June 17

We all know history is replete with stories of conquering. No one knows who the original occupants of India were as there appears to have been multiple groups who moved into the land and dominating the inhabitants. Egypt seems to have had more than one group do the same as well. Rome was in Great Britain, but Germanic tribes and Vikings had been there too at various times, invading the land. Even here in Hawaii different islands conquered tribes on the other islands. Then, as America expanded, it did the same thing to Hawaii. I don’t think any country’s history is immune to this by any means. However, let’s imagine if the U.S. pulled out of Hawaii today, in 2020. Oh, there’d be celebrating and excitement from many, for about an hour. Then another country like China or Russia would move in and life would get worse overnight. I saw this happen to Hong Kong which I visited in the ‘90s. They couldn’t wait for England to leave. They couldn’t wait to become part of China again. They’re singing a different tune today.

What if the shepherd left his flock and abandoned them? Would it be a pretty sight for the sheep? Would freedom feel all that free when predators come in and eat them up? That worthless shepherd would be guilty of the blood of innocent sheep which he forsook.

  • Hebrews 13:5-6 Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,” so that we confidently say, “THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?”

I personally think abandonment is one of the scariest things a human can experience. It’s fraught with angst, fear, loneliness, guilt, self-deprecation, and nervousness. You never know who to trust. Future relationships are in jeopardy as you fear it will happen again to you. Some people become bitter and hard from it. But no one ever comes away feeling positive, happy, or secure.

Jesus is different. He defends His sheep and never ever abandons them. In fact, a bit further down John 10 past where we were Sunday, Jesus says:

  • “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me. But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, 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.”—John 10:25-30

Why is theology important (especially correct theology)? Look at how this passage informs our understanding of salvation, of eternal security, and then gives us that security that comes from knowing we will never be abandoned if we are His sheep!

  1. The Father has given the sheep to Jesus ahead of time (this harkens back to John 6). Those whom the Father gave to the Son are His sheep, and only His sheep believe in Him (“But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep” explains why the Pharisees dwelt in unbelief).
  2. Jesus’ sheep know His voice and follow Him. He in turn (GK: gnosko) knows them intimately and affectionately.
  3. He gives these sheep eternal life which will never end, which will never bring spiritual death ever!
  4. Because the Father gave them to the Son, no one (including Satan, other people, and even yourself) can remove these sheep from His hand.
  5. Furthermore, they are also in the Father’s hand, and again, no one whatsoever can remove them from His hand.
  6. Why is this all possible? Because Jesus and the Father are one! Not just in unity, but in actuality in that both are God (this is the doctrine of the Trinity).

So, when you are saved, redeemed, and have new life in Christ, you can rest assured 100% that your salvation is permanent. When you have that internal voice inside of you doubting your salvation, and you know that your lifestyle is consistent with being saved and following the Great Shepherd, then you can shut down the internal naysaying and stand confidently on God’s Word. When others give you bogus theology and ideas that salvation is not permanent, or that Jesus and the Father are not both God, or whatever does not stand up to sound doctrine, you can rest assured that you are standing on the solid rock, and that your Shepherd will not leave you nor forsake you.

  1. How would you rather feel, always on edge and unsure of the future, or comfortably safe and secure without any doubts of your eternal life? ________________________________________________________
  2. Likewise, if you could lose your salvation, how confident would that make you feel? ____________________________________________
    1. How would that affect your confidence in Jesus? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________
  3. There is no biblical doctrine supporting the idea that backslidden people (i.e. those living in immorality, away from God, never participating in the body of believers, and so forth) are saved. Foolishly, this false belief says that since salvation is eternally secure, you can do what you want and still go to Heaven. But, the Bible actually says that if you are truly saved, you will not stay in the mire even when you fall in it. A true Christian does not stay in a backslidden state.
    1. If you are actively living for God, seeking first His Kingdom, then that would be evidence you are His sheep following His voice, right? ______________________________________________
    2. How could a backslidden person who never comes out of this rebellious state be considered one of His sheep who follow His voice when in fact that person is notfollowing Jesus at all? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________
      1. That’s right—he can’t be considered one of His sheep.
    3. Lastly, if you know of “Christians” in your life who state they are saved but don’t follow Jesus, then write their names down here and then pray for them to hear and receive the Gospel, and then to live it: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________