ETERNAL SECURITY PART 4

WHO JESUS GAVE THE PROMISE TO

The promise of God’s unfailing preservation applies only to His sheep. Note John 10:27-28 once again, My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: {28} And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. Who does our Lord preserve unto life eternal? His sheep.

Now who, or what, is a sheep? How do you know if you’re one of God’s sheep? Well, the Lord tells us here in John 10 who His sheep are. Brethren, you’re God’s sheep if you meet our Lord’s criteria or description of sheep. Here’s what He said about His sheep.

SHEEP HEAR GOD’S VOICE. John 10:3, the sheep hear his voice. What does it mean to hear God’s voice? It means you recognize God’s voice. You know when He’s talking to you. You can discern and tell the difference between God’s voice and the voice of devils or deceivers.

SHEEP DON’T FOLLOW STRANGERS. John 10:5, And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers (see also verse 8). Sheep are not fooled or beguiled by the smooth words and treacheries of false prophets and teachers. They know when a stranger or deceiver is talking to them. Does this mean that a true Christian can’t ever be deceived or be misled?  Of course not. We’ve been deceived at one time or another, so we’re a perfect illustration of the fact that God’s sheep can indeed be deceived, at least for a time. BECAUSE TRUE BELIEVERS ARE GOD’S SHEEP, THEN, IN ORDER THAT THEY NOT PERISH IN DECEPTION AND PERDITION, GOD WILL OPEN THEIR EYES TO BEHOLD THE TRUTH, GRANT THEM REPENTANCE, AND RESTORE THEM TO THE TRUTH. HE’LL RESCUE THEM FROM DECEPTION.

SHEEP FOLLOW GOD. John 10:3-4, To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. {4} And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. They go where Jesus takes or leads them. They obey Him. They stay close to Him and stay in communion with Him. They have a close walk with God.

SHEEP KNOW GOD. John 10:14, I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. Sheep have a personal relationship with Jesus. They commune with Him and know Him. They know His Word. Brethren, sheep are discerning. They can hear God’s voice because they know God’s voice. They know God.

SHEEP BELIEVE GOD AND HIS WORD. John 10:26, But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. Sheep aren’t gullible, they’re not easily misled, nor do they believe everyone or everything they hear, because they’re discerning and they know God. God’s sheep believe the Lord and whatever He says to them. Like the apostles, they may struggle with doubt from time to time, but they always end up believing because, in the end, they recognize the fact that God’s Word is always right and God never lies. SHEEP, MY FRIENDS, DO NOT RESIST THE TRUTH OF GOD’S WORD. THEY’RE NOT PLAGUED WITH UNBELIEF. THEY’RE NOT CONSTANTLY WRESTLING WITH GOD AND THE SCRIPTURES. They may not understand some part of the Word or believe it at first. They may question and argue with it. But, in the end, they end up believing it because they’re sheep. Sheep will believe God! Friend, IF YOU BELIEVE IN JESUS AND HIS WORD, THEN YOU’RE A SHEEP and you’ll never perish.

SHEEP ARE UNDER ONE SHEPHERD. John 10:16, And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. SHEEP ARE NOT REBELLIOUS, SELF-DETERMINED, OR INDEPENDENT OF OUR LORD. They don’t seek to stray from the Lord and become their own boss. They don’t live without Christ. They stay with the Lord and abide under His lordship, rule, and authority.

SHEEP ARE IN ONE SHEEPFOLD. John 10:16, And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Sheep are not independent, separatists, isolationists, or divisive. Sheep don’t argue and fight with one another and set up a thousand different sheepfolds or denominations. They gather with other sheep and abide with other sheep because they recognize each other as being God’s sheep who are under the protective care of the Master Shepherd.

SHEEP HAVE LIFE. John 10:10, The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. In addition to eternal life, Jesus gives us a life that is truly worth living on this Earth. The Christian life isn’t a life of torment and drudgery. Sure, there are trials and persecutions to go through. The crucifixion of Self isn’t pleasant. And obedience isn’t always a real joy to the flesh. But in all this, there’s an attitude of joy, peace, and victory that permeates the Christian life because God gives them this abundant life. If you’d allow me to put it in my own words, sheep enjoy the Christian life. They have inward peace and satisfaction in being sheep. They don’t want to be goats. They’re happy and content, living under Christ’s authority. They like it that way and they wouldn’t give up Christ and Christianity for anything the world or the Devil can offer them.

SHEEP ARE FED BY THE LORD. John 10:9, I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. When the Lord goes before His sheep He leads them and guides them to green pastures where their souls can be nourished and fattened. God, my friends, isn’t leading His people to churches where they can’t grow or where they’ll end up being deceived by false teachers and ministers. Sheep grow spiritually. They bear fruit.

SHEEP ARE KNOWN BY THE LORD. John 10:27, My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. Our God is an omniscient God. He knows everything and everyone. But when He says I know my sheep, that means He knows them personally, He’s involved in their lives, He’s working in their lives, He knows them savingly.

SHEEP OBEY THE LORD. Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-23, Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. {22} Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? {23} And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Friends, there are all kinds of professing Christians in this world who talk the talk. Some people who aren’t going to be in Heaven can do great things for the Lord and even work miracles. But they aren’t going to spend eternity in Heaven because they haven’t obeyed the Lord. They weren’t repentant about their sins or lusts. They didn’t give them up. Instead, they continued to do things that the Lord hates. They lived a life of sin. Brethren, IF YOU’RE NOT IN THIS NUMBER, IF YOU’RE STRIVING TO OBEY THE LORD AND HAVE GIVEN YOURSELF TO OBEDIENCE AND THE CROSS, THEN KNOW FOR A FACT THAT YOU’RE ONE OF GOD’S SHEEP. You’ll make it into the kingdom.

SHEEP WILL LIVE THE CHRISTIAN LIFE AND PRODUCE FRUITS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.  Jesus said in Matthew 7:15-20, Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. {16} Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? {17} Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. {18} A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. {19} Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. {20} Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Brethren, IF YOU’RE LIVING THE CHRISTIAN LIFE FROM DAY TO DAY AND ARE BEARING FRUITS OF REPENTANCE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS, THEN KNOW FOR A CERTAINTY THAT YOU’RE ONE OF GOD’S SHEEP. You’ll make it into the kingdom.

SHEEP WILL ENDURE TO THE VERY END.  Jesus promised in Matthew 10:22, he that endureth to the end shall be saved. He said in James 1:12, Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. He said it again in Revelation 2:10, Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. Friends, IF YOU’RE ENDURING YOUR TRIALS AND STRIVING TO BE FAITHFUL, THEN KNOW FOR A FACT THAT YOU’RE A SHEEP, GOD HAS HIS HAND ON YOU, AND HE’LL NEVER LET YOU GO!

Now the comfort of the sheep’s perseverance is this: God gives them the grace and willingness to persevere. He puts it this way in Isaiah 41:10, Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. In other words, those who are in God’s hand will persevere to the very end. God will watch over them, control their trials, and give them grace, so that they end up enduring without falling apart at the seams and apostatizing into perdition. Going back to John 10:28, I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand.

Brethren, you need not be fearful about what might happen to you. NOTHING WILL HAPPEN TO YOU THAT YOU CAN’T ENDURE. NOTHING WILL HAPPEN TO YOU THAT WILL RESULT IN YOU TURNING YOUR BACK ON GOD AND CHRISTIANITY. GOD SIMPLY WILL NOT ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN! HE LOVES YOU TOO MUCH! HE WON’T ALLOW YOU TO GIVE UP! HE’LL MAKE SURE YOU ENDURE TO THE VERY END!

Coming Up On My Next Blog Post, Part 5. God’s gonna give us gobs and gobs of verses about what He’s doing to make sure you make it to Heaven. If the Devil’s hassling you about your salvation, these verses will shut him up. Tune in and I’ll show you where the mute button is.

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