Ron Graham was called home on March 14, 2013. He began writing this commentary before his death and had asked me, Nathele Graham, to continue his service to our Lord by finishing what he began.
Throughout the Bible we read of shepherds and sheep. Both the Old and New Testaments tell us the Lord is the Shepherd who watches over His sheep, and the sheep are those who trust Him and follow Him. A shepherd protects his sheep, provides food and water for them, and searches for them if they become lost. The sheep are precious to the shepherd and they trust him. As Christians, we know that our Lord Jesus is our Good Shepherd and we are His sheep.
“I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine” (John 10:14).
I don’t know about you but that verse gives me comfort. He is our shepherd and we shall not want for anything. Yes, we are in His protection, but there are wolves all around us waiting to harm us if we stray. Strange as it may seem, our Shepherd sends us out among the wolves.
“Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves” (Luke 10:3).
Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem and said those words to His disciples. He sent them out before Him to the cities that He would pass through on His way to Jerusalem. They were to tell people that Jesus was coming. Today, we are His disciples and He sends us among the wolves to give that same message. Jesus is coming and the lost wolves of this world need to hear that truth.
Who are the wolves? They are Satan’s followers… all unbelievers. Does that sound harsh? Does it sound as if I believe that non-Christians are on a wide path that leads to destruction? I do. You must understand what Jesus Himself tells us about unbelievers.
[Jesus said,] “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me schattereth abroad” (Matthew 12:30).
Who is against Jesus? Satan. So if you’re not with Jesus then you’re with Satan. That is bad company to be in. These wolves are everywhere. They are in our schools where the Bible is not welcome. They are news reporters who slant opinions to serve Satan work to have us accept ungodly lifestyles. They are preachers who preach politically correct sermons in order to not offend the wolves in the pews but they don’t feed the sheep. The wolves are everywhere.
Believers (the sheep who hear and heed our Shepherds voice) are a target for the wolves of the enemy. Satan places a bull’s eye on those who are actually upholding God’s inerrant word and preaching the gospel. He then directs his wolves to attack and destroy those targets. This satanic attack will become fiercer until Jesus removes His Ekklesia from planet Earth. If you are one of those who actively follow Jesus’ command to spread the gospel, you are currently wearing that target everywhere you go. Watch out for the wolves and don’t be devoured.
Quite often the wolves may look gentle and harmless. A sheep may even be tempted to join with the pack because they seem kind and not to be feared. We do have to live among the wolves, but we aren’t to join them. Partnerships, friendships, and marriage need to be between Christians. In most cases if a Christian chooses to join together with a nonbeliever, it is the Christian who will be expected to compromise—rather than the nonbeliever.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14).
Paul hit the nail on the head with that statement.
In order to avoid being devoured by the wolves, Christians need to know the voice of the Good Shepherd.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27).
How do we hear His voice? We need to read and study our Bibles and take God’s Word seriously. The words we read need to be applied to our lives. The closer our walk with Jesus, the safer we are from the wolves. We won’t be led astray. King David, who was a shepherd himself, cried out to God:
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).
Is that your plea to the Lord? Do you want to be right before the Lord? Study His Word to know His ways. The more you read God’s Word and apply it to your life, the easier it is to hear the Holy Spirit. He will help you to become bolder with sharing the gospel with the wolves. By drawing closer to our Good Shepherd and living your life according to His ways you may just convince a wolf to become a sheep.
It may not be easy to stand firm on God’s Word. Those who are lost wolves will hate us. Jesus said they would.
“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world; therefore the world hateth you” (John 15:18-19).
It is hard to understand why anyone would hate Jesus, but we are His and the world hates us too, because we remind them of their sin. Remember that God hasn’t changed. He still views sin as sin, no matter what the wolves would have us believe. The world tries to make it seem as if Christians are wrong to stand against same sex marriage, abortion, and other sins that God abhors.
We become the target of hate because our very presence reminds those who reject Christ that sin is wrong. We are not to hate sinners, in fact we all sin, but Christians understand that Christ paid a huge price for our salvation. We must not compromise our knowledge of God’s view of sin and His sacrifice on the cross in order to allow someone who is dying in their sin to feel good about it.
Christians are tempted to sin just like the lost wolves are. We know we are not to yield to temptation and if we are only listening to our Shepherds voice we will not be led astray; we won’t listen to those who would take us from the protection of the Good Shepherd.
“Then said Jesus unto them again, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them’” (John 10:7-8).
We belong to Jesus Christ and are His sheep. We are not Satan’s wolves. Believers in Christ are attentive only to our Lord’s voice and we follow Him and Him alone. We became the property of Jesus Christ at our conversion and we need to live our faith as we walk among the wolves. Our life needs to reflect Jesus instead of reflecting the worldly ways of the lost around us.
Satan’s agenda is to silence the body of Christ. Without men who are under his control, Satan could not move even one inch forward. He hates Christians and seems to be winning this spiritual war that rages around us.
Why is it that if a wolf is offended by a Christian it is the Christian who must keep quiet? If one wolf is offended by the phrase, “Merry Christmas” the sheep have to put up with “Happy Holidays.” Christians need to stop being ashamed of Christ and not be silenced.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).
We may have to live among the wolves, but we don’t have to live like them. Brethren, study God’s Word then start living like you are not ashamed of Him.
We need to be wary of those who claim to be Christians but have not truly accepted Christ. They are also wolves.
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matthew 7:15).
A person may claim to be a Christian but that doesn’t mean they are born-again. You might want to take a moment and examine your own walk with Jesus. Do you serve Him and Him alone, or are you a wolf in sheep’s clothing?
“He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4).
You can say, “I’m a Christian” but if you don’t keep His commandments you need to make some changes. Study His Word and see what His commandments are, then pray and make the necessary changes in your life and attitudes. Don’t live with one foot in the world and think it is just fine with God. You can be sure that there will be a wolf there waiting to devour you.
Satan’s wolves are all around us, but as Christians our faith is in Jesus. He is our Shepherd and He alone can save us from the wolves.
“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
If we have accepted Christ’s free gift of salvation, when we die we will not have to live among the wolves anymore. What a blessed day that will be. Until then we need to stay close to our Shepherd.
Don’t live with a question mark regarding your salvation. If you have any doubt, resolve it now. There is a wolf waiting to discourage you and move you away from the protection of the Good Shepherd. Place your life in Christ’s hands and live for Him now. If you do, you will live forever with Him in eternity.
God bless you all,