Oh, Gentle Shepherd :: By Dennis Huebshman

 

Today’s world is turning more and more against anything that has to do with our Blessed Savior. In some areas of this evil world today, people are being martyred just for having a Bible in their homes or on their person. Jesus said in Matthew 24:9-13, “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” (ESV โ€“ all emphasis mine)

It should come as no surprise that this attitude is here today. True believers are being called “haters” because we will not indulge in the abominations that are out in the open as never before. All the attitudes Paul spoke of in 2 Timothy 3 are everywhere, thanks to Satan and his followers. None of this is a surprise to our Heavenly Father, as His word told us this would happen. Satan knows his time is getting short, and he is working in “overdrive” to pull as many souls away from the Savior as possible.

We have passages throughout the Bible that tell us to stand fast with the Lord for our strength. For example, Isaiah 41:10; “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed for I am your God; I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

For many today, it’s easier to go along with the crowd than to live to honor our Savior. The things of this earth are more important to them rather than taking into consideration where they will spend eternity. Satan knows how to use temptation to his best advantage, and for someone who has not made any attempts to develop a relationship with Jesus, his deceptions work very well.

In the past, I have given Matthew 7:13-14 as a reminder that Jesus understands this, and He knows that more will accept this world rather than Him. “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide, and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow, and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

The “hard” part is to be different from the majority world’s view and to call out to Jesus to be saved. All who wish to ensure eternal life in Heaven must receive and accept Jesus. John 14:6 explains this in clear, easy-to-understand language. “Jesus said to him, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Romans 8:1; “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

John 3:18; “Whoever believes in Him is not condemned; but whoever does not believe is condemned already; because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” 1 John 5:12 follows this with, “whoever has the Son, has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

Then Acts 4:12; “And there is Salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

This world is about to enter a period of time that will be worse than ever before. It will be a time when Satan will literally have control, and anyone who does not swear allegiance to his antichrist will most likely be martyred.

Right now is a good time to take the opportunity to become a part of the Savior’s precious flock (John 10). All who have received Jesus as their Savior will be kept from the coming wrath (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10; Revelation 3:10). There will be a trumpet blast and a shout from an archangel that will call all believers worldwide up to meet Jesus in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53). Then we will be with our “Gentle Shepherd” forever. Sounds like a mass exodus, but more will be left behind than will be Raptured.

By the way, the entire Rapture process will be in “the twinkling of an eye” (1 Corinthians 15:52), which is calculated to be less than one second. Anyone who believes they can call out to be saved when the trumpet and shout take place will be greatly disappointed.

Cindy Walker of Mart, Texas (7/1918 โ€“ 3/2006) wrote a beautiful song called “Oh Gentle Shepherd.” The version I prefer was sung by Jim Reeves and can be heard on YouTube.

1.) My soul is lost, so lonely and so cold; just like a lamb that has strayed from the fold. Across the bare waste of sin I roam; Oh Gentle Shepherd, hear my cry and lead me Home.

2.) The hours go by, on frightened wings of flight; while wolves of hell are waiting for the night, to claim the soul that wanders from the fold; โ€“ Oh Gentle Shepherd, hear my cry and save my soul.

3.) Oh Gentle Shepherd, hear my lonely cry, and in thy cool green pasture let me lie; beside the still clear waters lead Thou me. Oh Gentle Shepherd, safe forever more with thee.

To become a part of this precious flock, Romans 10:9-13 gives the steps. Once we have called out to be saved, the Holy Spirit will come and dwell in us until we go Home. For some, this will be through death; and for some, it will be through the Rapture. Either way, once our last breath is taken here, we will be with our Gentle Shepherd. If it is by death, Paul says in Philippians 1:23, “to depart and be with Christ.” This tells us we would be with Him immediately.

For those who choose the world, God will not force them to accept His Son. However, they will have their moment at the Great White Throne of Revelation 20:11-15. There will be no pardons there, and the sentences will be final for all eternity.

All who call on Jesus to be their Savior will be saved. There is nothing additional, such as works or money donations to earn or buy our way in. This is made clear in Ephesians 2:8-9; “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not of your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works so that no one may boast.”

Our Heavenly Father is never too busy to take our call. Jesus will accept all who call on Him to be their Savior. John 10:14-16; “I am the Good Shepherd. I know My own, and My own know Me, just as the Father knows Me, and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. So, there will be one flock; one Shepherd.”

The initial “My own” referred to the Jewish people who would accept the Savior. In verse 16, Jesus includes “other sheep,” which reaches out to every other living soul on the earth. It still applies today. He verified the promise that “All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13).

Today would not be too early to call out and become a part of the Gentle Shepherd’s flock. We could very well rise up at any moment to meet Him in the air, to go to our “Eternal Green Pasture.” The choice is entirely up to each and every individual. Don’t be left behind as fair game to the “wolves of hell,” as the song says. That would be an unnecessary tragedy.

The call is free, and so is the gift of eternal life. You too can then say, “Oh Gentle Shepherd, come quickly.” His call for the flock will be very soon, as told in Luke 21:28. All the signs began several years ago. God’s timing is perfect.

Come, Lord Jesus! Shalom!

huebshman46@gmail.com