1 Peter 2:19-25
Most people follow along when it comes to the way that the majority of people live; relatively few people truly think for themselves and break with societal norms.
Most people donít really consider whether or not something is in the heavenly will of God if most people in the world around them are doing it, such as the horrible way the so-called food animals are treated or the pain and suffering that is on their plates.
The world is a very violent place whose practices cause millions of people and billions of animals to suffer and die every year, yet most of the Christians who are living in these worldly ways expect to go to heaven even though they are following the evil ways of the devil.
I really donít know how far Godís grace and mercy covers these things and where the break point is where people go to hell, but it seems to be the intent of their heart and soul.
As we look at John 10:1-10, letís consider who is really living in the heavenly will of God and who is living in the corrupt ways of this world.
1."Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber.
It seems obvious that the door is Jesus and the heavenly will of God and those that enter that way are doing so in the heavenly will of God, and those who try to enter by any other way are those who are living in the corrupt ways of this world.
2. "But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep.
In other words, those who enter by or through Jesus and the heavenly will of God are capable of being a spiritual leader of the people.
I say capable, because some people, and probably the majority, are too shy or unwilling to step out in front and be a leader.
3. "To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out.
In this case, I believe the doorkeeper is God, and most Godly people recognize the voice of a true leader.
4. "When he puts forth all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.
Jesus is talking about a true heavenly leader, but there are also many worldly leaders who follow the corrupt ways of the devil, and unforstunately many of the people who also live in the corrupt ways of this world follow them on the road to destruction.
5. "And a stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers."
Jesus is still talking about those who are living in the heavenly will of God, but unfortunately most people follow along with corrupt worldly leaders who are all around us, and we who are truly living in the heavenly will of God need to find ways of reaching out to the people who are being led astray.
This is our job, whether we like it or not.
6. This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.
This is why we say that most people follow along with the corrupt ways and leaders of this world.
7. Jesus therefore said to them again, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
Unfortunately, I believe that even if Jesus stood before us today in the form of the man He was then, most people would still follow along with the corrupt ways of this world.
8. "All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.
This is a hard statement to follow, because most people follow along with the worldly leaders around them.
9. "I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
This is true, but unfortunately we donít believe that most people would even recognize Him.
10. "The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.
This is the problem we face today, because the vast majority of the people in the world are following the corrupt ways of the devil with all its violence, suffering, and death, which can be plainly seen on their plates, and they seem content with continuing to live that way, including most Christians, who seem to have blinded themselves to recognizing Jesus and the heavenly will of God.
As we look at Acts 2:42-47, we see an example of how and when Godís grace and mercy come in to play.
42. And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
These are the people who were living in the heavenly will of God and recognized that indeed Jesus was their Lord and Savior, just as He is ours today.
43. And everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.
We believe that the sense of awe was coming from the Holy Spirit, and spiritually being able to have glimpses into the spiritual realm, something they had never experienceSd before.
44. And all those who had believed were together, and had all things in common;
A strange and glorious thing happens when we enter the spiritual realm, our physical property doesnít mean as much, and we think nothing or very little about sharing them with others.
Additionally, they just want to help one another.
45. and they began selling their property and possessions, and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.
This is what it means to live in the heavenly will of God and be filled with His love, compassion, and empathy.
46. And day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,
47. praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Most people follow along with the corrupt ways of this world, and these people have broken away from them to live in the heavenly will of God, which explains why more and more people were added to their numbers and were being saved.
Today, we are also seeing more and more people becoming vegan animal rights Christians.
Letís close todayís discussion about most people follow along by looking at 1 Peter 2:19-25 and look at the emotional and physical pressures they bring upon innocent people, just as it happened to Jesus.
19. For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a man bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.
We have seen and heard of this happening in churches many times against vegan animal rights Christians, because they would not go along with hunting, fishing, and meat eating practices of the majority of the people in the churches, particularly when the pastor was one of these worldly people.
The ungodly people may have thought they had won when the empathic people left the church, just as similarly minded people thought they had won when they murdered Jesus.
20. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.
The vegan animal rights Christians may have suffered to some extent when they were forced out of the church, but they went on to even greater works.
21. For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps,
This is what we believe is happening in most of the cases.
22. who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth;
In my discussion with these people, most of them just feel sorrow for the hard of heart people who are in the churches.
23. and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;
This seems to be happening naturally with nearly all Sthe vegan animal rights Christians we have communicated with, which we believe is coming from their listening to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
24. and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.
This is also what we believe has happened with all truly loving, compassionate, and empathetic Christians, and we are hoping and praying and working to increase their numbers.
25. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.
This is what we believe happens when people truly repent of their former worldly ways and become the loving, compassionate, and empathetic children of God that Jesus called us to be.
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