The Call of God and the Error of the Well Meant Offer
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.
How are thieves and robbers defined here in verse 1?
They do not enter by the Door, but by some other way. The Lord Jesus defined the Door in verse 7. He said: “I am the Door”. In other words, the only Gospel that can bring salvation is the Gospel that saves through Christ; more specifically through the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ, and nothing else!
No other conditions may be imposed, since all other conditions would be like climbing into the sheepfold by some other way.
Preachers who claim that other conditions must also be met, like “You must be baptized in water”, or “You must have faith”, or “You must speak in tongues”, or “You must depart out of the church”, “you must accept the well meant offer” they are all preaching a works gospel; it is not the Gospel of grace alone that the Bible proclaims.
They are climbing up by another way.
It is unavoidable that there will be thieves and robbers of the true Gospel. But nothing will be lost to Satan. Thieves and robbers are an integral part of God’s plan for saving His elect.
In this parable the Lord Jesus compares the church to a sheepfold, and He warns us here for pretending shepherds and for counterfeit sheep.
Who is entering in by the Door of the sheepfold?
Christ is the Door, and there is no other entrance into the church except through Christ. Christ is the Chief-Shepherd. Therefore, all teachers who lead men straight to Christ are good under-shepherds. Since the Chief-Shepherd and His under-shepherds are united together by one Spirit of God, it stands to reason that in verse 2 the “Shepherd of the sheep” refers to Christ as well as all those whom Christ has appointed undershepherds of His sheep.
When we read in verse 3, “To Him the Porter openeth”, we understand that the Porter refers to God the Father. It means that God will grant salvation to the elect whom the Lord Jesus is calling, as well as to the elect who hear Christ calling through the faithful preaching of one of the undershepherds. All this relates to doctrine, for “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ” (Colossians 2:3).
Have these sheep always been sheep, or were they goats and became sheep when they heard Christ calling?
No! These have always been sheep, even before Christ called them. They were born as sheep. They still came into the world as wicked sinners, in rebellion against God, but they were predestined to be saved, and thus they heard their Master’s call when He called. “The sheep heard His voice”, because they were His own sheep.
And so, when we read, “he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out”, it is the doctrine that Christ knows all His elect by name, and He leads them out from wherever He found them at that time.
When Christ calls us by name, God causes a transformation within us so that we will hear Christ’s Calling. It is guaranteed we will hear His call because our “names are written in heaven”.
Perhaps you remember when Jesus promised to His disciples that He will give them power over the enemy, in Luke 10:20, the Lord Jesus said, “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven”.
And so we see that the Calling of Christ to each one of His sheep, is a Calling that signals: a soul has been “Born Again”. This Calling does not come to each person in the world and leaves it to us if we want to accept or to reject that Calling. O No! This Calling is Particular, which means this Calling comes only to those whom God has chosen from before the foundation of the world.
We can see this clearly here in verse 3, “He calleth His own sheep by name, and leadeth them out”.
This is the irresistible grace of God operating on those whom God has elected unto salvation.
How can anyone conclude, after reading the Bible, that God will save those who of their own free will come to Jesus?
They would have to tear the entire Gospel of John out of their Bible and then some more chapters here and there. We can clearly see, from these verses in John chapter 10, that those who preach a gospel of salvation by their own free will, are those whom the Lord Jesus calls thieves and robbers.
We are to flee from them, because their aim is to keep our souls dead in sins, so that we end up in Hell.
How can anyone conclude that the calling is a work of God unto salvation and is available to all men?
And then they gradually change it into an offer, a well-meant offer on the part of God to all men, the acceptance of which depends on the free will of man. As you know, this is the mental track of 5th century Pelagius, and of 16th century Jacob Arminius, who are both messengers of Satan.
We do not deny that the Gospel comes within earshot of many whom the Lord does not plan to save. After all, “Many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14).
But the work of the grace of God unto salvation may never be confused with the external preaching of the Gospel to all mankind.
Think of it, when the Gospel reaches the ears of all the Reprobate as well as all the Elect, it does not mean that this can be classified as “common grace”.
First of all there is nothing common about grace, and secondly, the hearing of the gospel by the Reprobate could not be called grace, because it only adds to their condemnation.
Thirdly, since in salvation the sinner is translated from darkness into God’s marvelous light, the Calling in a saving sense is a work of God’s grace, and is wrought in the elect alone.
Like all the works of God’s grace, it is strictly particular, meaning it is for the elect alone. Even as election is strictly particular and dependent on God’s grace alone, even as the atonement of Christ is strictly particular and His blood is shed only for God’s elect, even as the work of regeneration does not depend on man’s work but is wrought by God’s sovereign grace only in the elect, so also is the Calling in a saving sense never general, but always particular. We see here in John 10:3 that this Calling of God does not come to all men, but only to God’s elect.
By Alfred J.Chompff