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Another sheep question


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#1 Charles Miles

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 10:12 AM

In  SS last week we were discussing the statements Jesus made in John 10 about who He is and how angry the Jewish leaders became when He answered them. He said that He had told them before but they did not understand because they were not His sheep.  "My sheep hear my voice".

Then a statement was placed on the screen that caused much discussion. Maybe made by a man named Pink.

 

"You do not have to believe to be one of His sheep. You believe because you are one of His sheep"

 

If you want to break up an adult SS class, just put that up on the board for discussion! Some people got "stuck" on the first sentence so bad that they didn`t read the second sentence. It is definitely a statement that makes one stop and think about who Jesus is, who we are, and what our relationship with Jesus has been in the past as well as what that relationship is at present. 

 

Just thought I would place this out there and see what some people, who I respect, would have to say about it. This is certainly not something to have snap judgement about, but something to let "sink in" and ask Holy Spirit to educate you on. I won`t say what my thoughts are now, I just want to see what others who are born again and live daily with Jesus and the Father in their heart have to say.

 

May God bless us all.

 

Charlie


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#2 ADVRider

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 02:02 PM

My initial thought is that it is not correct. Even if a person subscribes to divine election as taught by Calvinists, it seems to me there are many scriptures that reference the need to believe in the Savior to be His disciple. I do believe the Lord is at work in peoples' lives even before they are saved, but I think it is belief in who He is, why He came, etc. that brings you into the fold.  If one wants to suggest because of predestination, election, foreknowledge and all, that an individual is a sheep from the beginning, it does not in my view negate the need for it to become reality through belief by faith in the Son. 


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#3 Candice

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 08:58 PM

Hi Charles,
Itís difficult to take two sentences with no context. So, I looked up sheep in regards to belief, etc. in scripture.

Like John 10: ďJesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.Ē

There were two sheep folds: one gentile believers and then Israel. Israel was Christís first care but they, at least during His ministry, did not believe. Jesus said he had another fold. The gentiles who believed. So, being grafted into the branch (or sheep fold) was to be a believer. I think Arthur Pinkís full messsge or sermon would be good to read to see what he meant and get context. I think, if these two sentences were all the SS teacher provided, he kinda set up the folks ó- or, at least some. Clever, but some stumble on this kind of presentation; regardless of the intent.

I can see how folks in Sunday School could get stuck because thereís just two sentences cleverly positioned. While I see what is meant here, I canít say I fully agree without context. Who was Jesus referring to? Who is He speaking to? I think He is saying Israel isnít in His true fold, but those who believe are HisóJew or Gentile.

I would, at split second glance and without much consideration, look at this as predestination. But, then thereís context that must be considered.

This is good to bring up Charlie as this is what we hear and ponder in everyday life, hearing in a sermon, or whatever. We can bounce off of others!


Love, Candice
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#4 Charles Miles

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 10:33 PM

I brought this up because it does provoke thought and really makes on dig down deep within their relationship with Christ. Many scriptures crossed my mind while I pondered these two sentences.  First let me say that these are not the words of Jesus, so whether one thinks they are right or wrong is not a salvation thing. As a child of the living God, and one of His sheep, I just cautiously looked this over.

 

Remember the man who was blind from birth, mentioned in John?  Jesus healed him of the blindness and the man did not even know who Jesus was when the church leaders kept questioning him over and over.  They even questioned his parents. "Who this man was, I do not know. All I know is that I was blind and now I can see!" Jesus then returned and asked the man if he knew about the Messiah, and the man said yes.  Jesus then told the man who he was, "I am He".  The man immediately believed.

 

Now, was this blind man one of Christ`s sheep before the healing?  After confessing belief in the Messiah(Jesus) I think we can all assume he is a sheep at this point. So the question posed by Rev Pink`s statement(if it is a question) is just when did the man become one of Christ`s sheep? Jesus also says that if any man come to Him, He will by no means cast him away. I knew you as you were knit in your mother`s womb.  

 

I will be first to admit that I am not exactly comfortable with Rev Pink`s statement and I will ponder it for a while, but I do think there is a possibility it is true. 

 

May the Lord bless us and keep us close to Him,

 

Charlie


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#5 Meema

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 05:14 AM

And then thereís this - to add to the fray - 

 

Many are called, few are chosen (Matthew 22:14) The parable of the wedding feast. The invitation went out from the king to fill the hall when the original invitees declined to attend. Not too difficult to figure out who is who in this analogy. It gets disturbing though at the punch line. That one guy, the one who came but wasnít dressed properly - he was ejected from the party. Was he arrogant or just clueless? He heard and responded to the invitation - he either didnít realize there was something else required of him or he didnít care. We could debate the subtle underpins of that for eons. 

 

Iíve mulled this into the ground. I finally had to back up and stop looking at all the threads under a microscope so I could see the incredible tapestry instead.

 

Letís establish that God is all knowing - He knows everything from beginning to end. So, letís refer to this as God having seen the video - (actually he wrote and directed) but letís say Heís seen the climactic ending. Further He well knows the actors and characters and how it all turns out, who is the protagonist and the antagonist. And who sides with whom.

 

Hereís the kicker though and probably the point - we donít. All we know is the promise. We know that faith is a condition that allows for us to believe without seeing or knowing the outcome of any and all situations. We know that surrendering to His will is our best option. 

 

And - lastly - Ďtheyí donít know either. ĎTheyí meaning those who either outright decline the invitation and those who go to the wedding without dressing properly. 

 

To say that His sheep know the sound of His voice is a thread - just one addition to the warp or weft. I settled this for myself by concluding there is much more to know and understand about how a work of art tapestry is woven together.

 

If I only look to the single threads Iím too close to appreciate the immense beauty of the whole thing. I choose to err on the side of respect and awe so I have to believe that I am an invitee who wants to not only hear His voice but respond dressing myself appropriately with humility and willingness to servitude. Did He foreknow that I would do this? Probably - but then He also knows how the video ends so thereís that. You canít unknow what you know. Right?

 

The argument for predestination is not unlike the argument for universalism - everyone is either saved in the end or only the selected elite. These polar opposite doctrines always come to a myopic conclusion that mostly just keep the options open for those who donít want to accept the first invitation and for those who do and attend but donít want to know what is expected of them. 

 

Voltaire was an atheist who spoke about not rejecting that there is a God, ďjust in caseĒ. He died in fear, scrambling to be reconciled with the church. I think he represents the guest who didnít have a clue how to dress.


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#6 Charles Miles

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 11:30 PM

Thank you all for responding to the thoughts. There is no controversy, just thoughts about what a writer said some time ago. The statements kind of go along with the fact that we don`t praise Him to get saved, we praise Him BECAUSE we are saved. 

 

May all of you have a Merry Christmas,

 

Charlie


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#7 ADVRider

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 08:18 AM

A parallel verse, John 18:37, says, "For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify of the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice." NASB Who is a sheep? Everyone who is of the truth.



#8 Jesus_Lolly

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 04:29 PM

In the same vein, Jesus stated, " ... no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father" (John 6:65).

 

Interestingly, this Scripture popped out at me a few days ago as the Holy Spirit hovered over it as I read.

 

What went through my mind is how so many today do not wish to be chosen by God. I think that was also

the climate when Jesus walked  on the earth. Certainly, He did enough to be taken seriously. However, many

still refused.

 

So, what we had then, and what we have now...are those who are chosen/the elect and those who do

not want to be chosen. It's become a mutual agreement between the unchosen and God. And yet,

there are still a few who jump at the chance when asked to be part of God's family. Certainly,

they are the elect.

 

It appears to me that as the day draws near, the window is closing on this world. As such, the elect

are more pronounced because they stand out.

 

Lolly


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#9 Candice

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 05:12 PM

In the same vein, Jesus stated, " ... no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father" (John 6:65).

 

Interestingly, this Scripture popped out at me a few days ago as the Holy Spirit hovered over it as I read.

 

What went through my mind is how so many today do not wish to be chosen by God. I think that was also

the climate when Jesus walked  on the earth. Certainly, He did enough to be taken seriously. However, many

still refused.

 

So, what we had then, and what we have now...are those who are chosen/the elect and those who do

not want to be chosen. It's become a mutual agreement between the unchosen and God. And yet,

there are still a few who jump at the chance when asked to be part of God's family. Certainly,

they are the elect.

 

?Lolly,

I see those who, as in Romans 1, really are turned over by the Lord Himself to their own depravity.  Romans 1 really does lay it out simply.  

?Some people can be challenged with:  "If the truth of Christ, all of it, could be proven to you, would you believe?"  Sadly, some basically say, "I don't want to believe".  

?Sadly, this is where many are these days.  Their eyes and ears have been stopped up so that they cannot believe.  Not all, but many.  There is a real need to realize this when evangelizing, simply sharing.  Not all will hear His voice cause they simply choose not to.

 

 


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#10 Candice

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 05:17 PM

There's something wrong with the formatting above I think?!



#11 Jesus_Lolly

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 08:43 AM

So true Candice.



#12 elizabethcog

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 07:42 PM

It seems it never really mattered what I believed, I mean what I believe never really stuck, never really changed me much for long. If I believe it is only because our Lord has opened my eyes and changed my heart so that I can believe. It is his gift of salvation not ours. Some things we will never fully understand this side of heaven and I am okay with that now. When I was mad at God and told him I do not believe in you it never changed who God is. He knew me when he formed me before I even was born...interesting to think I was His little unborn baby sheep, but I could not believe myself to be this and now I cannot believe I was ever anything but His. I am sure grateful for Him and love to tell others of His good news. Could it be the telling others is what He uses to not only grow His kingdom but to grow His little sheep too... great question here


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Jesus and Jesus alone saves=D

#13 Charles Miles

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 08:47 PM

As I study the Word and ask Holy Spirit to lead me deeper, I do see meanings that I never have seen before. I do believe that many of these deeper meanings are teaching moments for me and maybe only me, because I need the instruction and I need the growth.  Never would I take one of God`s teaching moments for me and ask others to apply it to their lives, because that may not be what God wants to teach them at that time.           As I look at Dr Pink`s statement, I can see where I was and who I was several years ago. Indeed I was one of His sheep, but just not one that had heard His voice yet! I was not listening to the Lord`s voice or FOR the Lord`s voice. BUT when I heard it, I knew at once who spoke.. 


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#14 elizabethcog

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 07:37 PM

I used to try to find God and I wanted to believe in him I tried to copy things I saw other people do I tried to say things I heard other people say I even dressed a way that I thought God would accept or at least the people who I thought had God would accept. I decided no more smoking or drinking no more cussing all the things I thought were bad I was not going to do them anymore then God would love me and I would know him like the other people. None of this worked I couldn't do it I could not find God. I got a Bible and I even tried to read it It just didn't make any sense to me but I wanted it to. Life got bad I made terrible choices made a bigger mess than ever of everything I really did not care if I lived anymore I remember crying out to the God I didn't know to do something. I was just broken as I think I could be and it got so much worse after that so much worse... Now today Jesus is my Lord and Savior I can look back on my life and see evidence of him all throughout it. So was I his sheep when I did not know him ?I think so, I think he knew me... And the Bible says that he knew me before he formed me in my mother's womb... It's just myself simple idea but that's the only one I have with my simple mind God's mind however is quite different and one day One Sweet Day it will all make sense until then I am praying and telling others about my Savior Jesus Christ? I struggle with words sometimes, so please excuse any errors, God bless! Thank you Jesus for saving me for your glory!
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Jesus and Jesus alone saves=D

#15 Jesus_Lolly

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 06:04 AM

He was drawing you to himself, amen.


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