JESUS ASKS–ARE YOU GOING TO HEAVEN OR HELL?
Ancient shepherds used to mark their sheep so that no confusion would occur as flocks merged at watering holes. They had a unique nick on their ears or a brand painted on their sides. Jesus actually tells us He has two marks on each of us who belong to Him.
In John 10 Jesus identifies believers as His sheep. There are two identifying markers that show Christ’s ownership. When we are true believers we have Christ’s marks on our ears and on our feet. Jesus tells us “My sheep hear my voice (that is a mark on the ear) and they follow me (that is the mark of the foot). Christ’s sheep hear and follow. Do you know this morning that you belong to Jesus? You can, just hear and follow Him. Just get marked in the ear and the foot.
Please join me in John 10 as I read v. 7-11 and 25-30.
Being Christ’s sheep means I learn to WALK CHRIST’S PATH INSTEAD OF MINE – Instead of being one of the crowd I am willing to be singled out, set apart from the gang. Most of us are like sheep, we want to belong. We don’t want to be different in a deep, distinctive way, though we may wish to be different in minor details that appeal to our selfish egos! But Christ pointed out that only a few would find His way acceptable. And to be marked as one of His would mean a certain amount of criticism and sarcasm from a cynical society. Many of us don’t want this. Just as He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, so we may be. Instead of adding to the sorrows and sadness of society, we may be called on to help bear some of the burdens of others, to enter into the suffering of others. Are we ready to do this?
So being Christ’s sheep means I GET MARKED IN THE EAR AND FOOT – Instead of choosing my own way I am willing to choose to follow in Christ’s way: simply to do what He asks me to do. This basically is simple, straightforward obedience. It means I just do what He asks me to do. I go where He invites me to go. I say what He instructs me to say. I act and react in the manner He maintains is in my own best interest as well as for His reputation (if I’m His follower). Most of us possess a formidable amount of factual information on what the Master expects of us. Precious few have either the will, intention, or determination to act on it and comply with His instructions. But the person who decides to do what God asks him has moved onto fresh ground, which will do both him and others a world of good. Besides, it will please the Good Shepherd no end. God wants us all to move on with Him. He wants us to walk with Him. He wants it not only for our welfare but for the benefit of others as well as His own dear reputation. Perhaps there are those who think He expects too much of us. Maybe they feel the demands are too drastic. Some may even consider His call impossible to carry out. It would be if we had to depend on self-determination, or self-discipline to succeed. But if we are in earnest about wanting to do His will, and to be led, He makes this possible by His own gracious Spirit who is given to those who obey (Acts 5:32). For it is He who works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2: 13) . Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 1 Timothy 6:8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.