“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.”
There are some people among the fallen sons of Adam whom God almighty has purposed to save. They are called “his own sheep.” These sheep are sinners loved of God with an everlasting love, chosen by him unto salvation, and redeemed by Christ the Good Shepherd. They shall, each of them, be called to life and faith in Christ by the power of God’s irresistible grace at his appointed time and preserved in him unto everlasting glory.
Sheep and Goats
According to the Word of God, the whole human race is divided into two categories: sheep and goats. Sheep never become goats; and goats never become sheep. Our Lord plainly tells us that some men and women are his sheep; and some are not his sheep. Some are goats (Matthew 25:31-33; John 10:16, 26). This division of the human race was made in eternity in God’s sovereign purpose of grace in eternal election. He chose some to salvation and passed by others.
This division is made manifest in time, at the time of love, when the sheep are called by the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the gospel to life and faith in Christ. The call of the Spirit and our resulting faith in Christ do not make the division or make us sheep; but the call of God and the gift of faith in Christ make the division manifest, and make it manifest that we are Christ’s sheep, chosen, redeemed, and called by grace.
This division of the human race is a permanent, immutable division. — Sheep never become goats; and goats never become sheep.
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