Worldwide missions is a big theme within the life and ministry of John Piper. That phrase missions has appeared 250 occasions on this podcast alone. The church has international aspirations. Our ongoing prayer is the prayer of the psalmist: “Let the nations be glad and sing for pleasure” (Psalm 67:4). “Amen! Let the nations be part of the refrain of joyful reward to our God, by Christ! And use us, Lord, in that course of.” And so we pray repeatedly right here at Wanting God that the Lord would bless our international outreach and translations efforts and our worldwide journey.
However chances are you’ll be like Pastor John and myself — we dwell in massive cities in america. And right here, it’s very simple to be buffered from the wants of the world. And but, we too are referred to as to feed international aspiration in our personal lives and in our personal church buildings. Missions was woven into the material of the church from its inception. It’s why our Savior instructed his very first followers in John 10:16: “I’ve different sheep that aren’t of this fold. I have to convey them additionally, and they’ll take heed to my voice. So there can be one flock, one shepherd.” Right here’s Pastor John, in a 2011 sermon, to elucidate why we’d like these phrases in America immediately.
I’m praying that John 10:16 will fill you with a confidence that the saving, international, worldwide, all-peoples-including objective of God — and your house in it — can not fail, will completely succeed. That’s the very last thing I need to attempt to make plain. You would possibly say, and also you’d be proper, “We’ve already seen that. I imply, if he sovereignly saves as successfully as you say he saves his sheep, he can’t fail.” Proper. So I may shut the guide.
However we’re not going to cease as a result of there’s a lot on this verse I’ve not stated but that’s so massively vital in your life and for the mission. I would like you to really feel now the thrust of the phrases “not of this fold.” Are you with me? “I’ve different sheep that aren’t of this fold.” After which the opposite factor I would like you to concentrate on is “one flock” and “one shepherd.” These are the 2 issues we’re working with for the previous couple of minutes of this sermon.
‘Not of This Fold’
“I’ve sheep. They’re not of the fold that’s already in existence.” In that case, a Jewish fold. I may say right here, “Okay, right here we’re, fold or gathering. Right here’s Bethlehem. He has different sheep moreover us. And he should convey them, not essentially to Bethlehem, however to himself.”
“Jesus has different sheep moreover us. And he should convey them.”
“I’ve different sheep that aren’t of this fold” — that’s, they’re not of ethnic, Jewish Israel. “I have to convey them additionally, and they’ll take heed to my voice. So there can be one flock” — that’s, from all of the ethnic teams. It’s possible you’ll suppose, “Effectively, that’s an overinterpretation.” It could be if I didn’t have plenty of John’s different statements in thoughts, which I’ll present you. “So there can be one flock” — from all the opposite ethnic teams around the globe, with the Jewish sheep — in a single fold, in “one shepherd” (John 10:16).
So what we spent the entire sermon doing thus far is emphasizing the magnificent, sovereign salvation that God has labored to save lots of his sheep. He selected us from earlier than creation. He despatched his Son into the world to put down his life for them. He introduced them to himself by his voice.
Christ’s Humble Sheep
Now, right here’s the explanation for emphasizing this second confidence. You’ll suppose (I hope you’ll suppose) that such a salvation — such a lopsided, God-dependent salvation that depends upon nothing in me for being chosen, nothing in me for being referred to as — would make me humble, wouldn’t you? You’ll suppose that the humblest individuals on the planet could be Christians. And it isn’t essentially so, is it?
As a result of we’re sinners, right here’s what’s occurred. It has proved usually in historical past that the church has grow to be ingrown, detached to the world, and that our chosen-ness, our chosen standing, has been wickedly woven into the material of ethnocentrism and racism and nationalism. All you must do is consider Nazi Germany and all of the complicit Christendom within the hatred of the Jews, American race-based slavery and the way Christian all of it was, and the battle between the Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda, simply to select three the place Christians wove their chosen standing into the horrors of ethnocentrism and racism and nationalism.
And that’s what this verse is about. Jesus noticed it in his day. Gentiles had been hated. “To unclean, catfish-eaters and uncircumcised? We’re not going to even enter their home.” Jesus noticed it coming, and it’s been there each century of this blood-soaked globe of ours. And he gave this razor-sharp warning to all of his flock. “I’ve different sheep. Don’t you dare grow to be ingrown. Don’t you dare grow to be ‘us few, us chosen few.’ I have to convey them. It’ll price me my life, it might price you yours, and there can be one flock, with one shepherd, from each ethnic group on the planet.”
Each Tribe and Tongue
Now at that time, you must say, “Aren’t you going past the textual content?” Sure, I’m. I’m going all the best way to chapter 11. Is that a large leap? So go together with me to John 11:51–52. John information a prophecy of the excessive priest, named Caiaphas, concerning the demise of Jesus and what he would accomplish in his dying, and right here’s the best way he says it — completely different language than sheep, however precisely the identical level: “[Caiaphas] prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and never for the nation solely” — good, good, good; “I’ve different sheep; I’ve different sheep” — “but in addition to collect into one [flock, in different terminology] the youngsters of God who’re scattered overseas.”
He may have stated, “the sheep”; he stated, “God’s kids are scattered.” And I’m simply specializing in the phrase scattered right here. Like, “Oh, effectively possibly they’re all in Minneapolis.” I don’t suppose so. “Perhaps they’re all in America.” I don’t suppose so. “Europe?” No. “Africa?” No. “Asia?” No. “South America?” No. Each individuals group.
“The bloodline between you and your brothers and sisters in Jesus is a thicker bloodline than runs in your loved ones.”
Now, aren’t you going past that textual content? Sure, I’m going past the textual content. I’m going all the best way to Revelation 5:9, as a result of John wrote Revelation too. Okay. So let’s end it off, nail it down exegetically. In Revelation 5:9–10, the saints, the twenty-four elders, the 4 dwelling creatures are simply belting out this track over the Lamb who was slain to say why he was slain. Why was he slain? Right here it’s: “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you had been slain, and by your blood you ransomed individuals for God from each tribe and language and other people and nation, and you’ve got made them a kingdom” — one kingdom — “and monks to our God, and so they shall reign on the earth.” And that’s sufficient for me. Now I do know what he means when he says, “I’ve different sheep. I have to convey them additionally.”
Demise of Our Disdain
In case you agree with me now, you’re seeing that he’s received a world objective right here for this individuals. “I’ve different sheep.” Should. It’s a divine necessity, which implies not solely will you make it to heaven; this mission goes to succeed. He died. He ransomed individuals for God from each tribe. He died for them. The Father gave them to him. He’s going to talk over them. How? Missionaries, or no matter you need to name them, who cross a tradition, be taught a language, let the voice of Jesus be heard, and the sheep hear, and so they come. Don’t you like to learn these tales? You go into some completely unknown individuals group. You are taking a number of months, you attempt to make get it plain, and out of the blue lights go on, and a church occurs. Why? “I should convey them.” That’s why.
So we, Bethlehem, should not disdain potential brothers and sisters wherever in any group. Oh, there’s a lot racism, a lot ethnocentrism left over in America that thought we completed all of it forty years in the past. We didn’t, and you recognize we didn’t. It’s in your coronary heart. It’s in my coronary heart. It’s in black and white and crimson and yellow. It’s in each coronary heart. And the phrase that should exit regularly is that this: “I’ve different sheep.” They’re in all of these teams. Don’t you dare look on any of these teams with disdain, as if you don’t have a brother there that’s nearer to you than your mother (in case your mother just isn’t a believer). The bloodline between you and your brothers and sisters in Jesus is a thicker bloodline than runs in your loved ones.