the text says he leads us. He leads us out. Now this happens in two ways. First of all, he goes before them. That's with text says, and the sheep follow him, so I want you to visualize this happening, how that the shepherd is going ahead and all of the sheep follow. He does not want those sheep to go anywhere where he hasn't gone because he needs to keep them from poison grass. He needs to keep them from danger along the route and so he never expects them to go alone is always ahead of them and when he comes to a stream, and the sheep don't want to follow him. He'll go into the herd into the flock and he'll pick up a little lamb and put it on his shoulder and then he will walk across the stream and pretty soon the mother. The user follows and after that the others say, okay, she's going all the rest of us will go in. Isn't that what God sometimes does in life. He takes a little child or an adult. And when they are home in glory.
They are reminding us of the fact that we need also to have a perspective give to follow our shepherd all the way, not just across the stream, but across a river to make it. On the other side now.
Sometimes the shepherd, however, isn't leading them. He has to be shepherding them and there are various kinds of sheep I've been learning as I studied for this message. There sheep. For example, that are cast down, sheep. You can see this very clearly there many pictures of it. I cast down sheep is a sheep that's on its back because the center of gravity is such that when it tried to get up but discovered it couldn't, and them. Now it's on its back and it can't get up alone can't be righted alone at all that you have is you knows the sheep with his legs in the air, applying the air, but getting nowhere is he David was a shepherd and that's why in the Old Testament, he said, why art thou cast down all my soul. That's the image you sometimes feel like that. I'm sure that I have felt like that where we are just cast down. Nothing that we do materializes. We are going nowhere and we feel will help us and we can get ourselves righted apart from the shepherd coming along and setting us up right, why art thou cast down all my soul. Hope in God, said David. And then there are just foolish sheep. They go from one clump of grass to another, and pretty soon they're far from the herd and shepherd has to bring them back and then there are rebellious sheep and they're the ones you know that I get all tangled up in the briar patches and and they are just insistent and the shepherd has a rod which was really like a club used, which was an extension of his arm, an extension of his power and he will use that to get the sheep back on track. Sometimes he may throw it. Sometimes he may throw it ahead of the sheep to warn it to where it's going or he may use it more directly. His rod brings him back and that's why David said so beautifully in Psalm 23 thy rod and thy staff they comfort the staff was used to perhaps pick up a little lamb that had wandered away and was stuck in the bushes.
You see God not only leads us, he restores us. David says he restores my soul because we as sheep having wandered away and the good Shepherd has to keep us in line and he does it through discipline through situations through trials and in many other ways what he wants to do is to make sure that we stay in line with him. He restores us and he rejoices when we come back many years ago in the 1800s, a man by the name of Henry William Becker Baker I should say wrote these words, the King of love my Shepherd is whose goodness fail if never I nothing like if I am his and he is mine forever. And isn't this your testimony and mine perverse and foolish off.
I strayed yet in the love he sought me in on his shoulder gently laid and home rejoicing brought me – dark veil. I fear no ill with the dear Lord beside me by rod and staff. My comfort still by cross before to guide me. The good Shepherd calls sheep, the good Shepherd leads and guides his sheep. The good Shepherd dies for his sheep.
You know there in verse 10, where Jesus made this amazing statement. He said that I am the door.
If anyone enters verse 10 the thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I am come that they might have life and have it abundantly. You and I know that there's a ministry here in Chicago named by the hand club for kids and what a transforming ministry. It is, and that's really there. Verse to be able to give children who are under resourced and in need to be able to give them life abundantly. All because of Jesus, but then he says in verse 1111 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd who does not own the sheep.
He sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees and the wolf snatches them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the father knows me and I know the father I lay down my life that she, Jesus here makes a contrast. A contrast between the shepherd who owns the sheep. That word own occurs a couple of times in this passage, the shepherd who owns the sheep and therefore in his mind. He thinks of the sheep first and himself second.
Shepherds oftentimes did lay down their life for the sheep. You know they be fighting off wolves or fighting off marauders and and they'd lay down their life. In fact, in the Old Testament. If you lost a sheep, you have to prove that it wasn't your fault, and that's why it says you know bring a piece of the animal, and so forth. And Jesus here is contrasting himself with a hired hand who thinks of himself. First, he is in it for the money. That's all he cares about and I don't need to tell you, do I that today on the airwaves. There are all kinds of false shepherds. My heart breaks when I think of the amount of money genuine Christians sometimes send to ministries that are clearly fraudulent and run by false prophets and false shepherds. I sometimes said that sometimes I think God sheep can't tell the difference between grass and Astroturf. How do you tell whether or not is a false prophet is the one who says send me money for the anointing is on me and and the Lord you showed me today that it that no matter how much you send within a month, you're going to get seven times the amount in return false shepherds bow and Jesus says here he's the good Shepherd i.e. I think I told you years ago about being in Dallas, Texas when I was a student there and we attended this huge tent rally 7000 people and the false prophet was up there making a huge profit as a matter fact he was actually as I recall, we had several offerings. People were putting their wristbands and their wristwatches into the offering basket and I remember he said I'm really fleecing God sheep today and the people still gave what you can flees sheep many times what you can skin them only once and once you do that people finally learn so Jesus says that there are false shepherds who overpromise, who draw attention to themselves, who do not properly distinguish between the false and the true and they are hirelings they are hired hand will never protect the sheep because they come first but he's the good Shepherd. He lays down his life for the sheep and you and I know that Jesus died for us and magic how he values us that he would die for his sheep. We continue on. He calls them.
He leaves them.
He dies for them. He keeps his sheep. Sometime later, Jesus was having a discussion.
You can see if there in the beginning of verse 22 at the feast of dedication and people came to him and the Jews gathered around them and said to him, how long will you keep us in suspense.
If you are the Christ, tell us plainly. And 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, but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock is very interesting. Jesus is saying that the problem the reason you can hear is because you don't belong to me and yet at the same time we know that the belong to him. There has to be a hearing but it's a hearing created by God in the human heart, my sheep hear my voice. I know them, they follow me. I give them eternal life, that is a life without limit is a surplus of life and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 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. I and my father are one, one in essence, notice what Jesus is saying my sheep hear my voice, they follow me. I get to them eternal life, that means life forever without any sin ever coming in between. Don't you look forward to that when we can be with the good Shepherd and there's no sin that Mars our fellowship life begins now eternal life begins now, but after death and after the end of time. That's when we really experience it in its fullness. Jesus, as I give to them eternal life, and they will never perish.
Notice I love this two sets of hands they will never perish. No one will pluck them out of my hand. Oh, you say, but free will.
II couldn't put myself out of his aunt's little more difficult even than that and that is according to the apostle Paul.
We are his hand and we are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones, so Jesus said no one will pluck them out of my hand and my father, who has given them to me, is greater than all and no one will pluck them out of the fathers and so you have the hand of the father near the hand of the son hands in harmony and that's were the sheep are secure, belonging to him forever and he will see to it that they arrived home when you think of the security of the believer. Please keep in mind, and this is the major bottom line. I want you to understand today when you think of the security of the believer.
Remember this, it is not even rooted in our own faithfulness. Though obedience is assumed on the part of those who are genuinely converted. It is really dependent on God, your Bibles are open Hope they are your cell phone and you'll notice it says that is my father. Verse 29, who has given them to me, is greater than all the sheep are a gift from the father to the sun.
This is found all throughout the gospel of John and Jesus said that they are a gift now can you imagine Jesus losing one of the father's sheep. Let's suppose for example that you had a situation in which a Shepherd were given 100 sheep and he comes back in the evening and then they count them in his 95 they say where your other five sheep.
What will you know they were rebellious and they have free will. They wandered around based on their own freedom and decided to let me and I didn't want to interfere with their free will. The other shepherds would laugh and say, free will. Big deal. You were given 100 sheep at midnight. You have 100 sheep here and it if you count 95 when you get in you go out you find the other five and you bring them so that they're all home by midnight. That's what good shepherds do.
They don't lose sheep along the way all you say but you know, I know this boy who who really loved God he was converted he attended Bible studies and now he doesn't believe anything is out there living like the world may say two things about that boy.
First of all, the reason that he's in the world is probably not because of any doctrine or because of any intellectual argument.
It almost always has to do with lifestyle. That's the first thing in the second thing is that Tim maybe he or the first thing maybe he didn't genuinely believe you don't Jesus when he told that story about the CD said that there was some seed that fell on shallow ground that he immediately sprung up and brought joy to the sower, but it had no root. Maybe that's an explanation. I don't know, but second may I encourage you by saying that as long as that person is living. We still not have seen the end of the road. There are some people whom God has to drag from one briar patch to another and let them suffer and get entangled in everything until they say I'm coming back are some people like that none of you of course you would not know that I not talk to anybody stubborn we all are, and at the end of nightfall gods.
She will be in the fold safely. By the way, there are many of you listening to this I hope that you're not taking this promise for yourself. Unless you are indeed God sheep see it's easy for you to listen to this and say well you know here I am. I'm a Christian and I would Sue assume that most of the people listening to this message are but that would be a wrong assumption.
If I thought everybody was like one guy said why am I a Christian lineman church are anti-yeah planning on saying this, but so is the devil. Unless there's been a time in your life when you recognized in you repented of your sin and received Christ as Savior doesn't happen just by going to church so I appreciate the fact that your going to church it happens only through those who come in repentance and faith. And that's how you find out whether or not your part of the crowd of the elect that we've been talking about you come to Christ and he will receive you, there is a woman by the name of Lyna really her name was Carolina but she became known as Lyna.
This was in the 18th century and her last name was Berger so it's Alina Berg from Sweden at the age of 23 Lyna was on a boat with her father and the boat lurched and he fell overboard. He had been a pastor that she watched helplessly as he drowned. Then two years later her mother died and then she married and they had a son who died. What do you do with all that grief you can do one of two things. Either way, you can choose to become bitter and angry at God. That's one possibility very detrimental and bad choice, but it happens or what you can do is to do something different and say I'm going to pour my grief into something that will be of benefit to others because the circumstances of life are not going to interfere with my absolute confidence that the trials of life. Do not count against God's love for his sheep's Alina Berg wrote the words of a hymn, which is day by day and with each passing moment strength I find to meet my trials here, trusting in my father's wise installment. There's no cause for worry or for fear she also wrote another song Swedish song. Of course when I became pastor of a Swedish Baptist Church north of here, many, many years ago people began to die. I don't think that there is a direct connection with my coming. There were a lot of older people in the church and I remember counting.
I think I had 25 funerals in maybe four or five years that I was there and in every funeral because of the Swedish background. This song was sung. We have already sung that I've asked him that we sing it a second time. Children of the heavenly father safely in his bosom gather nestling bird Norstar in heaven.
Such a refuge air was given neither life nor death show ever from the Lord. His children sever unto them his grace. He show with and their sorrows.
All he know if though he giveth her, he taketh God, his children there. For sake of his the loving purpose solely to preserve them. Pure and holy. If you are God sheep.
You'll make it to the other side of the river where the good Shepherd is going to call you by name and express his love to you as a gift of his incredible grace my sheep you're my voice. They know me, I follow them. They follow me will never perish. Father we ask in Jesus name, that will give us a great deal of comfort by the fact that we do know you and that through faith in Christ, we are one of your sheet for those Lord who aren't we asked that you will help them to understand their need overcome their blindness to their own need and show them the beauty of Jesus the Savior. The good Shepherd who leads us, who directs us, restores us all the way to eternity. We pray in his name.
Amen for on today's Moody Church. Our Dr. Erwin Luzerne brought another in a series of eight messages on the inheritance of the redeemed. They say it's always darkest just before the dawn, knowing that a glorious eternal destiny awaits makes any believer's present suffering worthwhile. Next time the final gift God gives to all who trust Christ the gift of glorification worldwide tyranny and oppression are on the rise. This is an echo of what happened in Nazi Germany and is the mark of nations that forget God for your gift of any amount to The Moody Church I work will send you a copy of Erwin Blitzer's book when a nation forgets God.
Seven lessons. We must learn from Nazi Germany, call 1-800-215-5001. That's 1-800-215-5001 or write to us at The Moody Church 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 online go to moodyoffer.com that's moodyoffer.com join us next week for another Moody Church. Our with Dr. Erwin Luzerne and the congregation of historic Moody Church in Chicago