Summary: Peter in the text that we have before us if the classic case of the "Backsliding" Christian. And in the moment that Jesus spends with Peter before and after the death, burial, and resurrection; we see the tragedy of backsliding away from God. Then we se
Moments with the Master Series
A TENDER MOMENT
There was a certain man who had been faithful in worshiping with other believers for many years. Then he became lax and stopped coming to the services. The pastor was burdened for his spiritual welfare, so one day he visited his home. The man invited him in and offered him a chair by the fire. The Pastor mentioned to the man how much he missed seeing him in the worship services. The man replied that he was saved and saw no need to go to church. He felt that he could worship just fine at home.
For several long moments they sat in silence and watched the burning embers. Then, taking the tongs, the pastor removed a hot coal and laid it by itself on the hearthstone. As it began to cool, its red glow soon faded. The man, who had been expecting a verbal rebuke, quickly caught the message. He was at church for the next service!
This is a fact of life that I have become very familiar with over these last 22 years. There have been many occasions when I have failed the Lord and I seen the flame of love and devotion burn very low within my heart and life. When those times came around, I had to come before the Lord, confessing my sins and failures and seeking forgiveness and restoration. Each time I have come to Him for cleansing, I have found Him to be a faithful Friend to those who have fallen by the wayside.
Today, I would like to speak directly to those who aren’t as close to the Lord today as you should be. Maybe the things of God aren’t as sweet as they used to be. Maybe there isn’t a hot, burning love for the Lord, His house, His Word and His people like there used to be. Maybe even your church attendance has become a thing of drudgery and toil. My duty today is to tell you that it does not have to stay that way! Jesus Christ is still the Friend of the fallen today.
In our text, we are told about a face to face encounter between the risen Lord Jesus and Simon Peter. It was Peter, you will remember, who denied the Lord 3 times. As we look into how the Lord handled Peter, I want you to know that He can and will do the same for you if you will respond in the correct manner. Its tough being out of the Lord’s will, but it is possible to make things right again! With that in mind, let’s take a few minutes to consider together A Tender Moment.
I. THE PURPOSE OF THIS TENDER MOMENT
A. To Confront Peter’s Failure - Matt. 26:69-75
Before we can see how the Lord restored this fallen preacher, we must first understand what happened to Peter and how he came to be fallen in the first place.
1. The Place of His Failure
• Peter was in the wrong place altogether.
o In the beginning, Peter had made his boast that he would never forsake the Lord, Luke 22:33-34.
o Yet, when the time came and Jesus was arrested, Peter, like all the others forsook Jesus and fled, Matt. 26:56.
o However verse 58 tells us that Peter decided to follow the Lord and see what happened, but that he followed Jesus “afar off.”
o When Peter found himself surrounded by the Lord’s enemies, it became hard for him to stand by his earlier boast.
o Now, he takes the low road and denies that he even know the Lord Jesus, v. 69-74.
• Essentially, all backsliding begins in the same manner!
o Instead of staying as close to the Lord as we should, we begin to follow Him “afar off.”
o It may begin as simply missing a few services here and there.
o Maybe you just stop praying like you should.
o Maybe the Bible isn’t opened and read as frequently as it ought to be.
o Wherever and however it begins, it will eventually lead to the same place.
o It will eventually lead you into a backslidden and cold condition!
o Peter’s problem was that he found himself in the wrong place with the wrong people!
• Friends, being just as clear as I can be with you, some of you are in the wrong place also!
o You aren’t as close to the Lord as you used to be.
o You need to rekindle that old flame and make things right with Him.
o Being in the wrong place is dangerous! Just ask David – (2 Sam. 11:1-17: Alone with Bathsheba)
2. The Pain of His Failure
• When Peter denied the Lord that night, the Bible tells us that he went out and “wept bitterly.”