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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Seven Strands

Arthur Pink writes:

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” (John 10:27-29)

No stronger passage in all the Word of God can be found guaranteeing the absolute security of every child of God. Note the seven strands in the rope which binds them to God.

First, they are Christ’s sheep, and it is the duty of the shepherd to care for each of his flock! To suggest that any of Christ’s sheep may be lost is to blaspheme the Shepherd Himself!

Second, it is said “They follow” Christ, and no exceptions are made. The Lord does not say they ought to, but declares they do. If then the sheep “follow” Christ they must reach Heaven, for that is where the Shepherd is gone!

Third, to the sheep is imparted “eternal life”. To speak of eternal life ending is a contradiction in terms.

Fourth, this eternal life is “given” to them. They did nothing to merit it; consequently they can do nothing to demerit it.

Fifth, the Lord Himself declares that His sheep “shall never perish,” consequently the man who declares that it is possible for a child of God to go to Hell makes God a liar.

Sixth, from the Shepherd’s “hand” none is able to pluck them; hence the Devil is unable to encompass the destruction of a single one of them.

Seventh, above them is the Father’s “hand,” hence it is impossible for them to jump out of the hand of Christ even if they tried to. It is impossible for a sheep to perish even if it desired to – as though one ever did! The “hand of Christ” is beneath us, and the “hand” of the Father is above us. Thus are we secured between the clasped hands of Omnipotence!

It has been well said that if one soul who trusted in Christ should be missing in Heaven, there would be one vacant seat there, one crown unused, one harp unstrung; and this would grieve all Heaven and proclaim a disappointed God. But such a thing is utterly impossible!

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Doctrinal Preaching

Quoting J. I. Packer:

Doctrinal preaching certainly bores the hypocrites; but it is only doctrinal preaching that will save Christ’s sheep. The preacher’s job is to proclaim the faith, not to provide entertainment for unbelievers–in other words, to feed the sheep rather than amuse the goats. (Packer, A Quest For Godliness, 285)

Sometimes We Need Wise And Courageous Division

 

A. W. Tozer

Quoting A.W. Tozer:

“In a fallen world like ours unity is no treasure to be purchased at the price of compromise. Loyalty to God, faithfulness to truth and the preservation of a good conscience are jewels more precious than gold of Ophir or diamonds from the mine. For these jewels men have suffered the loss of property, imprisonment and even death; for them, even in recent times, behind the various curtains, followers of Christ have paid the last full measure of devotion and quietly died, unknown to and unsung by the great world, but known to God and dear to His Father’s heart. In the day that shall declare the secrets of all souls these shall come forth to receive the deeds done in the body. Surely such as these are wiser philosophers than the religious camp followers of meaningless unity who have not the courage to stand against current vogues and who bleat for brotherhood because it happens to be for the time popular… When confused sheep start over a cliff the individual sheep can save himself only by separating from the flock. Perfect unity at such a time can only mean total destruction for all. The wise sheep to save his own hide disaffiliates. Power lies in the union of things similar and the division of things dissimilar. Maybe what we need in religious circles today is not more union but some wise and courageous division.”

Christ’s Sheep

J. C. Ryle

Quoting J. C. Ryle:

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. (John 10)

God’s children, His real believing people, are compared to sheep, because they are gentle, quiet, harmless and inoffensive; because they are useful and do good to all around them; because they love to be together, and dislike separation; and lastly because they are very helpless and wandering and liable to stray.

Jesus calls them “My sheep,” as if they were His peculiar property. “Mine,” He would have us know, by election, “Mine” by purchase, and “Mine” by adoption.

Christ’s sheep hear His voice, they listen humbly to His teaching, they take His word for their rule and guide.

Christ’s sheep follow Him, they walk in the narrow path He has marked out, they do not refuse because it is sometimes steep and narrow–but wherever the line of duty lies they go forward without doubting.

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