Summary: Many people who call themselves Christians today possess few of the characteristics of sheep.
ARE YOU REALLY A SHEEP?
1. We will do something a little different this morning.
2. We will turn to another place before we expound this passage!
3. Look with me in Matthew 7:13-23.
4. I find this passage very disturbing.
5. If I read it right, it means that there are multitudes of people who think they are saved, yet they are not!
6. It means that at the judgment, many people will say, “Lord, we worked for You and did many wonderful things in Your Name!”
7. Yet, the Lord will thunder out, “Depart from me, I never knew you!”
9. Are you really a sheep of God?
I. The Caretaker of the Sheep (v. 7-15)
• The Lord Himself is our Shepherd (Psalm 23)!
II. The Characteristics of His Sheep (v. 27)
A. They belong to their Shepherd—“My sheep.”
1. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (I Corinthians 6:19-20).
2. “Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men” (I Corinthians 7:23).
3. Since sheep are the possession of the shepherd, he is responsible for their care and provision.
B. They listen to their Shepherd—“hear my voice.”
1. Verse 3-5 add to this idea.
2. “Are you a sheep?” I ask.
3. Well, tell me if you listen to His voice!
4. Did you listen one day to the call of salvation and respond?
5. Do you listen to the call of separation and service?
6. Do you listen to His voice through the written word of God?
7. Do you care? Or would you rather read the newspaper or some paperback romance novel?
8. How about the preached word of God?
9. I want to know—are you listening to your Master, or another master?
10. Remember, Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters!”
11. Neither can you listen to two voices at the same time that are telling you opposite things!
12. The devil is directing you daily, if you are not careful.
13. You find his voice on television, in country, rock, and rap music, in many novels and such!
14. Whose voice are you listening to?
15. When Christ beckons, do you listen?
C. They have a relationship with their Shepherd—“I know them.”
1. Do you remember those chilling words we read in Matthew 7 where Jesus says to some people, “Depart from me…I never knew you”?
2. If you are one of the sheep in the Lord’s fold, Jesus said He knows you!
3. The Shepherd knows his sheep and a good one will lay down his life for his sheep.
4. Jesus is the perfect example—He laid down His life for us on the Cross of Calvary!
5. The word Jesus used for “know” speaks of a deep, intimate relationship!
6. Not only does Jesus know us, but He counts us as friends!
7. “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you” (John 15:15).
8. Verse 14 adds this thought—Sheep know their Shepherd!
9. Not only does the Shepherd know the sheep, the sheep know the Shepherd.
10. When we speak of relationship, we are not talking about merely knowing the facts about the Lord!
11. We are talking of knowing the Lord Himself!
12. The relationship a true Christian has with the Lord cuts both ways!
a. Christ knows each Christian
b. True Christians know Christ!
• “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (II Timothy 2:19).
D. They follow their Shepherd—“and follow me.”
1. This is the ultimate proof of the sheep.
2. Any person who claims to be a sheep, yet never follows Jesus, is a deceiver or deceived.
3. That person is either lying to us, or lying to himself.
4. Jesus makes this statement as a simple statement of fact: SHEEP FOLLOW THE SHEPHERD.
5. Show me a person with no desire or inclination to follow Jesus, and I will show you a person who is not one of His sheep.
6. Though all sheep are prone to wander, Jesus knows His own and will not let them go.
7. He seeks them out, calls to them, and they respond and follow---even though they might have strayed.