All Alternatives to Jesus Are Thieves -- John 10:1-10

John 10:1-10 (NIV) “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them. 7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Two different types of individuals who enter the sheep pen

1) There is the shepherd

2) There is the thief

So, how do we know the difference?

1) the shepherd enters by the gate (v. 2)

2) the thief comes another way (v. 1)

About The Shepherd:

1) the way is opened for him (3a)

2) his relationship to the sheep (3b-4)

a) he knows them by name
b) they listen to his voice
c) they follow his lead

3) his motivation is to do good (10b)

- to give them an abundant/full life

About the Thief:  

1) he climbs in as an intruder (1)

2) the sheep run from him -- he's a stranger (5)

3) his motivation is to do harm (10a)

a) steal
b) kill
c) destroy

The implication here is clear.  There is only one shepherd, all other alternatives are thieves.  Jesus is THE way (here, the gate), THE truth and THE life (the source of eternal life/bliss, i.e. the shepherd), no one comes to the Father but by/through (i.e. the gate) Him (John 14:6)

So, to those who wish to say that all ways lead to God, they are wrong.  All other ways, all other religions, steal people from the one true way to God the Father.  They are imposters, they are thieves, they are the works of the Devil, seeking to fill the God-shaped vacuum within human souls with an imitation, seeking to steal them before they find the true Shepherd and abundant life in relationship to Him. 

Are you following the Shepherd or are you following a thief?

The Bible states that God created the heavens and the earth.  He created it all to be good and called it good (see Genesis 1 and 2).

However, man, in the person of Adam and Eve, decided to rebel against God.  They disobeyed Him and brought sin into the world and its consequences: death, separation from God and a world of disorder and evil (Genesis 3).

If you have been wondering why there is so much evil in the world, this is the reason:

"by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" Romans 5:12.

"For all have sinned and fall short of God's glory" Romans 3:23

And the Bible states that the punishment for this sin is death, separation from God and even Hell/the Lake of Fire:

"For the wages of sin is death . . ."  -- Romans 6:23  

"And whoever was not found in the book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire" Revelation 20:15

Yet God has made a way for us to get right with Him: 

For God loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.  John 3:16

Romans 6:23, quoted above, continues this way: "but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord"  

So, God has provided the gift of salvation through His Son. Jesus died on the cross and took the wrath of God on our sin upon Himself.  He was our substitute.  He died and three days later rose from the dead. The Bible states that He ascended to heaven and sits at the Father's right hand.  

As Jesus stated, "I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but by me" John 14:6

Jesus encouraged people of His day to repent and follow Him.  The disciples also called on people to repent (turn from) their sins and to have faith in Jesus.  To those who did, the Bible says that He gave them the power (and privilege) to be sons (and daughters) of God (John 1:12).  

Have you placed your faith in the Lord Jesus?  If not, you can do so today by praying a prayer like this:  

"Dear God, I believe that I am a sinner.  I repent of trying to find God my own way.  I repent of trying to please God in my own strength and in my own way.  I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  I believe that He came to die for my sins on the cross and to rise again.  I believe that the only way to Heaven is through Him. I accept Him as my Savior.  I want to walk with you, God. Help me to live according to your standards, not my own or someone else's.  Help me to read the Bible and over time understand it.  Forgive me for my sins and allow me into heaven.  In Jesus' name,

The Bible states that the prayer of faith saves. 

Now, it is important that you find a local church that teaches and preaches that Jesus is the only way.  This church will not be perfect, it is full of what we call redeemed sinners, just like you.  They will make mistakes, they will sin and so will you.  However, the Bible states that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (that which is an offense to God).  

It is important to read and study the Bible.  The Bible is Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth, as someone called it.  In it you will find encouragement, you will be rebuked for doing the wrong things and you will be giving instructions on how to do the right things (in God's eyes).  It is powerful and life-changing.  But you cannot simply read it and expect to change.  You must live accordingly.   You must do what it says. 

It is important to pray.  Prayer is your communication channel with God. He speaks to you through His Word, the Bible.  You speak to Him by prayer.  Don't know what to pray?  Pray to Him as a Father figure (if you had a bad father figure, then remember He is everything a father should be). Pray to Him as a friend (Jesus called His disciples friends).  Just talk to Him like you would talk to a friend.  Pray with respect but just tell Him about your day, about how thankful you are, about your troubles and your triumphs.  Tell Him about others who need Him in some way.  

Those three things don't save you (going to church, reading the Bible or praying).  However, they help you live out what you believe.  They help you to grow.  By them, the Holy Spirit of God is able to produce in you evidence that you are alive in Christ (saved) and growing (just like a live and healthy fruit tree produces fruit).  

I hope this post has blessed you in some way. Feel free to pass it along to someone who may need it.  

New International Version (NIV)

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All Scripture posted and marked as such is from the NIV.  Otherwise it is from the King James Version or a paraphrased adaptation thereof.  

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