Summary: Christian Victory
THE BAD NEWS AND THE GOOD NEWS
© 3-2000 by Mark Beaird
Text: John 10:10
n Many men would love to lead the life of Sean Connery. Tall, handsome, and dashing, Connery played the glamorous part of 007 in six James Bond movies. Connery travels the world to shoot movies in places exotic as equatorial Africa or the Orient. In addition to acting, Connery works as the producer of films, a position of considerable power.
Yet when asked in an interview why, at age sixty-two, he continues to act, Connery gave a surprising reply: "Because I get the opportunity to be somebody better and more interesting than I am."
Many people feel like Connery. Their lives aren't all that they could be. They aren't as good as they should be. Something is missing that even glamorous acting roles cannot fulfill. (Larson, 9)
What's missing for many, is the life that Jesus Christ offers. In the previous verses, Jesus tells us that He is the Good Shepherd, the One who protects, gives and sustains the life of the sheep-which is a picture of His relationship with us.
But then in our text he refers to the "thief." The thief is the one who wants to break in on the sheep and steal and kill or simply take from the sheep-in this case you and me. It's a picture of those who have used and abused the people of God for their own gain over the centuries. It is also a perfect picture of Satan and his work since the beginning. He sought to steal the worship and glory of God in the beginning and nothing has changed since-he is still trying to steal kill and destroy.
With this in mind, we get to the heart of the matter. We've all heard the saying; "I've got some good news and some bad news, which do you want first?" Well, concerning our lives, Jesus gives us the bad news first and then the good news.
I. THE BAD NEWS IS THAT THE THIEF HAS COME.
A. The thief, Satan, has come to kill.
n Someone has said that, "God never threatens; the devil never warns." -- Oswald Chambers, Leadership, Vol. 3, no. 1.
He will attack swiftly and without warning because he is a murderer and his work is to take from you any semblance of life that you may have.
B. He has come to steal.
n Clayton Bell says, "There are two big lies that Satan has been perpetrating ever since the Garden of Eden. The first is that God is mean, vindictive, a spoilsport whose main role in life is to keep us from being fulfilled and happy-when we step out of bounds, he takes delight in making us pay.
The second lie is that God really doesn't care what we do-probably doesn't know. And if he does, his business is to forgive us. He'll always forgive no matter what, so it really doesn't make much difference how we live and what we believe."
-- B. Clayton Bell, "Many Happy Returns," Preaching Today, Tape No. 135.
It's when we start believing Satan's lies that he really begins to be able to steal from us. In a sense, he is stealing by deception-not an obvious tactic but a very effective one.
C. He has come to destroy.
Destruction is the goal of the thief, what he cannot have or control he wishes to destroy. Satan's work has never been about building anything. Even the act of building his kingdom is all about the tearing down of the people of God and the things of God.