Who are the thieves and the robbers?






Thieves and Robbers: Opposing the Gospel of Grace

Thieves and robbers are those who have not entered through the door, which is Jesus. As stated in John 10:1, “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.” These individuals may be in the Sheepfold, but they do not know Him, and they speak against the simplicity of the Gospel.

As believers, we know that the Gospel of grace is the foundation of our faith. However, thieves and robbers aim to steal, kill, and destroy by speaking against the message of faith we heard in the beginning. This deception can be seen in Galatians 1:6-9, where Paul expresses concern that the Galatians are turning away from the Gospel he preached to them.

Jesus describes these individuals as thieves and robbers who come to steal precious treasures, which is the Gospel of grace. In John 10:8-10, He says, “All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them… The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

Conclusion

Thieves and robbers oppose the Gospel of grace by deceiving believers and speaking against the message of faith. As we continue to grow in our faith, we grow by remaining in the simplicity of the Gospel and learning to not be moved away from it. This means that we grow in our ability to discern between truth and error and to cling to that which is “excellent.” And most importantly, let us always keep our focus on Jesus Christ, the true and only way to salvation.

Not only do we need to beware of thieves and robbers (wolves), we also need to be aware of hirelings! Hirelings do not care for the sheep because they are motivated by their wage. This can be a wage of praise of men, this can even be a wage of thinking to earn a reward from God based on their service. Yet the hireling puts himself in the position of caring for the sheep, and lets wolves run around freely and devour sheep. He is in the flesh, even though he himself may be saved. He is motivated by mammon, not love for the Lord’s interest or the care for the sheep, and he will stand in his position and urge sheep to love the wolves. He is always seeking to keep things as stable as possible so as not to lose wages, and he often doesn’t even understand that this is his motivation. These people are the “enablers” that allow the wolves in, and in many cases, are wolves themselves.

We need to look for the “porters” who know the shepherd’s voice and open the door to the pasture, where sheep can find real food. You will know them because they speak the truth and won’t compromise it. They know the shepherd’s voice, and if you are, so do you! Many times we continue to listen to hirelings and love wolves even though something feels “wrong” inside because our conscience is damaged. But if we continue to grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, we will know the truth and the truth will make us free. You will find fellowship with true porters, who are not earning wages but are standing over by the pasture, inviting people to Jesus for their nourishment and rest! (John 10:1-42, Matthew 7:15-20, 2 Timothy 4:3-4)

Keywords:

  • Gospel
  • Jesus Christ
  • Thieves and Robbers
  • Deception
  • Simplicity of the Gospel
  • Faith
  • Grace

I. Thieves and robbers are those who have not entered through the door, which is Jesus. (John 10:1)

II. These individuals are in the Sheepfold but do not know Him, and they speak against the simplicity of the Gospel. (2 Corinthians 11:3)

III. They aim to steal, kill, and destroy and deceive believers by speaking against the message of faith they heard in the beginning. (John 10:10, Galatians 1:6-9)

IV. Jesus describes them as thieves and robbers who come to steal precious treasures, which is the Gospel of grace. (John 10:8-10). Beware the hirelings!


       

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