Summary: We must find a commitment to perseverance in our Christian walk.
Acts 12:16 KJV But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.
I. INTRODUCTION—BE CAREFUL AS TO HOW YOU JUDGE THINGS
-It is perilous to judge a person by a single action. Life is far too complex and intricate for that.
-Every man who has ever lived has had purpose and passion in his life. Yet when under pressure that very same man can be greater than he really is or less than he really is.
-For instance you see that in the life of Peter. There are moments when he flashes with greatness and then there are moments when he appears to be nothing more than a pawn in the hand of the devil.
-In fact, one need look no further than the waning hours of the Lord’s life to see what I am having reference to. One moment he has grabbed a sword and is cutting off the ear of Malchus, one of the high priest’s soldiers, and Peter is in the fray to defend the Lord.
-If you look a few hours later, Peter has muddled off into the terrible throes of denying the Lord. He drifts from defense to denial. It would be a terrible thing to judge Peter in that single night of his life.
-Furthermore, notice the variableness of what Peter’s words say to us from the New Testament.
• Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord. (Luke 5:8)
• Lo, we have left all and followed thee. (Luke 18:28)
• What shall we have therefore? Be it far from Thee, Lord. (Matthew 16:22)
• Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water. (Matthew 14:28)
• Lord, save me. (Matthew 14:30)
• To whom can we go but unto Thee? Thou hast the words of eternal life. (John 6:68)
• How oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? (Matthew 18:21)
• Thou shalt never wash my feet. (John 13:8)
• Lord, not my feet only, but my hands and my head. (John 13:9)
• I know not the man. (Matthew 26:74)
• Lord, Thou knowest all things: thou knowest that I love Thee. (John 21:15-17)
• Not so, Lord, for I have never eaten anything that is common and unclean. (Acts 10:14; 10:28; 11:8)
• Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us; what was I that I could withstand God? (Acts 11:17)
-This is just a sampling of some of Peter’s comments. His words mark him just as ours do. He would often hastily rush into sacred territory like a blind bull, full of arrogance.
-But on the other hand, despite these heady remarks that Peter made, his heart was always close to repentance. Therefore it would do all of us well when we look at men to make sure that we don’t judge them for a day but rather for the course of their life over time.