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Sermons and Outlines


Matthew 26:69-75

TO THE BOTTOM AND BACK

Intro: It seems there was this wild duck, who with his mates was flying in the springtime northward across Europe. During the flight he came down in a Danish barnyard where there were tame ducks. He enjoyed some of their corn. He stayed for an hour, then for a day, then for a week, then for a month, and finally, because he relished the good fare and the safety of the barnyard, he stayed all summer. But one autumn day when the flock of wild ducks were winging their way southward again, they passed over the barnyard, and their mate heard their cries. He was stirred with a strange thrill of joy and delight, and with a great flapping of wings he rose in the air to join his old comrades in their flight.

But he found that his good fare had made him so soft and heavy that he could rise no higher than the eaves of the barn. So he dropped back again to the barnyard, and said to himself, "Oh well, my life is safe here and the food is good." Every spring and autumn when he heard the wild ducks honking, his eyes would gleam for a moment and he would begin to flap his wings. But finally the day came when the wild ducks flew over him and uttered their cry, but he paid not the slightest attention to them. What a parable that is of how the soul can forget its high ideals and standards and be content with lower things!

Now, that is just a story. But, is it your story? Was there a time when you soared higher with the Lord than you are soaring now? We all go through periods when we play the Prodigal, wandering from the Father's House, but if you are genuinely saved, you will never be satisfied to waddle around on the ground when you were created to fly high above the world.

In our text, we are presented with a man who puts the story of the complacent duck into human shoe leather. This man's name is Simon Peter. Our text finds him in the wrong place, doing the wrong things with the wrong people. How did he wind up here? Well, let me just say that it did not happen in an instant! Backsliding, and that's what we see in the life of Peter, is a process that develops over time. First one area, then another begins to slip in a life and then before a person knows what has happened, they are no longer soaring high above the world, but they find themselves surrounded by people who do not know how to fly and do not care to find out.

Some, in this room, are just like Simon Peter. You have allowed your heart to grow cold. Your love for Jesus doesn't burn as brightly as it once did. The things of God aren't as glorious as they used to be. Maybe you wonder how it all happened and if there is any hope for your restoration. Well, from this passage, we can see how Peter wound up on the bottom and how he got back up again. Let's follow the events that lead to Peter's fall and restoration as we consider the thought To The Bottom And Back.

I. PETER'S FAITH

A. Peter's Conversion - Luke 5:8; John 1:41-42 - He had experienced a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ! That is what salvation is - 1 John 5:12; Acts 16:31 - a personal meeting with Jesus!

B. Peter's Confession - Matt. 16:16 - He was settled on Who Jesus was. He knew, beyond all doubts, that Jesus was everything He claimed to be. This too is absolutely essential for salvation - John 8:24.

C. Peter's Conclusion - John 6:68 - In this passage, Peter took all he knew about Jesus and said that Jesus alone was the Way to God, the Truth from God and the Life of God. Peter knew that everything began and ended in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Again, this is necessary to becoming a child of God - John 14:6!

D. Peter's Consecration - Matt. 10:2 - Peter is numbered, blessed and used among the 12 Apostles. He is in a place of honor! He is in a place of power! He is a dedicated soldier. He even tried to defend the life of Jesus, John 18:10. This man is no slouch!

(Ill. There is no doubt that we are dealing with a saved man! Peter is born again! His name is written in Heaven! He is a child of God! Yet, he still winds up in the wrong place, doing the wrong things with the wrong people! The lesson is this: Don't think your spiritual walk ends with your being saved! It doesn't end there, it merely begins there! Salvation is a finished matter the instant you receive Jesus as your Savior. However, salvation is also a relationship that must be cultivated and nurtured if there is to be blessing and power in the life of the saved person. It isn't enough to claim you believe the right things; you must also behave the right way! The truth is, if you have been with Jesus, it will show on you and in you, Acts 4:13. By the way, if you don't work on your relationship with the Lord, that will show too!)

I. Peter's Faith

II. PETER'S FALL

(Ill. There is no doubt that our friend Peter is a saved man, but what is he doing in this place with these people? Well, I believe the Gospels shed much light on how Peter wound up where he was that night. We've seen his faith, now let's look at how he fell. There were three main areas of Peter's life where he fell.)

A. Peter Fell In His Words

1. He Rebuked Christ's Words - Matt. 16:22.

2. He Rejected Christ's Words - Matt. 26:33-35

(Ill. In both of these instances, Peter heard what the Lord Jesus said, yet he rejected it as truth and went about to establish his own truth. When he opened his mouth, the rebellion that was in his heart came out! By the way, when your heart is not where it should be with the Lord, it will eventually reveal itself through your words, Matt. 12:34. That's right! A rebellious, wayward heart will cause the mouth the mouth to reveal its true character. It will make you mean! You will hurt other people with your tongue. You will talk about them behind their backs. You will have a bad, negative attitude about everything! That is a sign of a heart that has taken the words of Jesus and said, "I hear what you're saying Lord, but I have a better way to live my life than Your's." Friends, an attitude like that is nothing but pride! If your heart doesn't stay close to Jesus and remain tender, you will fall in your words!

B. Peter Fell In His Walk

1. He Fell Asleep - Matt. 26:40

2. He Followed Afar Off - Matt. 26:58

3. He Fellowshipped Around The Wrong Fire - Matt. 26:69-74

(Ill. Peter found out the hard way that you cannot hide sin's presence when it is in your life! Do you see what he did? At an hour when the Lord needed him the most, Peter fell asleep on Jesus. He couldn't even stay awake one hour to pray with the Lord! After that shameful event, Peter is seen following Jesus to judgment, but he is not near His precious side any longer. Now, he is far off. Then this sad chapter in Peter's life concludes with his sitting in fellowship with the enemies of the Lord Jesus, enjoying their fire and speaking their language, while he denies the very Lord Who bought his soul and saved him from Hell! How is must have grieved the Lord's heart! Can you imagine how much this hurt Jesus?

But, haven't we seen this same thing repeated over and over down through the years? Why, aren't there some of you who are in this same shape this morning? There was a time when you walked with the Lord! His Word was precious. Minutes spent with Him were like valuable pearls. Yet, there came a day when it became easier to sleep than to pray. There came a time when slumber was preferred over study. There came a day when a little "folding of the hands" was preferred over time spent in His presence, in His Word and in His House. When that happened, you couldn't feel Him as you once did. He just didn't seem as real as He had before. Now, instead of walking close beside Him, you are walking far off. Maybe you have even found yourself in a place like Peter found himself. You are fellowshipping around the wrong fire. Enjoying the company of the wrong people. Spending your time doing the wrong things. Oh, make no mistake about it, if there is sin in your life and it is allowed to grow and live there, you will not be able to disguise it's presence forever! It will begin to show on you! It will put you in the wrong place, doing the wrong things with the wrong people!

Please understand me, you do not have to commit murder, commit adultery, steal, lie, get drunk, etc, to be in sin. All you have to do is grow cold on God and do nothing about it. All you have to do is let a little slackness and coldness reside in your heart and you are there! It won't be many days until you have gotten so far away from God, that you will wonder how you ever got where you are and you may feel that there is no way back!)

C. Peter Fell In His Ways

1. He Forsook His Personal Savior - Matt. 26:56

2. He Forsook His Place Of Service - John 21:3

(Ill. Peter's sin reached a point where he simply ran away and deserted the Lord Jesus. Then, after a while, he simply went back to his old way of life. He abandoned his post as if it were the easiest thing he had ever done. But, that is the power sin has! It makes men think their wrong actions are right! It blinds us to the truth of who we are, where we are and what we are doing! Surely, Peter felt as though everything was all right between him and God.

Have you followed in Peter's footsteps this morning? Most would quickly say, "I haven't abandoned the Lord! Why I'm saved!" Well my friends, if there has ever been a time when you were closer to the Lord than you are today, you have forsaken Him. Someone walked away and it wasn't Him! If there was ever a time when you served Him with more fervor and passion than you do today, then you have forsaken Him. Someone walked away, and I'll repeat what I said a moment ago, it wasn't Him, Heb. 13:5!

Just get real honest for a moment if you will. Was there a time when you were closer to God than you are now? Was there a time when His House, His Word and His presence meant more to you than they do now? Was there a time when you lived closer to Him than you do now? Was there a time when He meant more to you than He does now? If the honest answer to any of those questions is "yes", then you are warming yourself beside a strange fire and you need to return to the Lord this morning!

You see, many have forsaken the Lord just like Peter did! How do I know? Well, the easiest and most honest answer is that I have been there myself! The other answer is that it is plain to see! When you stop serving God in positions you agreed to fulfill, your heart is not right. When you stop supporting the church with you prayers, you giving and your attendance, your heart is not right. When there is no passion and burden for lost sinners, your heart is not right!

Friends, that is a hard thing to come to terms with, but before there can be restoration, there must first be a realization of just exactly where the heart is in relationship to the Lord. You need to see yourself just like you really are, before there will be a desire to become like you should be!)

I. Peter's Faith

II. Peter's Fall

III. PETER'S FORGIVENESS

(Ill. I am glad the story of Peter doesn't end with him failing beside a Roman fire! That night, as he sat there, he received a wake up call from a strange source, Matt. 26:74. Just as Jesus had predicted, a rooster crowed to announce to Peter that he was in the wrong place, doing the wrong things with the wrong people, Matt. 26:34. When this happened, Peter began the process of coming back. What happened in his life needs to happen in the lives of some of God's children this morning. Let's look in again.)

A. Peter's Repentance - Matt. 26:75 - When Peter heard the crowing of that rooster, the Bible says he "went out, and wept bitterly". When he realized where he was spiritually and what he had done to the Lord Jesus Christ, it literally broke his heart and he sought to make it right with the Lord.

(Ill. Do you understand today that your sin affects more than you? Sin in your life and mine has an impact on the family, the community and the church. Besides all that, it grieves the Lord Jesus Christ. Sin, and I am referring to all depths and degrees of sin, is a negative force anywhere it is found. Oh, how we need to see some tears of repentance wetting the cheeks of God's cold people. How we need to ask the Holy Spirit to shine to spotlight of the Word of God into the deepest recesses of our souls and expose our sins to us. My how we need to get humble and honest before the Lord. My friends, this is the only way God will bless us! It is the only way we can have real, life changing revival. It is the only way the power of God can rest upon us once again! We will see this in the life of Peter.

Does your sin trouble you? Does you lack of desire for the spiritual cause you pain of heart? Maybe someone is in this room, and they know what I am saying is the truth. Friend, your heart is breaking because there is distance between you and Jesus today! Listen to me, if you will come before Him, confess your sins and turn from them, He will instantly forgive you and restore you the place of blessing and glory, 1 John 1:9; Ill. The Prodigal Son, Luke 15:11-24. Where are the saints who will be honest about their sins? Where are the saints who will confess the coldness and pride of their hearts? Where are they today? We must get it right with Jesus if we want His blessing and power!

B. His Restoration - John 21:15-17 - After Peter's fall and repentance, he was met by Jesus early one morning beside the seashore. There Jesus reminded Peter of His love for Peter, and there Jesus renewed His call on Peter's life. In other words, Jesus took Peter's failure and put it behind him forever and restored him to the place of blessing!

That is what he wants to do to you today! You see, sin creates a gulf between the sinner and God, Isa. 59:2. It stands like an umbrella over your life preventing the blessings of God from falling upon you in a great way. Repentance removes that gulf! Repentance restores you to the place of blessing, honor and service!

You may feel that you have wandered away from the Lord and now you can't get beck. That is the devil's lie to keep you in bondage. If you will get serious and repent of your sins, Jesus will receive you. He will restore you and He will bless you once again!

C. Peter's Revival - Acts 2:14-40 - Not many days after these events, Simon Peter, this man who had failed the Lord so greatly was used by the Lord as no other man in history had been until that time! He stood in the power of the Holy Spirit and preached the Word of God and 3,000 souls were saved by God's grace! What made this possible? Three things: Honesty, repentance and the power of God!

Friend, I am trying to get you to see that you do not have to walk afar off from Jesus this morning! If you will identify those areas in your life that are not as God would have them be, get honest about them and repent of them, the Lord will put His power and His glory into your soul! Don't you want that? Listen, the place of personal revival is reached by our walking down the path of personal repentance!

Conc: Most of us in this room needed to hear this message today. Now we need to heed it! Can you see where you have allowed sin to creep into your life? Can you see where you have grown cold on the Lord? Can you see where the things of God don't mean as much to you now as they once did? Can you see you need for help? If so, this altar is open! Jesus is waiting! But, He cannot help you until you get honest about where you are. Peter found the way back and he took it. Will you?

Others know that you aren't even saved. You have no relationship with the Lord. You don't need a revival, you need a resurrection! You need to be saved this morning. You need to come before the Lord Jesus, confess yourself a sinner and receive the Lord Jesus into your heart and life.

Where has God found you this morning? Please don't let this service close without you getting exactly where you need to be today!


 
 
 
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