Early morning at the most famous church in New Zealand, and certainly the most photographed. This is the Church of The Good Shepherd on the shores of Lake Tekapo in the wild mountain country of the McKenzie Basin in the South Island.
The church was built in 1935 by a number of families farming remote hill stations in the area, originally for their own use. It has a large window behind the altar that looks out on the mountains across the lake. Clearly, those farmers saw the magnificent country around them as evidence of the Creator’s hand, and they wanted to be reminded of that as they came to worship.
Jesus (The Good Shepherd) said, “The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
(John 10:2-4, 27)
He also said (at John 10:11), “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
And that is exactly what He did.
Even now, the world has not come to a full realization of what that means.
He saved every one of those who will follow Him once and for all by paying the ultimate price on the cross. That offer of salvation is still open, and as spiritual beings we all have an eternity of life ahead of us. How are we planning to spend it?
So many still rush blindly to destruction, thinking only of the first death, the death of the body. Thinking, “Once that’s over, it’s all over. May as well get the max out of this life.” How foolish that is. For there still remains the second death, which is the lake of fire where all who have chosen to separate themselves from God by their sin and ungodly living will dwell for eternity.
Jesus made it clear, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep… I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.” (John 10:7, 9)
But He will not allow sin and all its ramifications into the New Heaven and the New Earth. Once was enough.
Think on it.
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