Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"He's Coming For His Sheep"

"And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats." Matthew 25:32

Recently someone asked me about the beliefs of a particular denomination. They had heard that this denomination believes that they are the only ones who are going to heaven and if you are not part of their church you will not make it. I have noticed that there are several religious groups that believe this same way. They believe that they are the only ones who will be there or that Jesus is returning only for them. As our conversation progressed I told this person that when Jesus returns He isn't coming for a denomination. He isn't coming for the Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Assembly of God, Catholic, etc. He is coming for His sheep. (He is coming for His sheep regardless of what denomination that they are in.)

Jesus is the good Shepherd, and the Shepherd is coming for His sheep. He is coming for those who are following Him- like sheep follow their shepherd. (Please read on and understand what I am saying.) He isn't coming for the "religious". He isn't coming for "church goers". He isn't coming for the "church member". You can be all that- religious, church member, church worker, etc.- and still not be a follower of Jesus. The Pharisees were all that, but they didn't follow Jesus, they rejected Him and His teachings. Just because you sit in church doesn't mean that you are following Jesus any more than going to McDonald's makes you a Big Mac. Just "sitting" in church, just attending church services, just being part of a particular denomination is not what defines you as a follower of Christ. Repenting of your sins, being obedient to His commands, loving Him with all your heart, seeking to do His will and not your own, giving Him first place in your life, making Him the Lord of your life is what makes you are follower. It makes you one of His sheep.

Are you counting on your affiliation with a particular denomination to save you? Are you counting on your church attendance and adherence to that church to make you right with God? Are you putting your faith in your religion to get you to heaven? Or are you putting your faith in Jesus and living out your faith by following Him? Are you just going to church or following the Shepherd? Your denominational affiliation doesn't save you, faith in Christ does. And faith in Christ means you follow Him.

Have a great day. Are you a follower of the Good Shepherd or just a denomination?

For further reading:
John 10:11-15,27
Matthew 16:24
Ephesians 2:8,9
John 3:16

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