Peninsula Community Church
Jesus is the Door
July 10, 2016
John 10:7-18 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. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.
Today, we will look at the last of our doors. In doing so we find that Jesus Himself is the door to faith and salvation. The one truth that must be realized more than any other is that Jesus is the only way to Heaven. That is not very politically correct in today’s environment, but it is true. One of the great lies that is being propagated in this society is that all roads lead to heaven. Others believe that if they only have more things in the plus column than they do in the negative column, they will make it to heaven. Still others simply deny that Christ exists and that there is no God. But each of these beliefs are false and are predicated on a lie whose goal is to diminish the grace and power of God. The result is a life lived without hope and no vision for a greater day.
As believers, we must know that accepting Christ is the only way to receive eternal life and freedom from past sins committed by us. Here is a fact that needs to be made. If, and that is a huge if, we never committed a sin in our life, we would still need to accept Christ as our Lord and Savior. Through the Scriptures we find that Christ paid the ultimate price and He is the only one that can bring us life, hope, and security. When we consider this, it is noteworthy that many religions have leaders who have made great philosophical statements, but only Christ has died and has risen to bring us eternal abundant life. You see there is a huge difference between a great, encouraging philosophical statement and the ultimate sacrifice for all mankind. Jesus did not just die, He rose again to provide us the power to overcome sin.
As we understand these truths we are empowered to live for Christ in a new dimension. First, we find that Jesus is the door. He is not a door. He is the door. He is the one and only entrance way into salvation. If you have been a student of the word or have read through the New Testament you will know that Jesus often used the common place to illustrate Biblical truth. To fully understand the illustration before us we must understand the role and work of the shepherd in Biblical days. You see, sheep pens or folds were common fixtures along the country side around Jerusalem. Sheep pens were usually ruggedly built to hold the sheep. While most were different sizes, different shapes, and were built from different kinds of material; there was one thing that was common to all sheep pens. There was no door. The shepherd was in fact the door. It was his job to protect the sheep. He protected them from what might enter the fold and he kept the sheep from escaping or wandering off as they were so prone to do. It is for that reason that Jesus made the statement that no one could come into the fold without crossing through him. To come into the pen another way would make one a thief. There would be no other reason to come into the pen in any other way unless they wanted to rob the shepherd or steal the sheep.
Jesus communicated through this passage that there have been leaders who have tried to bring people in a different way but in so doing Jesus classified them as robbers and thieves. They have tried to circumvent the purpose of God and have tried to do things there own way. Too often there is desire by some to add to or take away from the Scripture to make it palpable but that causes one to rob and steal the truth of the gospel from others. They rob followers of Christ and those who need eternal life of the very existence of life and hope. They deceive through lies and half-truths.
It is my belief and I believe that it is borne out through Scripture that many of the issues we face today is a direct result of trying to reach God by a means that was never intended. We have tried to do things our own way and thus we have left God out of the equation. We give Him an honorable mention but He is not the center and the focus of our lives. People have been robbed of the truth. We have been left empty and have been robbed of the truth that we need to do what is right. That is why an angry black man can shoot and kill five policemen and wound another seven in Dallas, Texas. That is why a lone gunman can go into a gay bar and kill fifty people including himself. Because we have diminished Christ and have denied His existence, we are living with the morality that is birthed by such thinking which says there is no God and there is no moral high ground.
The second concept presented through this passage is that we are apart of the sheep fold. Know this, if you are a believer then you are in the fold with Christ. Through this passage we have an assurance that we have eternal life. While the thief comes to rob and destroy, Christ came to give us life. He came to give us abundant life. We do not just get by but we live with all of the life we have been given. One work of the thief is marginalize us and make us struggle with our position as a Christian. For that reason many struggle to know whether are they are in or if they are out. They walk with guilt, fear, doubt, and disbelief rather than with wholeness and freedom. The result is that they have become marginalized and weakened. The tendency therefore is that so much energy is exerted and too much time is spent trying to get what we already have.
A secondary result of this thinking is that we spend an inordinate amount of time focusing on our getting in and making sure that we are in and less time on getting others into the fold. Let me let you in on a secret that I hope changes your life and your focus. If you have accepted Christ, you are in. You don’t have to worry about being in or out. You are secure in Christ as you have been bought with a price. We do not need to settle for less than what God has given us. We have been given the riches of heaven and not the squalor and we have been commissioned to share that wealth with those around us.
You are secure in Christ. Listen to the words of Jesus and look at the chain of security we have in Christ. Those whom the Father chose for Himself, He gave to the Son. For those who belong to the Son, He also laid down His life. Those for whom He laid down His life, He also called to Himself. Those whom He called, heard His voice and followed Him. To those who followed Him, He gave eternal life. Those to whom He gave eternal life cannot be taken from His hand. That is the hope and promise of our life within the fold. So don’t worry and begin living as a passionate follower of Christ.
There is a third concept presented through this passage. Jesus makes an incredible statement: there are more sheep who are to be brought into the fold. They are not there yet but they will be coming because He has already chosen them and has ordained that they should be in Christ. Specifically, Jesus is referring to the Gentiles who have not accepted the call to enter through the door. But this can be applied to those within our sphere of influence and with those we encounter on a daily basis. Jesus had a vision of a larger sheep pen with a whole lot more sheep.
For us personally, we must come to terms with the inward focus that can haunt the local church. The church as a whole has developed a self-centered and inward focused life. As I have noted before we tend to spend a lot of time trying to secure our place in the sheep fold when we are already a member. The result is that we have become ingrown and indifferent to the world. We in essence don’t have a desire to see others come to Christ. Even if we do have the desire, we don’t act on it and we fail to bear witness to the greatness of God. Or, we believe that it is someone else’s job. But the truth is God has always given us new life and has awakened us from the slumbers of ingrown, self-satisfied, this fold-and-no-more attitudes.
I would like to issue a challenge to you. What if we turned our attention to the those around us for the next three months? What if we sought to share Christ with someone every day? What if we make the choice to bring others into the sheep fold? What if we took as much time trying to get others into the kingdom as we do trying to secure a place we already have? What a difference this would make. The sheep fold would be expanded and the kingdom of God would rejoice for those coming to Christ.
As we close today I would suggest that there are some who are struggling to understand their position in christ. They are continuing to struggle with knowing they are in or if they are out. Be assured, if you have accepted Christ you are in. Secondly, I would like to throw the gauntlet down. How many will focus their attention over the next few months on sharing Christ with others and leading others to the Door of faith? You will be amazed at what God will do.
For an audio of this message go to http://pccministry.org/media.php?pageID=14
Copyright © 2016 All Rights Reserved Robert W. Odom