Summary: To encourage those who have allowed their relationship with Jesus Christ to become lukewarm to repent and return.
Play the video on refinishing furniture.
Discuss backsliding and the comparison between it and refurbishing furniture.
I. There are steps we take when we move away from JC.
A. Self confident. Vss 27-31
1. Peter became extremely self confident.
2. The Christian is in danger when he reaches the point at which he feels that he does not have to cling to God because he is strong and will not fall into temptation.
B. Sleeping instead of praying. Vss 32-42
1. JC took Peter and 2 others to pray with Him but they failed to stay awake. Self-confidence or apathy?
2. All Christians meet the temptation to prayerlessness, and yielding is a long step away from God. This can lead to false pride and/or apathy for others.
C. Acting without God’s guidance. Vss. 45-47
1. Peter acted on instinct when he cutoff the slave’s ear.
2. Too much of our service to Christ is not Spirit led. We want to serve him, but not the way he wants. We must be sure we are following His leadership, and not our own.
D. Following but from a distance now.
1. Peter wanted to be involved but now was confused as to what would happen next or what to do. He now lacked commitment.
2. Many church members count themselves as followers of Jesus, yet they are completely out of touch with him and his work.
E. Hanging out with the enemies.
1. Now separated from JC, Peter was now comforting himself in the enemie’s prescence.
2. Too many Christians are seeking their social and spiritual warmth at the devil’s fires and they are comfortable hanging out with the enemy.
F. Outright Denial
1. Peter overreacts – The servant girl had no standing to testify against Peter. Was he dealing with guilt or feeling lost?
2. The servant girl was surprised to find a follower of Jesus (Peter) in the company. But he denied that he was a follower of Jesus. When she insisted, he cursed and swore.
3. Would God’s enemies be surprised when they saw you warming yourself by their fire or has your reputation become so cloudy that you just one of the crowd there?
II. God will take steps to redeem you. There is hope for those who are “backslidin” or are about to be.
A. JC gives warnings before we ever start sliding. Vss 27-31
1. JC warned Peter and the rest of the apostles.
2. JC gives us warnings also through His Word, His music, and His followers.
B. JC will give you opportunities to serve. Vss. 32-42
1. JC asked Peter to pray and stand watch for Him.
2. There is no greater reminder of who JC is twhen we start to fall away than the opportunity to serve Him.
C. JC will announce to you who He is. Vss. 60-62
1. Peter sat by the fire and listened as JC declared He is the “I AM”. .
2. When Christians continue to fall away JC will announce who He is to you.
D. JC will look upon you with compassion when you realize where you are.
60 But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. 61 Then the Lord turned and looked at Peter. So Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.” 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.