151. The Shepherd and His Work

1. WHO did Christ say is the good shepherd?
“I am the good shepherd.” John 10:11.

2. What is Christ elsewhere called?
“The Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.” “The chief Shepherd.” 1 Peter 2:25; 5:4.

3. What does the expression “the chief Shepherd” imply?
That there are under-shepherds.

4. How does the good shepherd manifest his love and care for the sheep?
“The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” John 10:11.

5. What does the hireling, or false shepherd, do, and why?
“The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.” Verse 13.

6. What example will the true shepherd set before his flock?
“In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works.” Titus 2:7.

7. What is the special work of the gospel shepherd?
“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood.” Acts 20:28. “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof.” 1 Peter 5:2. See also John 21:15-17.

8. With what kind of food will the true shepherd feed the flock?
“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick .and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word.” 2 Tim. 4:1,2. “O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at My mouth, and warn them from Me.” Eze. 33:7. See Eze. 3:17-21.

9. Was there to come a time when people would not listen to plain Bible truth?
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Tim. 4:3,4.

10. Instead of the straight testimony, what kind of preaching will such demand?
“Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits.” Isa. 30:10.

11. What test is given by which we may distinguish between true and false shepherds?
“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isa. 8:20. “For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth.” Mal. 2:7.

12. What will those servants be doing upon whom Christ pronounces a blessing when He comes?
“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.” Matt. 24:45-47.

13. What excuses are made by some for not expounding the prophecies?
“And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: and the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.” Isa. 29:11,12.

NOTE.-The prophecies of Daniel were to be unsealed at “the time of the end.” See Dan. 12:4,9,10; Rev. 10:1,2. In Jer. 25:34-37 is found a warning message addressed to unfaithful shepherds.

14. After receiving his commission to preach, how did the apostle Paul feel?
“For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” 1 Cor. 9:16.

15. How faithfully will the true shepherd watch the flock?
“They watch for your souls, as they that must give account.” Heb.13:17.

NOTE.-Mark Guy Pearse once said to Mr. Spurgeon: “When I was a young fellow in London, I used to sit right over there and hear you preach, and you will never know how much good you did me. You used to wind me up like an eight-day clock. I was bound to go right for a week after hearing you.”

16. If God’s watchmen fail to warn the wicked, what terrible responsibility will be charged to their account?
“If thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.” Eze. 33:8. See Isa. 3:10,11.

WATCHMAN, blow the gospel trumpet,
Every soul a warning give;
Whosoever hears the message
May repent and turn and live.

Sound it loud o’er every hilltop,
Gloomy shade and sunny plain;
Ocean depths repeat the message,
Full salvation’s glad refrain.

Sound it in the hedge and highway,
Earth’s dark spots where exiles roam;
Let it tell all things are ready,
Father waits to welcome home.

Blow the trumpet, trusty watchman,
Blow it loud o’er land and sea;
God commissions, sound the message!
Every captive may be, free.