Summary: The presence of God is accessed through the door of Jesus Christ and all who go through that door will find more than they ever hoped for.
Griffith Baptist Church – 3/15/09
Text: John 10:1-10
Key verse: John 10:10 – The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Premise: The presence of God is accessed through the door of Jesus Christ and all who go through that door will find more than they ever hoped for.
An Arab chief tells the story of a spy captured and sentenced to death by a general in the Persian army. This general had the strange custom of giving condemned criminals a choice between the firing squad and ’the big, black door."
The moment for execution drew near, and guards brought the spy to the Persian general, ’What will it be," asked the general, ’the firing squad or ’the big, black door?’"
The spy hesitated for a long time. Finally he chose the firing squad.
A few minutes later, hearing the shots ring out confirming the spy’s execution, the general turned to his aide and said, ’They always prefer the known to the unknown. People fear what they don’t know. Yet, we gave him a choice."
’What lies beyond the big door?" asked the aide.
’Freedom," replied the general. ’I’ve known only a few brave enough to take that door."
Don McCullough, Solana Beach, California, quoted in Leadership, Winter Quarter, 1992, p. 57
This portion of Scripture deals with Christ in two aspects as the “I AM”:
1. The Door of the Sheepfold
2. The Shepherd of the Sheep
It is the first thought that we will occupy our time with today.
The door of the sheepfold:
• In Palestine, shepherds would often take their sheep to a protective place, the sheepfold, to keep their sheep.
• There might be several flocks kept together in the same sheepfold for protection
• These sheepfolds were surrounded by stone walls, some as high as 10 feet but most were only tall enough to keep the sheep in and the predators out.
• When the shepherds would come to collect their sheep and take them to feed, the shepherd would enter and call out to his sheep.
• Only those sheep that recognized the voice of their shepherd would follow him and the rest would stay, waiting for their masters to call them.
• There was no physical door to the sheepfold, only a designated man who would place himself in the doorway and act as the door, not allowing the sheep to escape and wander off to danger and protecting the sheep from predators entering in.
Jesus Christ described Himself as the Door and in that respect we can get a picture of what that door provides for us.
1. The Door of Salvation – Front Door (9)
In one of his books, A. M. Hunter, the New Testament scholar, Source unknown relates the story of a dying man who asked his Christian doctor to tell him something about the place to which he was going. As the doctor fumbled for a reply, he heard a scratching at the door, and he had his answer.
’Do you hear that?" he asked his patient. ’It’s my dog. I left him downstairs, but he has grown impatient, and has come up and hears my voice. He has no notion what is inside this door, but he knows that I am here. Isn’t it the same with you? You don’t know what lies beyond the Door, but you know that your Master is there." Christian Theology in Plain Language, p. 208
A. This is the only possible door to salvation and peace with God; He accepts no other way - John 14:6 - Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
B. This door offers access to your permanent home:
i. A place of acceptance
ii. A place of rest
iii. A place of peace
C. All it takes is to accept the invitation and come in: (verse 9)
i. It is a personal invitation – I am the door . . . (Rom. 5:1)
ii. It is an open invitation – . . . if anyone enters by me . . . (Jn 6:37; 1 Jn 2:2)
iii. It is a guaranteed invitation – . . . he will be saved . . . (Jn 3:16)
iv. It is a secure invitation – . . . will go in and out and find pasture. (1st Jn 5:13; Jn 10:28-29)
2. The Door of Safety – Living Room (1-2, 8, 10a)
Here are some tongue-in-cheek food safety “facts” from New York’s Miner Institute: Nearly all sick people have eaten carrots. Obviously, the effects are cumulative. An estimated 99.9% of all people who die from cancer and heart disease have eaten carrots. 99.9% of people involved in car crashes ate carrots within 60 days of their accidents. 93.1% of juvenile delinquents come from homes where carrots are served regularly. Among the people born in 1839 who later ate carrots, there has been a 100% mortality rate. Now while the comments on carrots are meant for humor and not true, the fact of Jesus Christ being the Door of safety is absolutely true.