You are not my sheep, says the Lord.
Two of the most debated and essential doctrines of the word of God are the doctrines of election and eternal security. On this article I will address both with a passage out of the book of John. Most christians and (if we’re going to be honest with ourselves) most pastors out there teach the salvation process to go something like this: you hear/know Jesus is Messiah, you believe Jesus is Messiah and then in turn you become one of His sheep. Once you have heard, because you heard it and you believed it to be true you have NOW become Christ’s sheep, you are NOW born into the family of God. I mean, isn’t that what you have heard? I know I have! Let me assure you that this is NOT the true process of salvationas taught in scripture. Don’t take my word for it friend, you ought to be a berean and search scripture to see if these things are so, and that is exactly what we’re going to do.
John 10: 24-29 “The Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me. 26“But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. 27“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29“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.
Let us dissect this passage. The Jews came to Christ and said to Him, listen if you’re the Messiah just come out and tell us. Meaning, if you plainly tell us, no more parables, just tell us that you’re the Messiah in plain Aramaic, and we would believe. Jesus replied to them “I have told you, and you do not believe…” It is clear all throughout the NT that Jesus claims to be the Messiah but most of these claims are spoken in parables. This brings us to the point in this conversation in which Jesus states why these Jews do not believe Him. “But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep”. This my friends is the verse which gives the doctrine of election a solid biblical foundation, more than any other verse in the bible. The truth, because you were elected before the foundation of the world as His sheep when you heard about Jesus being the Messiah you wholeheartedly believed, repented of your sins and submitted to Him as Lord and Savior. If you are a true believer, you were Christ’s sheep BEFORE you ever heard about Jesus or believed in Him. Without being His sheep first you would have NEVER come to the saving faith in Jesus Christ…
John 6:44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. This is called personal revelation. The father has to choose to draw the individual (the process of election initiated ONLY by God) to Christ in order for them to come to Him. The word “come” in this verse is not speaking of a mere approaching Christ, this “come” is in the sense of true salvation. This notion is evident in the last part of that verse when Christ says He will raise him up on the last day. The passage in context is speaking of true believers. You can read the rest of the passage in your bible and come to the same conclusion.
An unregenerate being simply can’t come to Christ out of their own will, without the election of God shown clearly in the fact that He is the one choosing who He draws to Christ, it is impossible for a sinner to “will the faith and repentance needed for true salvation” because…
“you…who were dead in trespasses and sins…even when you were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ” (Eph. 2:1, 5)
“And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive” (Col. 2:13)
Without God allowing you to see FIRST, you couldn’t come to Christ because as sinners we are blind…
“yet the Lord has not given you a heart to perceive & eyes to see & ears to hear” (Deut. 29:4)
“I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand…For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.” (Mt. 13:13-15)
“Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: ‘He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, lest they should see with their eyes, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.’” (Jn. 12:38-40)
“to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins” (Acts 26:18)
“there is none who understands” (Rom. 3:11)
“But their minds were blinded.” (2 Cor. 3:14)
“But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.” (2 Cor. 4:3-4)
John 10:28and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29“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.
These verses clearly show the doctrine of eternal security. You can’t get yourself saved, you can’t keep yourself saved so the one who took off the blinders and drew you to Christ, granted you the faith you couldn’t produce while a sinner, gifted you with repentance and sanctifies you also keeps you safe in His hand.
“If fallen, dead, deaf, blind sinners can’t come to Christ, then how do they come to Christ?” Does God give the new birth (becoming His sheep) because they believed, or does He set them apart so that they can believe? In other words, is faith the cause of the new birth, or is the new birth the cause of faith? To believe that fallen, dead, deaf, blind sinners can will themselves to repent and believe thus be born again is like getting the cart before the horse. Logically and biblically they must have FIRST (elected ) Christ’s sheep, before they could repent and believe in Christ. This is a wonderful truth and sobering reality of how so many evangelical christians believe an individual can will themselves to be saved by creating their own “faith”. This also shows how WRONG and misunderstood we have it, the salvation process that is.
If we are true believers, therefore slaves and disciples of Christ, then we must have a sense of urgency to study the word in order to be grounded in biblical truths essential to discerning and refuting false doctrine like this one. Having the correct interpretation of biblical teachings is imperative if one is to know not only God’s character but His will. A slave can’t do the will of the master if they have the wrong interpretation or a misunderstanding of such will. The same is true for us. If we’re to worship God in spirit and truth, we must diligently seek to study the Word that we may be able to.
2 Tim 2:15 “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”
How can one accurately handle the word of truth if we are not interested in studying the Word? Not only studying the word but learning to exercise proper hermenuitics and exegisis when reading the Word. If we’re not putting time into studying the scriptures correctly, you will not be able to tell the difference between sound and unsound doctrine. Friend, the season we’re in beckons us to be more discerning than ever. I will suggest to you that discernment is not found anywhere outside the Word of the living God!