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Do We Care What God is Actually Trying to Say in John 10:10?

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The voice the sheep hear is the Gospel and they will follow He who brings it. The truth is confirmed by the indwelt Holy Spirit beloved. The Shepherd is His Word as John 1 teaches us. The Gospel is what leads the sheep forward. This is why the false teaching of experiential Christianity is so insidious. Places like Bethel Church teach that our personal feelings and experiences, which they pass off as being prompted by the Holy Spirit, rise above the level or equal to the level of Scripture. The result is people following their own voice or the voice of the thief instead of the voice of the Shepherd.

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. -- John 10:5-6 (ESV)

A stranger they will not follow. That seems pretty definitive, no? Indeed it does and that leaves us with an uncomfortable reality. People who have passed the threshold of salvation would simply not stay in an apostate church. They couldn't stay for a prolonged period of time listening to someone who is not presenting the Gospel; the voice of their Master. Not only that - they will flee from the voice of the false teacher! The word flee is defined as to run away from danger! Why? Because the false teacher is not merely false but he is dangerous. Whereas the true Gospel brings eternal life the false will bring only eternal death. How? By keeping you away from the true Gospel! When the saved Christian with the indwelt Holy Spirit hears the prosperity gospel he knows right away it is not the voice of the Lord. When he hears the preacher speaking about the seven mountain mandate or how one political party is the answer to what ails a fallen society he recognizes such as not being the voice of his shepherd. When he hears that our experiences should trump our doctrine, he realizes he is not hearing his Lord and Savior.

Does he stay in such apostasy? Does he secretly pray behind the scenes while being fed poison every week? Does he minimize the threat because the speaking motivates him to live for some imagined purpose? Because he feels more motivated in life? Because the music is really good and they have a great children's ministry? Because that is where all of his friends go? No beloved. He flees because he does not know the voice of strangers and he knows what he is hearing is not the voice of his Master. Remember that narrow is the way that leads to eternal life and few are those who find it. The bible teaches us that we can believe in vain. Matthew 7 presents a horrifying scene where fully churched people stand before Christ and hear Him say that He never knew them. That is the danger of following false teaching beloved a lifetime of service to the enemy all the while thinking you are serving God. You cannot serve God in a church that does not preach His Gospel.

So why do people stay then? Why is the apostate church growing so much? First of all the bible teaches us that people gather around them teachers to tell them what their itching ears want to hear. We see this dynamic playing out across this country in the carnal sense as people are no longer interested in the truth. They just want their worldview confirmed. This has been going on in the church for decades now. That same verse says that people will not even tolerate sound doctrine! To those who believe in experiential Christianity and false signs and lying wonders, those who insist on doctrine are legalists. To those who follow prosperity, word faith, and the more mainstream puppies and pancakes ministries on cable? To them people who insist on doctrine have no love and take themselves too seriously. The real reason beloved? People seek out the false because they do not want God. They do not want to relinquish their sin, which the world insists no big deal or even evolutionary on some level. They do not want to give up control. In short, they like being their own god. Like Lucifer before them, they have desired to ascend to the throne of the Most High. The real truth behind this verse in John however is they stay because they have believed in vain in a false gospel. If you do not believe that just try and talk to one of them about the falseness of what their pastor preaches. Try speaking to a Joseph Prince adherent or a follower of Joel Osteen. Where a true believer hears them and hears the voice of a stranger, they hear them and hear what they want to hear. That I am special. That God Almighty designed a supery-dupery purpose for me. That God wants me rich beyond my greediest dreams of avarice. That the bible stories are all about me. That I can give a wink and a nod to my sin as long as I tithe correctly. The true believer hears these voices and flees. Verse six shows the disciples were having trouble understanding the imagery Christ was using so He clarifies:

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. -- John 10: 7-9 (ESV)

I am the door of the sheep. The cross reference is John 14:6 -- I am the way the truth and the life and none come to Father except through me. If anyone enters through Christ they are saved. How does one enter? Romans teaches us that only the Gospel has the power of God unto the salvation of man. We must hear the true Gospel and not listen to the robbers and thieves that are seeking to do us harm. We will find no respite through the false. There are no pastures to find by following false teachers. Their path may seem right, or even pious but in the end it only leads to destruction.

So we come to the key verse for today but before we examine it, let us review how we got here. Jesus uses the analogy of sheep to define the believer in Him. He makes a clear distinction between Himself as the Shepherd and those that climb over the fence as thieves and robbers. His voice is the Gospel message which is the only thing that has the power to save anyone. The thieves and robbers do not have His voice and therefore His sheep will not follow them. Thus believers that hear the voice of these false strangers will not stay beloved -- they will flee from the danger a false gospel presents. Faith in vain results only in eternal destruction. Those that are saved will only respond and stay for the voice of the Master. With this understanding I ask one question.

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
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