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How to Never Stumble or Fall: Setting Aside Your Pride

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
October 5, 2021 3:00 am

How to Never Stumble or Fall: Setting Aside Your Pride

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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October 5, 2021 3:00 am

So many people made decisions for Christ this past Sunday! We had scores of people joining us for SoCal Harvest, Pastor Greg Laurie’s live evangelistic event at Angel Stadium. You can get details about Sunday’s outreach at harvest.org. But we want to follow up with them and provide some solid insight for the rest of us. Pastor Greg helps us walk with the Lord and avoid the temptations that would make us fall. Glad you’re along for A New Beginning today as we offer practical insight for all believers.

View and subscribe to Pastor Greg’s weekly notes.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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Today's episode of A New Beginning is brought to you by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.

Learn more at harvest.org. And while you're there, browse our library of free eBooks designed to help you grow in your faith. So many people made decisions for Christ this past Sunday. We have scores of people joining us for SoCal Harvest, Pastor Greg Laurie's live evangelistic event at Angel Stadium. You can get details about Sunday's outreach at harvest.org.

But we want to follow up with them and provide some solid insight for the rest of us. Pastor Greg helps us walk with the Lord and avoid the temptations that would make us fall. Glad you're along for A New Beginning today as we offer practical insight for all believers. Turn in your Bible to two passages today. John chapter 18 and Luke chapter 22. Again John 18 and Luke 22.

And the title of my message again is How to Never Stumble or Fall. Let me sort of set the scene here in Luke 22. Jesus is in the upper room with His disciples. He's headed to the cross. He's told them He's headed to the cross. He's going to break bread with them and tell them to do this in remembrance of Him.

But before that He has a fascinating conversation with Simon Peter. Luke 22 verse 31. Jesus says, Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.

But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. And when you have repented and turned to Me again, you'll strengthen your brothers. Peter said, Lord, I'm ready to go to prison with you and even to die with you. Jesus said, let me tell you something.

Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even knew Me. Put yourself in Peter's sandals for a moment. You're just hanging out with Jesus. He's not His normal jubilant self.

He seems very serious, very intense. And then He turns to you and uses your name twice. Paul, Paul. Kathy, Kathy. Greg, Greg.

Cindy, Cindy. Satan has been asking that you be taken out of the care and protection of God. Would that freak you out if Jesus said that to you?

Freak me out. But Jesus then says, I have prayed for you. And I want you to know that the Bible says Christ lives to make intercession for you at the right hand of the Father. Jesus is in effect praying for you. So the next time the devil comes knocking at your door, send Jesus to answer it.

That's what happened here. I prayed for you, Peter, that your faith would not fail. For when you have returned, you'll strengthen your brothers.

Returned? Lord, Peter says, I'll go to prison for you. I'll die for you.

Well, since you brought it up, rock, you're going to deny that you knew me three times. So He warned Peter. That brings us to Peter's first step down. And I would say that this particular attitude is at the root of any and every person who has ever fallen away from the faith or any person who has ever stumbled or fallen.

I don't care what the particular sin is. They're involved in. It always starts here. And it's self-confidence.

Self-confidence. Verse 33. He said, Lord, I'm ready to go with you to prison and to death. Jesus said, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day until you deny three times that you knew me.

According to Matthew's Gospel, Peter added this detail. Even if all are made to stumble, I will never be made to stumble. Careful now.

You look at someone who falls into a sin. You'd say, I'd never do that. I'd never be unfaithful to my wife. I'd never become an alcoholic. I'd never become a drug addict. I'd never do that thing.

Hold on now, buckaroo. You have the capacity to do that and much worse. And it's when we think I'll never do that that you're trusting in yourself instead of trusting in God. The Bible says pride goes before a fall and an arrogant spirit before destruction. So this simply means that I go through life aware of the fact of my weakness and my vulnerability and my propensity to do the wrong thing. As the old song says, prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. Prone to leave the one I love. Self-confidence.

And that leads to the next step down. Prayerlessness. Look at Luke 22 verse 39. Coming out he went to the Mount of Olives as he was accustomed and his disciples followed him to the place and he said to them, pray that you enter not into temptation.

Now this place being referred to by Luke is the Garden of Gethsemane. As he was withdrawn from them about a stone's throw he knelt down and prayed saying, father if it is your will take this cup away from me nevertheless not my will but yours be done. When he rose from prayer he came to his disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow and he said, why did you sleep?

Rise and pray lest you enter into temptation. So this second sin of prayerlessness was a direct result of the first sin of self-confidence. Jesus said specifically, you guys you need to pray.

And they decided to sleep instead. And so they're sleeping when they should have been praying. And you know understand this, not praying about something can actually be a sin. It's a sin of omission. A sin of commission is doing what you should not do. A sin of omission is not doing what you should do. Because the Bible says to him that knows to do good and does not do it to him it is sin.

Well let's see what happens next. So they're there in the Garden of Gethsemane. They're sleeping when they should have been praying. Here comes the temple guard. And along with them Roman soldiers they've got swords and spears and shields and torches. And they're coming to arrest Jesus. But Jesus did not necessarily stand out in a crowd. Judas said, it's a guy that I kiss. That's Jesus. So he has to locate Jesus for them. Which points out the fact that Jesus didn't look like he looks in religious paintings.

Now if you look at religious art you always know who Jesus is. Everybody else's robe is sort of dusty and dirty. He has a very white robe.

Just picked it up at the cleaners. And he has a blue sash. That's a blue. Nobody gets the blue sash but Jesus. Sometimes he's carrying a lamb around his neck. Why he would do that I have no idea. He has the lamb.

Or he has the staff. Hey everybody here I am the good shepherd. Guess you missed the memo. Now you're saying are you making fun of Jesus?

Of course not. But I am kind of making fun of religious artistic depictions of him. Jesus blended into a crowd. He didn't glow in the dark. He was not 10 feet tall. He had to be identified.

It's a one I kiss. So they're approaching and Jesus says who do you seek? This is in John's Gospel. They said Jesus of Nazareth. He said I am he. Now if you have an English Bible you might notice the word he is italicized which means it's not in the original language. So a better translation would be Jesus saying who do you seek? They said Jesus of Nazareth I am.

I am. There's power in that statement. It's a claim of deity. It's what God said to Moses at the burning bush.

We'll be looking at this together. Moses says who shall I say send me. God says I am that I am. So in his statement of deity I am and the Bible says they all fell backwards and landing on top of each other like dominoes.

Torches flying in the air. That shows he could have gotten out of that situation very easily. He could have said I am and you were. By end of story. But he submitted to this and they take him away and he's arrested and he's taken to the house of Caiaphas to be tried. But before that happens as the guards come in to grab Jesus one guy named Malchus probably his first and Simon Peter in an attempt to defend Jesus pulls out his sword and slices off the ear of Malchus. Jesus is like oh you know he has to pick the ear up.

He puts it back on the guy and he heals him. So the last earthly miracle of Jesus was covering the plunder of a disciple. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment.

Whenever you send us an email text or post a comment on social media we read every word. Hi Pastor Greg. I discovered your ministry right before you came to the house. I discovered your ministry right before coronavirus hit and we went into lockdown. Your sermons have helped my walk with Christ and I've learned and grown so much as a Christian. My marriage has been rocky over the last few years but when my husband and I started listening to your Happily Even After series it was so beneficial to our relationship. We have a four-year-old daughter and your messages and of course God are what has kept us together as a family.

Thank you so much. Has Pastor Greg heard from you? How have these daily studies in God's Word encouraged you? Why not drop Pastor Greg an email and let him know? Send it to Greg at Harvest.org.

Again that's Greg at Harvest.org. Well our thanks to our Harvest partners and others who support this ministry for helping to make today's study available. Pastor Greg is offering biblical insight today in his message How to Never Stumble or Fall. Now we shift over to John 18. I'm reading from the New Living Translation starting in verse 15. Simon Peter followed Jesus as did another of the disciples.

That would be the apostle John the writer of this gospel. The other disciple was acquainted with the high priest and he was allowed to enter the high priest courtyard with Jesus. Peter had to stay outside the gate and the disciple who knew the high priest spoke to the woman watching at the gate and she let Peter in. The woman asked Peter you're not one of that man's disciples are you?

No he said I am not because it was cold. The household servants and the guards had made a charcoal fire. They stood around it warming themselves and Peter stood with them warming himself. Third step down for Simon Peter number one was self-confidence. Number two prayerlessness. Number three he was keeping his distance from Jesus. Yes he was following Jesus but he was following at a distance and this distance from the Lord in closeness and fellowship will always be at the foundation of all spiritual regression.

Listen to this. A true believer is never happy when they're out of fellowship with God. So if you're out of fellowship with God if you've sinned against the Lord you're an unhappy person. If you can't be happy in your sin that's a good sign. David the man after God's own heart sinned big time. We all knew that and he described the way he felt in Psalm 32 when he said when I kept it all inside my words became day-long groans. The pressure never let up. All the juices of my life dried up.

Then I let it all out and I said I'll make a clean break and I'll confess my failures to God. He's following at a distance. You've seen those tv shows where they'll show you maybe a lion going in for a kill and lions you know I have to say are very they're very cool cats okay. I don't just like all cats.

I like big cats and so lions you know they don't waste energy. They sort of lay there in the tall grass and wait for lunch to come and so maybe they'll see a herd of antelope. I don't know if it's a herd of antelope.

Everything has a title now. It's a flock of seagulls. They were a band once too. Then there's a murder of crow and the pack of dogs and so forth. So I don't know if it's a what you call a group of antelopes.

I'll look that up later. But they're moving together. Antelopes are kind of funny because they're kind of they all do the jump.

You know there they are an alliance and that's a lot of work to get one of those. Then there's a one stray antelope falling in about 20 feet behind. Who do you think the lion's going to go in for the kill on? So when he looks at a person to take down. Here we are the people of God worshiping together, serving together, learning together.

And here are you 20 feet behind. You know yeah the person that says oh you know do we have to go to church again? Didn't we do that last week? Really the Bible? Really again?

Yes again. The child of God hungers for these things. The compromiser only does it out of duty or obligation and if no one is encouraging him to do it they don't do it. You're the person following at a distance. And you end up in that miserable no man's land of compromise where you have too much of the Lord to be happy in the world. And too much of the world to be happy in the Lord.

Don't be that person. Peter's following at a distance. And then point number four. He's warming himself of the enemy's fire. Verse 18.

They stood around this fire warming themselves. He hoped to go unnoticed on the larger crowd. He was with the wrong people at the wrong place about to do the wrong thing. Why does it come as a revelation to people that if you hang around a godly person godly people they will pull you down. And so you're hanging around the wrong people at the wrong places.

And next thing you know you're doing the wrong thing. Why? Well you want to fit in. I want to be cool.

I don't want to think I'm some you know Jesus freak or self-righteous person. Okay. So you're going to do what now?

And you find yourself saying and doing things you can't believe you're saying and doing. So here he is at the fire and now a woman asks him. This is his first denial. You're not one of that man's disciples are you? He said no I am not. Whoa.

He just did it. The first thing I would have said if I was Peter was are there any roosters around here? Jesus said something about a rooster.

Yeah. What did Jesus specifically say? You will deny me three times. This is denial number one. Now you would have thought that people would have said hold on I just I did the thing I said I would never do. I got to get out of here. No one was holding him here. He could have escaped if he wanted to but he did not do it.

That leads me to his next step down. Verse 25. As he was standing by the fire warming himself they asked him again you're not one of his disciples are you? He denied it saying no I'm not. Ah but one of the household slaves of the high priest a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off asked didn't I see you in the olive grove with Jesus?

Your sin will find you out. Oh yeah right yeah you were there. I knew I should not have posted that on Instagram. Now the word had spread.

Everybody knew about what happened there in the Garden of Gethsemane. But here he is still hanging around this fire. Why was he doing it? Simple answer.

Write this down. Sin makes you stupid. Doesn't it? Sin makes you stupid. You do things you never thought you would do.

You're caught in the vortex of it. And here's Peter now. It's his second denial. Why didn't he get out of there?

Good question. And that brings us to the third denial. And here's something you may have missed. Between the second and third denial there was a one hour interval. That's a long time.

That's plenty of time to get out of there. But he stayed there. He's he's compromised now.

He's not thinking rationally. And finally someone says to him yes you were with Jesus and I know you're one of his disciples because your accent betrays you. See Peter was a Galilean.

And the people in Jerusalem thought of themselves as more sophisticated. So he had a sort of Galilean accent just like we have accents from different areas of the United States. You know people in Texas they're a little different thing. They'd say to me you have an accent. I said Californians don't have accents. We're like devoid of accents. No you have the California accent.

Why? Because I don't say hey how y'all doing or something like that. Oh you must be from Boston because you just told me you're going to park your car right.

I was signing books the other day and some lady mentioned she's from New York. I said say the word coffee. She said coffee. I said exactly.

Right. So different ways we speak from different parts of the country. He had the Galilean accent.

Hey man we know where you're from. And then we read that Peter began to curse and swear and he took an oath saying I never knew the man. And guess what happened. At the moment he said that Jesus was let out of the courtyard of Caiaphas and he made eye contact with Peter. What kind of look did Jesus give to Peter? I think it was a look of love.

And I'll tell you why I think it was a look of love because Jesus predicted this right. He said you're going to deny me. But don't forget the rest of it. When you have returned you'll strengthen your brothers. Peter you're going to mess up.

Trust me it's going to happen. Roosters are involved. But when you have returned you'll strengthen your brothers. Peter you're coming back.

I don't think Peter heard the you're coming back part because the Bible says he went out and wept bitterly. Pastor Greg Laurie is showing us the downward spiral in Peter's life that led to his denial of Christ three times. We're seeing the steps that lead to backsliding and how to avoid them. And there's more to come as this message continues here on A New Beginning.

The title of today's message, How to Never Stumble or Fall. You know Pastor Greg the world is in such a mess. There's turmoil everywhere you look. And believers know what's coming. We know God's plan for the end times. How does your new revelation commentary help us prepare?

Great question. Let me respond with the words of Jesus in John 14. He said, let not your hearts be troubled neither let them be afraid.

And my father sells her many mansions if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you and if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you unto myself that where I am you may be also. You know it's interesting this phrase troubled let not your heart be troubled means agitated or filled with fear. There are things happening in our world right now that can be scary and it can cause your heart to be filled with fear and it can cause you to feel it's like everything is out of control. But if there's one thing that revelation clearly shows it's that God is in control. God has a plan and things are going according to plan. His plan. And so it's all laid out for us because you know the Bible is the one book that dares to predict the future.

Not once not twice but hundreds of times with 100 percent accuracy. So the Lord knows what's coming but the great thing is as you even start the book of revelation you have the words of Jesus to the seven churches. So before we get into all that prophetic stuff if you will like the tribulation period the 144,000 the anti-christ the second coming the millennium Jesus has some special words for his own people.

Very personal powerful words to each of us. And so this is all found in this commentary that I've just written. I use the word commentary loosely because that sounds as though it's going to be dull and theological.

Actually it does come in on scripture but but it's very understandable. It's very down to earth. And we're calling this brand new book here from harvest revelation a book of promises and I would love to send you a copy. It's hot off the press.

It's brand new. We've never released this book before and so I hope you'll get your own copy. And by the way this is a pretty good sized book. It'll be a great addition to your library. It's something you can stand on when you need to reach a higher shelf.

It'll hold a heavy door open as well. And so there's a lot of uses but the best use of course would be to open it up and read it and get a better understanding of the important book of revelation. Yeah that's right and we hope you'll contact us today to ask for revelation a book of promises. And by the way Pastor Greg is including a custom designed bookmark that shows the timeline of God's end times events graphically.

It helps you see the order of events very clearly. It's all available for your gift of any size. Keep in mind that your support is the only way we can keep bringing you Pastor Greg's daily studies. So thank you for your generosity and we hope to hear from you today. Just write a new beginning box 4000 Riverside California 92514 or call us anytime night or day at 1-800-821-3300.

That's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org. Well next time Pastor Greg brings us more insight on how we can avoid the danger of backsliding. He continues his message how to never stumble or fall next time. Join us here on a new beginning with Pastor and Bible teacher Greg Lord. Hey everybody thanks for listening to this podcast. To learn more about Harvest Ministries follow this show and consider supporting it. Just go to harvest.org and to find out how to know God personally go to harvest.org and click on Know God.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-13 22:21:41 / 2023-08-13 22:30:52 / 9

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