Who are Jesus’ Sheep?

John 10:27-30 ESV

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal 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 the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

Verse of the Day

John 10:28-30 is the “verse of the day” today on Biblegateway.com, on the internet. But the problem with those three verses being “the verse of the day” isn’t that there are three verses, and not just one, but it is that they left out verse 27 which tells us who this promise is for. And this is a huge area of deception in evangelical Christianity today when they pull Scriptures out of their context, and they apply them where they do not apply, or they make them say something different from what they really say.

And I see this happening all the time, on a regular and consistent basis, and this is one of their key passages that they quote out of context and they typically apply to anyone who makes a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. But this usually follows a gospel message which teaches that a person can make a one-time profession of faith in Jesus Christ, have all their sins forgiven, and be on their way to heaven, regardless of how they live. And this is to give them a promise that nothing can take that away from them.

Summary of John 10:1-26

So, what is the context here? Jesus was the one speaking, and he was addressing the issue of false shepherds of the people vs. the true shepherd, who was/is himself. These false shepherds he called “thieves and robbers” and “strangers,” and he spoke of how his true sheep will follow him, for they know his voice, but how they will not follow “strangers,” but they will flee from them, for they do not know the voice of these strangers. Then he went on to talk about how he is the door of the sheep, and if anyone enters by him, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.

And then Jesus contrasted himself to “the thief” who comes only to steal and kill and destroy, but that how he came that they (his sheep) may have life and have it abundantly. Then he spoke of how he lays down his life for the sheep. And then he contrasted himself to the “hired hand” who cares nothing for the sheep. So he was speaking of himself as the true and only shepherd of the people and he was warning of these who call themselves “shepherds” but who are strangers and hired hands and thieves and robbers who only come to steal, kill, and destroy. So he was warning about deception.

And the Jews who were listening to him talk were divided over whether or not he was oppressed by a demon and/or if he was insane, and over whether or not they should even listen to him. And sometime later, it appears, when Jesus was walking in the temple, some Jews gathered around him 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 bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep.”

The Original Context

And then we have the “verse of the day,” but including verse 27 which tells us who this promise in verses 28-30 is actually for. But when we read these verses in the context of the whole of John 10, it even gives us a broader and a clearer understanding of Jesus’ words. And, even in the context of the whole chapter we see that Jesus is warning about deception and deceivers who disguise themselves as shepherds of the people but who are truly wolves in sheep’s clothing who steal, kill, and destroy.

And that is what I am warning you about today, too. For those who quote verses 28-30 without verse 27, many of them are doing so willfully to deceive, and it is to steal, kill, and destroy, for they are giving many people a false hope of eternal security with Jesus Christ based on a lie. For it isn’t all who make a profession of Jesus Christ as Savior who have this promise, but it is all who listen to Jesus Christ and to his words, but not just with their ears, but with their hearts and minds, which then prompts them to follow Jesus Christ in obedience, for to follow Jesus is to obey him.

And we are the ones to whom he gives eternal life, and we are the ones who will never perish, who are listening to our Lord and who are heeding his words, and who are following him in obedience, in practice (see also Luke 9:23-26 and Matthew 7:21-23). For not everyone who says to Jesus, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one DOING the will of God the Father who is in heaven. And many are going to stand before Jesus one day professing him as “Lord” and claiming what they did in his name, and he is going to tell those workers of lawlessness to depart from him.

So, test the spirits to see which ones are of God, and test them against the Scriptures taught in their context, for there are many liars and deceivers out there teaching Scriptures out of context and giving people false promises and false hopes which do not apply to them. And there is no reason to leave out verse 27 except to deceive, for it is illogical to begin with verse 28 with no context of who “them” are. Therefore, those who have eternal life with God are those who are listening to the Lord and who are following him in obedience to his commands (under the New Covenant). See also:

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Praise the “I AM!”

An Original Work / February 24, 2012

Jesus, my Savior, full of compassion,
Glorious in power, mighty in strength;
Gracious Redeemer, mighty deliv’rer,
My heart adores Him. Praise to His name!
Perfect salvation my Lord provided
When He died for my sins on a tree;
Crucified my sins; conquered in vict’ry,
When He arose, so I could be free!

I am so thankful for His forgiveness;
Grateful that He chose to pardon me,
Giving me new life full in His Spirit,
So I can serve Him; His servant be!
Walking in daily fellowship with Him,
Obeying Him whate’er He commands;
Forsaking my sins, living in freedom,
I will endure with Him to the end!

He gives me peace and calm reassurance
In times of sorrow, or in distress.
His grace is sure, and oh, how sufficient
To meet me in my need for sweet rest.
Oh, how I love You, Jesus, my Savior.
My heart longs for You where’er I am.
Your word is precious; speaks to my spirit;
Brings comfort, healing. Praise the “I AM!”

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