Sermon #1342 Miscellaneous Notes
Title: SEEKING THE LORD’S SHEEP
Text: John 10:14-16
Reading: John 10:1-31
Subject: The Purpose of Gospel Preaching
Date: Sunday Morning - April 11, 1999
Tape # V-22a
I want to talk to you this morning about the purpose of the gospel ministry, the purpose of this church, the purpose of everything we do as a church. The title of my message is SEEKING THE LORD’S SHEEP. You will find my text in John 10:14-16.
This is why we do what we do. This is why I go somewhere almost every week, across the length and breadth of this country, preaching the gospel. This is why we hold Bible conferences, support missionaries, send out pastors, build churches, and send tapes and literature around the world. We are seeking the Lord’s sheep.
I know that the things we believe and preach place us in direct conflict with the religious world around us. That really shouldn’t surprise us. When our Lord Jesus told the religious leaders of his day the things I am about to tell you, they started grabbing rocks to stone him to death. So we must never be surprised when lost religionists get upset with us for preaching the gospel.
Here are four things which place us in direct conflict with the entire religious world. What we believe and preach…
1. About God --Sovereign --Holy --Just.
2. About Man --Depraved --Dead --Deserving Wrath.
3. About the Lord Jesus Christ --God Incarnate --Eternal Surety --Righteous Representative --Satisfying Substitute --Effectual Redeemer --Almighty Savior --Unfailing Advocate.
4. About Salvation –Altogether By Grace –Election –Redemption –Regeneration –Sanctification –Preservation --Glorification.
Salvation is by the grace of God, entirely by the grace of God. Human works, human effort, and the will of man has absolutely nothing to do with it. “Salvation is of the Lord!”
I know that men object to these things. I know preachers everywhere deny them. I know that proud men are offended by them. But I am not running for political office. I am here to speak the truth to eternity bound sinners for the glory of God. That which we have heard and learned of the Father, we must declare. I must be true to God, true to the Scriptures, and true to your souls.
I am here seeking the Lord’s sheep. I’m not trying to get everybody saved. I’m seeking the Lord’s sheep. Those false preachers whom our Lord describes in this chapter as hireling, thieves, and robbers, those wolves who have come in sheep’s clothing to steal, kill, destroy, and devour the souls of men, the world’s religious leaders have told three lies so often, for so long, that they are almost universally received as the truth of God. We do not follow the cunningly devised fables of men which declare that…
1. “God loves everybody.”
2. “Christ died for everybody.”
3. “The Lord wants to save, or tries to save, or wills the salvation of everybody.”
That simply is not so. The fact is God almighty loves his elect, sent his Son to die for and redeem his elect, and effectually calls his elect to life and faith in Christ; and these elect ones are spoken of throughout the Word of God as his sheep. Let men fuss and argue as they may, I am here to tell you in the plainest terms possible, upon the authority of Holy Scripture that…
Proposition: The triune God is concerned for, seeks, and accomplishes the salvation of his sheep, only his sheep. To say otherwise is to make the holy Lord God a pathetic, frustrated, failure.
Is this, or is it not the language of our Savior?
In preaching the gospel, we are not trying to convert the world. We are not trying to get everybody saved. That s not our purpose, our aim, or our goal. We are seeking the Lord’s sheep.
I don’t know who the Lord’s sheep are. Neither does anyone else. So we preach the gospel to every creature, just as our Lord commanded us. Some, I know, will not believe; but, blessed be our God, some will! The Lord knows his sheep. They will hear his voice. And they will follow him.
Divisions: Here are five facts revealed in this tenth chapter of John about the Lord’s sheep.
1. Christ has a people in this world called his sheep.
2. The good Shepherd, our Lord Jesus Christ, laid down his life for his sheep.
3. The Shepherd will call all of his sheep.
4. The Lord Jesus will preserve and keep all his sheep.
5. The good Shepherd will bring all of his sheep safely into his heavenly fold.
I. The first thing I want you to see in this passage is the fact that THE LORD JESUS CHRIST HAS A PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD CALLED “HIS SHEEP.”
The Lord God has chosen to himself a people, here called “his sheep,” a remnant according to the election of grace, whom he has determined to save.
· A Chosen Race within the Fallen Race.
· An Elect World within the Cursed World.
· Sheep in the midst of Goats.
Some of Adam’s fallen race are sheep, chosen and redeemed, who must and shall be saved, and some are not..
A. All God’s elect were given into the hands of Christ, as sheep to the Shepherd, before the world began (v. 29: John 6:37-39).
B. God’s elect, in this world, are compared to silly, helpless sheep (Isa.53:6).
C. The Lord Jesus knows his sheep. - “I know my sheep.”
· He knows his sheep distinctly.
· He knows everything about them.
D. Children of God, rejoice – We are the Lord’s sheep!
· By Divine Gift.
· By Legal Purchase.
· By Birth.
We who believe know that we are his sheep because he has made us to experience the operations of his saving grace by the effectual call of his Spirit.
II. Second, THE GOOD SHEPHERD, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, LAID DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS SHEEP (vv. 11 and 15).
This is why he came into the world. He came here to die in the place of and for the ransom of his sheep, to purchase eternal life and pardon for his sheep by the price of his own life’s blood. Christ came here that he might be a mighty fountain of spiritual life and cleansing for his lost, perishing sheep. In this tenth chapter of John’s gospel, our Lord Jesus Christ tells us four things about his death as our good Shepherd.
A. The Lord Jesus Christ died in the place of his sheep as our Substitute.
1. He took our sin upon himself.
2. He bore the penalty of the law which should have fallen on us.
3. He paid our debt.
4. He satisfied the justice we could never satisfy.
Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain. He washed it white as snow!
B. The good Shepherd died to ransom his sheep unto himself.
Illustration: A.J. Gordon and the Two Black Birds
C. The Lord of glory voluntarily laid down his life for his sheep.
“He poured out his soul unto death with all the desire of his heart, because he had determined to pay our debt to God and redeem us from hell.” –J.C. Ryle
D. Since the Lord Jesus Christ, the good Shepherd, laid down his life for the sheep, not one of his sheep can ever perish under the wrath of God!
Shout, believer, to your God.
Christ has once the winepress trod;
Peace procured by blood divine,
Cancelled all your sins and mine!
Here our bleeding wounds are healed,
Sin condemned and pardoned sealed!
Grace, her empire still maintains.
Love, without a rival, reigns.
In our Surety all are free
For whom He died upon the tree!
With His spotless garments on,
We’re holy as God’s holy Son!
III. Third, in verses 27 and 28, our Lord tells us that THE GOOD SHEPHERD WILL SAVE ALL HIS SHEEP.
As said before, I know that not all me will be saved. Not all to whom we preach will believe. “All men have not faith.” It may be that many of those whom I love and for whom I labor with a heavy heart will perish under the wrath of God. But of this fact I am absolutely certain: --Not one of Christ’s sheep will perish! None for whom he labored and travailed unto death will be lost at last. The good Shepherd will seek his sheep until he find t.” He will not lose one of the chosen number.
A. The good Shepherd calls his sheep, one by one, with an almighty, irresistible, effectual call.
· He enters by the door (v. 2). --THE WORD OF GOD.
· “To him the Porter (the Holy Spirit) openeth.”
· “The sheep hear his voice.”
· “He calleth his own sheep.”
· “He calls his own sheep BY NAME.
· “And leadeth them out.”
· “The sheep follow him.”
· “They know his voice.”
· “I give unto them eternal life.”
· “They shall never perish!”
B. The Lord’s sheep will not follow a stranger.
IV. Fourthly, I want you to see that OUR GOOD SHEPHERD, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, WILL PRESERVE AND KEEP ALL OF HIS SHEEP BY INFALLIBLE, ALMIGHTY GRACE (vv. 28-30).
What about this matter f eternal security? This I know…
A. All the Lord’s sheep stumble, fall, and sin grievously in this world.
B. If our perseverance were left up to us, if the Lord left us to ourselves to keep ourselves in the way of life, we would all soon perish!
C. But, blessed be our God, neither Satan, nor our sins, nor all our enemies combined shall ever tear us from our almighty Shepherd’s hands!
1. Satan cannot pull us out of Christ’s hands.
2. Our temptations are too strong for us, but not too strong for God’s grace.
3. Our sins will not render the blood of Christ impotent and useless!
Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come:
‘Tis grace hath led me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures.
He will my strength and portion be
As long as life endures.
And when this heart of flesh shall fail
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil
A life of joy and peace!
V. Fifthly, OUR GOOD SHEPHERD WILL BRING ALL OF HIS SHEEP SAFELY INTO HIS HEAVENLY FOLD (V. 16).
A. All God’s elect will be saved.
B. All the redeemed will enter into and possess all the blessedness of heavenly glory upon the same grounds. –Righteousness, --Justice, --Blood Atonement!
C. All the sheep will possess the same pasture. God’s saints will all possess the same, full, glorious inheritance of grace.
D. All the sheep, in that blessed, heavenly fold shall indeed be one!
Application: am seeking the Lord’s sheep. I wonder if there are any sheep here.
1. Some are not his sheep (v. 26).
2. But some are his sheep. Are you one? His sheep hear his voice. –Do you? His sheep follow him. –Do you? His sheep have eternal life. –Do you? His sheep will never perish. –Will you?
 See sermons 494 and 789, preached at Danville 4/10/83, 5/15/88 and 3/8/93, also preached at Pine Grove - Houston, TX 8/12/84, Dingess, WV 3/17/94, Houma, LA 8/12/84, Jacksonville, NC 8/7/83, New Castle, IN 5/27/83. This Message: Louisville, KY 5-7-99 -- San Leandro, CA 4-18-99 – Spring Lake, NC 6-4-99