Does God create people for destruction?

Jesus warns us there are three things Satan wishes to do:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy

(John 10:10a, NIV)

In this passage, Jesus calls Satan “the thief” and those Satan works through are “thieves and robbers”.  But why?  What is Satan trying to steal?

“I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

(John 10:7b-10, NIV)

What would a thief entering the sheep pen try to steal?  A sheep.

That would mean that Satan is trying to rob God of His followers.  Does Satan succeed?

the sheep did not listen to them (from v. 8)

The quality of being a sheep in this passage seems to be listening to the voice of the Shepherd, and not listening to the voices of others.

“I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman 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. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” (John 10:1-5, NIV)

He calls his own sheep by name (from v. 3)

The words “his own” would seem to suggest that there are sheep who are not “his own”.  These sheep who do not belong to Jesus do not follow His voice because they do not know Him.

Here are surely the worst words a soul can hear on the Day of Judgment:

‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’ (Luke 13:27b)

Jesus’ people hear His voice and follow Him.  This is exactly what happens when someone comes to salvation.  The person hears the voice of Christ in God’s Word or a pastor’s message or a friend’s testimony or a website or article or book or tract or television program or radio show, etc.

When we hear Christ’s voice through God’s Word, we are hearing His perfect voice.  Many people first hear His voice through an imperfect voice, like a pastor or website.  How is that possible?  God’s Spirit is using that source to convict the person of their sin and call them to repentance.

Door-to-door evangelism is rarely done anymore and highly scoffed.  However, one day in the 70’s a man knocked on my dad’s door, talked with him, and gave him a tract.  My father read the tract and became a Christian.  From that point forward, the Word of God was the treasure of my father’s life.

God gives us His perfect Word to hear His voice, and that alone would have been above and beyond what we deserve.  But God did not wait for people to go to a library or bookstore to read His Word.  He has given His people as witnesses of His Word to spread the Message of salvation throughout the world.

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18b-20, NIV)