Summary: Peter is the perfect example of how to get away from God... and how to come back.
The Way Back To God"
What is a "backslider? Not a funny question .
Two kinds of people described as "backsliders....
l. Those who joined a church but no longer attend and do not live by Christian principles.
Not back sliders because they have not slid away from God... they never moved to him, never converted to begin with.
2. Real backsliders are the ones who truly were born again of incorruptible seed, became a new creature, but turned away. They need to be brought back.
We can learn from Peter how to get away from God.
1. He refused to listen to the Word of God.
Jesus told him that Satan would lead him So denial, and he refused to believe it.
Jeremiah was prophet to wayward Israel and God charged Israel with the same sin.
6:10 Behold, their ears are closed and they do not listen,,
Behold, the Word of the Lord has "become a reproach to them.
Instead of Loving Gods Word, loving to read it, to meditate on it, and to obey it, they felt it was a burden and a bother.
They desired to be free of it and live by their own ways.
They would not listen to God's messenger either, 6:17.
God has given us his word— and Christians have turned a deaf ear to it.
They do not read it, not meditate on it, or obey it.
And they turn a deaf ear on the preachers who call them to repent and return.
God has given us his Word and a messenger and backsliders say "We will not listen"
Peter did not listen, and a few hours later he hung his head in shame and agony as the cock crowed and his eyes met Jesus' eyes.
2. He followed afar off.
He tried to follow at a safe distance... close enough to feel like a follower but far enough away to not be recognized as a follower.
There are no secret disciples.
Either you follow up close, at his side for all to see; or you have slid back, and are not following.
A couple of hours earlier Peter had stood publicly at Jess' side ready to die, now he hides in the crowd„ How long has it been since you took a stand at Christ's side, how long have you been hiding in the crowd?
3. He became friendly with Christ's enemies… Warming himself at the wrong fire.
When they accused him of being a follower he denied and cursed. That is what comes from hanging around with the wrong crowd.
How do you know if your crowd is wrong crowd.
1. Do they love Jesus?
2. Do they openly proclaim to "be his disciples?
3. Are they engaged in activities that you know Jesus
would not join in?
4. Do you feel closer to Jesus after you have spent time
HAVE YOU WANDERED AWAY FROM THE LORD?
If so, Jesus gives a warning and a promise.
WARNING: 2: 19 . . Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy "backslidings shall reprove thee."
That means some hearts are so hardened that God has to let consequences of sin "become terrible enough to" bring you back.
That is what it took for David., daughter raped by son.
son killed by brother.
For some it takes sickness, death, disease, tragedy-
One of my favorite pictures- wayward lamb over cliff,
Buzzard circling above
craggy cliff below
Shepard reaching down.
Another favorite. Shepard walking with flock
wayward sheep in his arms safe, secure, home.
Jeremiah 3: 12-13 says "Only acknowledge your guilt, admit that you rebelled against the Lord your God, and committed adultery, confess that you refused to follow me. 0 sinful children, come home.
Your shepherd is standing there to receive you.
You have strayed away.
You followed your own way and will and rejected His.
Now you are far away and long to be back, but don't know how,
Remember his words.
ONLY ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR SIN,
ADMIT THAT YOU HAVE STRAYED.
Bow in prayer and admit your waywardness.
and as Jeremiah 6:6 says "Ask to be put back on the old path of righteousness"
ONLY admit your sin and He will hear and forgive your waywardness, your backsliding.
ONLY admit your sin and He will take you in his arms and tenderly carry you back to the flock, back home, back to the right path.