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A Stranger's Voice

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Loyal
Sunday, July 2, 2017, 3:00 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “My Sheep.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read John 10 (Select vv. ESV).

They Will Flee (vv. 1-6)

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by 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, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all 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, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

Jesus Christ is the door (The Way, The Truth and The Life) to God the Father in heaven, to salvation from sin, and to eternal life with God. He is the ONLY door to heaven. There is no other way. The sheepfold is the church, his body, the saints of God, the heavenly Jerusalem, God’s Holy City. Yet, there are many false shepherds of the people who have infiltrated the gatherings of the church (of the sheep). These false shepherds have entered by another way, i.e. by a door of deception, wickedness, lies, and the manipulation of naïve minds. For, they do not truly know Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior of their lives, but they are “false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness” (See: 2 Co. 11:12-15).

Jesus Christ is also the True Shepherd who enters the sheepfold by the door, i.e. by way of his death and resurrection in putting our sins to death on a cross so that we might walk with him in righteousness. When we enter by the door, it is by God’s grace, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, in which we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with him to newness of life, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (See: Ro. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24). The true sheep hear the voice of the True Shepherd, they listen to him, and they follow (obey) him. But, they will not follow a stranger, i.e. one who enters by way of deception. In fact, they will flee from him, because the voice (teaching) of a stranger they do not know (intimately), in the sense of hearing, believing, accepting and following the stranger. The Holy Spirit will give them discernment to reject the stranger’s voice, and to only follow the voice of the True Shepherd.

To Kill and Destroy (vv. 7-13)

So Jesus again said to them, “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. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 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, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

It is essential that we understand the difference between truth and lies, so that we do not follow the lies and reject the truth. Many false shepherds, who have infiltrated the church, are telling the people lies, and they themselves are rejecting the truth, as well as they are leading others to reject the truth and to accept the lies (See: 2 Thess. 2:1-12). Thus, they are thieves and robbers, because they are stealing the truth from people’s hearts in order to fill their minds with the lies of Satan, whose goal it is to deceive them and to turn them away from God and genuine faith in Jesus Christ. These false shepherds, who have infiltrated our ranks, are not there to lead us to Christ, but they are there to destroy and to kill all that is holy and is of God, for they are Satan’s messengers, and his goal is to destroy the church, Jesus Christ, his messengers, and the gospel of our salvation.

Since these false shepherds disguise themselves as apostles of Christ and as servants of righteousness, their messages will be a mixed bag of truth and lies so that it will appear as though what they are teaching is truth. But, the lies will be subtle, and will be cleverly inserted into the truth, so that naïve minds will easily accept them and not discern the error. Since this is the goal, these clever enchanters have devised a plan to discredit the gospel and its messengers by calling it “works-based salvation,” and to discourage all who would listen to the true gospel message from accepting it as valid. And, they cloak these lies in fine-sounding arguments, intended to sound as though they are somehow delivering the people out of the clutches of what is false, and that they are somehow leading them to true freedom in Christ, but nothing could be further from the truth.

What these false shepherds are telling the people is that they can have eternal life with God, salvation from sin, and the hope of heaven when they leave this earth merely by acknowledging Jesus’ existence, or what he did for us in taking our place on a cross to free us from the punishment of sin, and by accepting his forgiveness for their sins. And, they call this the gospel of grace. Yet, they also tell them that God requires nothing of them at all, other than to “believe,” i.e. to acknowledge Jesus’ existence, and to accept his forgiveness of their sins. They tell them that they don’t have to repent of (turn away from) their sins, and they don’t have to obey Jesus Christ or his commandments (his instructions to us), or submit to his Lordship, and that God is pleased with them no matter what they do. So, they give free license to continue in sin without guilt and without remorse.

Yet, the truth of the gospel of our salvation is that Jesus Christ died on that cross, not merely to free us from eternal damnation and to promise us heaven when we die. He died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us on that cross. He died that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk, not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. If we walk (in how we conduct our lives) according to our sinful flesh (in darkness), we will die in our sins, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live with Christ for eternity. God’s grace is not a free license to continue in sin, but it instructs (commands) us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we await Christ’s return.

[See: Luke 9:23-25; John 6:35-66; Ac. 26:16-18; Ro. 6:1-23; 8:1-14; 2 Co. 5:15, 21; Gal. 2:20; Gal. 5:19-21: Eph. 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Pet. 2:24.]

My Sheep / An Original Work / June 24, 2012
Based off John 10:1-18 NIV

My sheep hear me. They know me.
They listen to my voice and obey.
I call them and lead them.
They know my voice, so they follow me.
They will never follow strangers.
They will run away from them.
The voice of a stranger they know not;
They do not follow him.

So, I tell you the truth that
I am the gate, so you enter in.
Whoever does enter
Will find forgiveness and will be saved.
Nonetheless whoever enters
Not by the gate; other way,
He is the thief and a robber.
Listen not, the sheep to him.

Oh, I am the Good Shepherd,
Who laid his own life down for the sheep.
I know them. They know me.
They will live with me eternally.
The thief only comes to steal and
Kill and to destroy the church.
I have come to give you life that
You may have it to the full…

They know my voice, so they follow me.

 
Active
Actually I find its not that they tell people they dont need to repent its just they dont even mention this at all.
And many do not call Jesus Lord.

But they do say you have to obey them or the church rules that they have made up themselves. Which they put on higher priority than the commandments Jesus gave.

I do think the way some people are taught in bible college its like they are afraid to mention hell and think members will run away or be scared if they mention this, and so they will treat their congregation like infants that, being overfed with milk, never grow up.
 
Loyal
Actually I find its not that they tell people they dont need to repent its just they dont even mention this at all.
And many do not call Jesus Lord.

But they do say you have to obey them or the church rules that they have made up themselves. Which they put on higher priority than the commandments Jesus gave.

I do think the way some people are taught in bible college its like they are afraid to mention hell and think members will run away or be scared if they mention this, and so they will treat their congregation like infants that, being overfed with milk, never grow up.
@Lanolin - Actually, here in America, many pastors are telling their people God requires nothing of them other than to "believe," but "believe" is weakened to be nothing more than a mere acknowledgment of Jesus' existence, or of his sacrifice for our sins and an acceptance of his forgiveness of our sins, and they do definitely tell them they don't have to repent of their sins or obey God, for they say that is works-based salvation. I know this, because I have heard them say this, and I have heard many people say this on various websites, and I have read about it, too, so I know this is happening, and in large numbers, too. They willfully discredit the gospel as Jesus and his NT apostles taught it by calling it works-based salvation and by teaching God's grace as though all you have to do is just accept what Jesus did for us on the cross, but they purposefully leave out the part about repentance, obedience, death to sin and living to righteousness, because they are trying to gain converts after themselves, rather than after God.

Yes, I agree that they are getting people to follow their man-made rules, and to memorize the church's goals, mission statement and purpose statements over and above scripture and obedience to Christ. The "unity" they teach is primarily unity with man and their marketing schemes, not with Christ and his Word. And, all this is the plan of Satan to infiltrate the church and to kill and destroy the gospel and its messengers, and to replace the gospel with a false grace message that leaves people still bound in their sins without hope of heaven, while holding on to a false hope of eternal security. And, this fits right in with the New World (beast) Order which is forcing unity of nations and peoples to this beast one world order and one world religion.
 
Active
Are they? Did Billy Graham do this is well, he is a well known american preacher that had a lot global influence.
I know there was an american preacher before him called Billy Sunday but they were two different preachers.

I just notice that some of the older generation claim to be converted by going to a billy graham crusade, but all they had to do was walk forward down an aisle.

There is another once called Joseph Prince and I get him confused with Derek Prince.

I just thought they ommitted certain parts of the gospel rather than actually teach against the Bible because most people can read the bible for themselves and see if these things are so...unless they tell people to not read the bible or read a corrupt version of it. Thats where a lot of the problem stems from..corrupt bibles that have omitted scriptures in the pages themselves. For example rick warren used multiple different versions of the bible in his purpose driven life book but he never divided the scripture rightly. He always ommitted the Word by truncating it or chose verses that were fitting with his agenda.

I know for children scripture is ommitted or shortened for memory verse purposes if the children are very young at an age level they do need milk. But for adults I dont think this is acceptable.
 
Active
Can you name some websites that show they do this...? Just so we have some examples. I just want to see what they are saying. Is it pastors or evangelists..they are different roles.
 
Loyal
Can you name some websites that show they do this...? Just so we have some examples. I just want to see what they are saying. Is it pastors or evangelists..they are different roles.
I will get back to you on this later.
 
Loyal
Can you name some websites that show they do this...? Just so we have some examples. I just want to see what they are saying. Is it pastors or evangelists..they are different roles.
@Lanolin - I have not forgotten your question. I am working on it. But, I am on a family vacation right now spending time with my kids (4+4) and 13 grandchildren, so I am limiting my time on the computer right now to mainly early in the morning, so that I can spend as much time with the family as possible. So, I will reply to this as I have time.

I did recall one sermon by Max Lucado you might find interesting. It does not state in this one that we don't have to repent or obey, but I heard him give this illustration on TV when my husband and I stayed in a hotel one night a while back, and then he did add to this that if someone told you that you have to obey that they are teaching works-based salvation. This was the most diluted gospel presentation I had ever heard yet. But, there are many others, I just have to locate them.

Cancelled Insurance?
 
Active
Sue dont feel you have to respond to every post immediately!

We all have lives that dont include a computer.

Thanks for the link.
Well, that sermon was confusing, something about insurance. Sure, Jesus paid with his life for our sin but it doesnt mean we go on sinning...and crashing our cars or speeding and expect to be let off each time.

I think when pastors try to use worldly examples to illustrate what God does they have to be real careful because the world doesnt operate like God does.

Plus with insurance YOU are the one that pays for the coverage, its not really a faith thing..cos so many insurance companies dont even pay and have collapsed. They are banking on nothing happening, really. But if there is something like an earthquake, I know many of them actually dont pay compensation. They call it an 'act of God,' ironically.

There are some max lucado books donated to the church library. As far as I know, I havent actually read any of them - ive found though in many christian books the gospel is so watered down that its non existent. I was on this site that was for christians and basically their statement of faith for the whole site was to believe the nicene creed which doesnt talk about living by spirit, repentence, baptism or obedience, its basically what they think a christian needs to believe to be a christian.

There is a lot more to faith than parroting the nicene creed. I think thats the danger, that people are shortchanged by lazy preachers that omit the importance of walking in the spirit.
 
Active
I mean you have to pay premiums to the insurance company every year. If something happens, they take the money from everyone else thats been paying whos never had issues. But Gods gift of salvation cannot be bought or sold. I think its a poor illustration, because we didnt pay Jesus to give his life for us.
 
Loyal
Thanks for the link.
Well, that sermon was confusing, something about insurance. Sure, Jesus paid with his life for our sin but it doesnt mean we go on sinning...and crashing our cars or speeding and expect to be let off each time.
Exactly! I thought he made a mockery of Jesus' sacrifice for our sins. The invitation he gave on TV was nothing more than "receive God's grace," which he explained as Jesus taking our place on the cross so we never have to pay for our sin. No change in our lives had to take place, it would appear he was suggesting.
 
Active
Is he on tv as well?

According to wiki, there is something not right about how he came to be an author..it just seems he did a biblical degree and that means he can write books. It doesnt say he became a christian just he went to a christian university and did a bible course which was required?

It doesnt seem like hes an actual pastor. While there are pastors that do write books, I know if they spend all their time doing that they are not actually spending any time pastoring the sheep.
 
Loyal
Can you name some websites that show they do this...? Just so we have some examples. I just want to see what they are saying. Is it pastors or evangelists..they are different roles.
Steve McVey's Corruption of Grace

Ok, this one is long, and I didn't read it all, so I can't vouch for all of it, but this will give you a good idea of what I am referring to. My husband and I attended a Bible study where they were studying this book, and we immediately saw the errors in it and we questioned what the author said, but they intended to continue with it. The leader of our group was Derwin Gray.
 
Active
Sue I need to do some weeding of the church library can you pray with me some discernment over what books to weed. It seems mr lucado has written 37 books.

I dont think we have that many, but there are probably others that people have donated that are questionable.

I remember one lady donated a whole lot of kenneth hagin, derek prince and charles stanley.
 
Active
Havent heard of steve mcvey sorry.

I'm usually dealing with christians who are gaga over cs lewis and narnia. I dont like how he mixes myth and occult with christianity. That and 'the shack'.

I think the grace based gospels are too wishy washy to appeal to people here. Nzers are more prone to deceptions like prosperity gospel, mormonism and jehovahs witnesses. Televangelists arent really trusted. We kind of see them and think...well thats americans on tv showing off again.

I think many nzers are so laid back that any grace teaching would be just what many people would be believing already so its not as if you have to do anything to follow that line of thinking..,theres no incentive to join a church where you just watch someone else preach about what they think all the time.

I mean people here are at least honest that if they were raised in church and they say if they are a practising christian or not, and if not generally they dont call themselves christians. Or are reluctant to.

I think in america its different because you can basically make up your own religion if you want and get tax free status.
 
Loyal
Sue I need to do some weeding of the church library can you pray with me some discernment over what books to weed. It seems mr lucado has written 37 books.

I dont think we have that many, but there are probably others that people have donated that are questionable.

I remember one lady donated a whole lot of kenneth hagin, derek prince and charles stanley.
Praying for you.
 
Loyal
Havent heard of steve mcvey sorry.
@Lanolin - You asked me for some links to where people were saying that we didn't have to repent and we didn't have to obey, so the link about Steve McVey was for that purpose. He is one of the ones promoting this and is saying that God is pleased with us no matter what we do. What I read of the article in the link provided was actually quite good.
 
Active
Ok but *I* actually hadn't heard of him. I guess he isn't very influential outside of America.
 
Loyal
Ok but *I* actually hadn't heard of him. I guess he isn't very influential outside of America.
I don't know much about him. We just attended a "Bible study" where his book on grace was being taught, and that is where I heard some of the things I was talking about here, but it wasn't the first time I had heard it or the last, for there are many, many people who are teaching and believing that they don't have to repent or obey Jesus.
 
Active
Hmm well, its best to study the Bible when you doing a bible study and not someone elses ideas of it.

One time a lady in my bible study wanted us to listen to Rob Bell read his book, I think hes a pastor and he was similar, what seems to happen is people are afraid to teach of the consequences of sin, which is death and hell.
Yes its scary but we need never be afraid since we are saved by Jesus. And if for some reason we have a fear that we might go there then thats actually the holy spirit convicting you of sin in your life you need to repent of isnt it?

So repent...it is never too late to repent and ask for forgiveness and sometimes we need to do it over and over I mean Gods forgiveness is not going to run out on us. But we only here on earth for a limited time so we need to do this before our time runs out. Our life for eternal life...isnt that a wonderful exchange?

Most of the time pastors or teachers that teach a wishy washy gospel Ive found do not have a real testimony. They were either raised in church and never suffered so people think they are already christians even though they were never truly born again, or they just have head knowledge of God not heart knowledge. Maybe they even went to bible college but learning about God and formulating ideas about Him is not the same as encountering Him.
 
Loyal
Hmm well, its best to study the Bible when you doing a bible study and not someone elses ideas of it.

One time a lady in my bible study wanted us to listen to Rob Bell read his book, I think hes a pastor and he was similar, what seems to happen is people are afraid to teach of the consequences of sin, which is death and hell.
Yes its scary but we need never be afraid since we are saved by Jesus. And if for some reason we have a fear that we might go there then thats actually the holy spirit convicting you of sin in your life you need to repent of isnt it?

So repent...it is never too late to repent and ask for forgiveness and sometimes we need to do it over and over I mean Gods forgiveness is not going to run out on us. But we only here on earth for a limited time so we need to do this before our time runs out. Our life for eternal life...isnt that a wonderful exchange?

Most of the time pastors or teachers that teach a wishy washy gospel Ive found do not have a real testimony. They were either raised in church and never suffered so people think they are already christians even though they were never truly born again, or they just have head knowledge of God not heart knowledge. Maybe they even went to bible college but learning about God and formulating ideas about Him is not the same as encountering Him.
@Lanolin - Thank you for sharing these thoughts. I appreciate you!
 

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