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How to Never Stumble or Fall | God's Grace

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
April 28, 2022 3:00 am

How to Never Stumble or Fall | God's Grace

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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April 28, 2022 3:00 am

In 1998, the Etch a Sketch was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. With it, you can draw picture after picture, as complicated as you want. If you mess up, turn it upside down, give it a shake, and start over. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie says, no matter how your life is messed up, God offers you the chance to turn your life right side up and start over. Shaking is optional. We’ll see a case in point from our studies in the Gospel of John.

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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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You are listening to a new beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God.

Visit our website and learn more about harvest partners@harvest.org enormous blunders in the country of today. Pastor Greg Laurie points out God's grace is bigger than our share of the same sins over and over again. It's too late for me. You know you can't teach an old dog will personally you're not a dog and these are not tricks you can change any person even if they've messed up many, many times in 1990 the edges of the National Toy Hall of Fame with a broad picture of you want to mess up turned upside down and start over.

Beginning Pastor Greg Laurie says no matter how your life is not offer you the chance to turn your lifelike side of start over shaking his case in point from our studies of the gospel of John of the story of a boxlike were talking about Simon Peter to look at his denial of Jesus here in our series on recalling life studies in the Gospel of John Morneau following Christ to the cross, but we sort of go over to the side for a moment, a sidebar story if you will, as we look at how Simon Peter reacted to all the bands that were happening, resulting in this full-blown denial so if you feel as though you let God down.

I think you're going to find this a hopeful message because this is not only a story of how a guy fell, but it's also a story of how he was restored and if you fallen away from the Lord in some way shape or form. I'll give you an opportunity at the end of this message to make a recommitment to let's get the backdrop here of what's going on and then will look at our text together. So Christ Jesus has had the last supper in the upper room with the disciples and jockeys wash their feet really as the great servant he was and now he's getting ready to go and die for this sin of the world and up but before that he has a conversation with Simon Peter. So let's start with Luke in the low make her way over to John to go to Luke 22 first and listen to verse 31 secures what Jesus says to Peter, Simon, Simon, Satan is asked to sift you as wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith would not fail so when you have repented and turned to me again might underline turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.

Peter said Lord I'm ready to go to prison with you, even to die with you, Jesus and Peter, let me tell you something before the rooster crows tomorrow morning you will deny three times that you even knew me. So one of the steps that led to Peter's backslide, step number one to Peter's fall self-confidence by the way, in Matthew's gospel talk about the same topic finds Peter saying even if all are made to stumble, I will never be made to stumble in the Bible says pride goes before a fall.

And it's a person that says I will never fall that often falls and hears Peter being prideful and this was a big mistake and that brings us to the next thing that he did that resulted in him falling number two prayerless nests come now to verse 39 of Luke 22 coming out. He went to the Mount of olives as he was the custom of his disciples followed him when he had come to this place. He said pray that you may not enter into temptation when he was withdrawn from them about a stone's throw. He knelt down and prayed same father. A picture will take this cup from me and nevertheless not my will but yours be done and what he rose from the Prairie came to his disciples that would be Peter, James and John.

He found them sleeping from sorrow and he said why do you sleep rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation. So it was powerlessness.

Now we shift over to John chapter 18 and see what else happened at Peter over to John 18 now we read in verse 15, Simon Peter, by the way I'm reading from the new living translation. Simon Peter followed Jesus as did another of the disciples. The other disciple was associated with a high priest, so he was allowed to enter the high priest courtyard with Jesus it's assumed that this other disciple is John the author of this gospel and John often referred to himself in this way of the disciple whom Jesus loved, he would use his own name, Peter had to stay outside the gate. The verse continues on to say.

Then the disciple presumably John knew the high priest spoke to the woman watching at the gate and she let Peter read earlier this door that's Peter you're not one of that man's disciples, are you know I am not said Peter because it was cold, the household servants and the guards. He made a charcoal fire. They stood around it, warming themselves. And Peter stood with them, warming himself. Here's Peter's third step down step number one. Self-confidence step number two prayerless this step number three. Keeping his distance from Jesus keeping his distance from Jesus ago.

Verse 15 Simon Peter followed Jesus ago will wait it since he followed Jesus's and that good, that's good. But Luke gives us a detail that's important. He says he followed at a distance using all yes he was following distance not as closely as he should. Now we come to his fourth step down verse 18.

He was warming himself that the enemy's fire warming himself of the enemy's fire verse 18. They stood around the spire made out of charcoal, warming themselves and Peter stood with them, warming himself now. He hoped to go unnoticed in the larger crowded one himself at the fire. He was already following at a distance. He was just a train wreck waiting to happen.

Now we want to give him some credit. He was around.

The others were nowhere to be seen believe Peter's there but but you know he he's already compromising because here's a problem. He was at the wrong place at the wrong people. Now is going to do the wrong thing right.

This isn't rocket science people that I talk to be, but struggle with different things and then I struggle with with porn. I struggle with gambling. I struggle with drugs. I struggle with alcohol okay will I didn't see you at church last Thursday night. Where were you in a bar, gambling, and looking at porn doing idiots really seriously you hang around with the wrong people of the wrong places in your shop when you go and do the wrong thing. You're just setting yourself up and that's a Peter was doing change the people you hang around with. Change the places that you go to.

I mean realistically, he should been in this place Mr. Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message just a moment, emails, letters and phone calls from listeners are so encouraging to us and they let us know the effectiveness of these studies master Greg. This matter has been a long time coming. In 2017. My husband and I lost our three year old to a setting on to begin asking questions and no answers seem to be found. One evening I was watching TV and came across your message is about to change the channel that something can help me to watch you are giving your testimony, the more I watch the angrier I became thinking, oh great another pastor with the perfect thing in life.

What is he now got moment you began to share about the passing of Kiersten Christopher. Your testimony saved my life because for so long I thought I deserved what had happened to our standing in my obedience to God's word and hearing your testimony for God. Many realizing that doesn't waste her pain then and there I set my heart and seeking God. I started listening to your podcasts and devotion and wouldn't you know it you are in a series called hope for hurting hearts I know it was the leading of the Holy Spirit for me to tune in. Thank God for that moment is perfect timing, grace and love and thank you Pastor Greg you have done more than you realize were so blessed to hear Greg's messages have come from this woman. Would you like to share a personal story with us. If so, drop Pastor Greg an email and let them know. Send it to craig@harvest.org that's great that harvest.org will today.

Pastor Greg is helping us recognize the steps that led to Peter's spiritual fall were considering how backsliding happens and how we can avoid it was continue now is fit step down the first denial for 17 one of them says you're not one of that man's disciples, are you he says no I am not they thought we were like dj vu didn't Jesus talk about this. Maybe I should get out of here.

Why did he run, here's the answer. This is a profound point. Admit it before, but I'll make it again. Why did he run ready for sin makes you stupid. Sin makes you stupid like someone is drinking.

People who were drinking don't know how stupid they're behaving. They think the really funny why I'm really funny when I'm drunk. Actually you want to, you're really obnoxious why I'm I'm a whole different person now much worse person please don't go behind the wheel of a car and injure somebody worse is kill them, but you know the drunk person. The person coming under the influence thinks are so clever they're so witty So great then they find out the next day what they actually said and did their little bit shocked by sin is sort of like that in front of intoxicating and you're not thinking clearly I meant to give Sam's anything and I with a woman named Delilah, who tells them she wants to cut off his hair so he'll have no strength solely hangs around with her, with his head in her lap's smarts, he will curse you know the rest of that story and so that's what happened.

Sin makes you stupid.

Peter should've got out of there.

You should've run, but send is blinding him despite the fact that Jesus predicted this very thing. Now look at the six step down verse 25 and as Peter was standing by the fire warming himself. They asked him again.

One of his disciples argue he denied it say no I am not one of the household slaves of the high priest watch is now a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off said and I see you out there in the olive grove would Jesus, Peter denied it and immediately a rooster crow okay put all three gospels together. There's another denial in the middle of all of this case it was three denials in total. By the way, Luke tells us a full hour had passed between the second and third denial were why when you've gotten out of there again.

Sin makes you stupid. He's not thinking clearly. He wants to be near Jesus. He wants to help Jesus but is afraid to make his stand and now is sin is coming to haunt him.

You're one of know I'm not not. You're the guy who cut off milk is his ear member that story the guy he was a servant of the high priest probably leading the charge. I'll get your comes off.

Jesus heals a guy I remember you I remember you clearly hear the guy that actually does know how to use a sword very well and so another was no denying it. And now Matthew's Gospel gives us a very important detail.

That's as Peter began to curse and swear, what is at me doesn't mean Peter use profanity, nor does it mean that he swore like a sailor, though technically he was one but it's an interesting phrase in the original language that means to take an oath so effectively. One was pronouncing death on the himself. There were taken in open for God. Here's what he was saying. I swear to God I take an oath before God himself. I never knew Jesus.

What really you have to go that far away. That's clearly taking the Lord's name in vain. When you say something like that so he took an oath that he never knew Jesus and then the rooster crows again. And if that wasn't bad enough, according to Luke at that very moment after the third denial after taking an oath. I never knew Jesus.

Jesus was led outside of the house of Caiaphas, and he made eye contact with Peter eyes of Jesus met the eyes of Peter because we read immediately. While he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. This is Luke 22 and the Lord turned and looked at Peter and Peter remembered the word of the Lord that he had said before the rooster crows shall deny me three times.

And Peter went out and wept bitterly when a moment Jesus looked right through. How do you think that went down to think Jesus rolled his eyes across seriously, do you think he looked at them with anger and scorn nine thinks I think you looked at him with love like none and I told you so but a little bit of and I told you so you know, like I told you so but a buddy and told right number of children but just remember everything I told you I said when you've returned, you'll strengthen your brothers.

I think you looked at him with love.

I think Peter was broken hearted person. Jesus is taken to the cross.

These crucified that he rises again three days later in the message goes out from the risen Lord and what is that message go tell the disciples and who and Peter is risen. The reason he was singled out was while he just needed some extra encouragement you need that right now you feel like is as old man. I've just messed up so many times I've fallen back into the same sentence over and over again.

It's too late for me.

You know you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Well first of all, you're not a dog and these are not tricks.

God can change any person even if they've messed up many many times did Peter fail. Yes he did. Did he deny the Lord again. Yes.

Was he still a believer, you better believe it because Jesus said when you are converted or when you return you'll strengthen your brothers. His setback was temporary and Peter would be back and he would be able to use this failure is a way to encourage others but also failed because he could tell people that there is a God who gives second chances, but also serve as an example of the simple fact that nobody is above calling in to sin. Nobody. Anyone can fall. But here's what we want to say in Peter's favor. He wept bitterly in the Bible says godly sorrow produces repentance. Repentance means to change your direction, Peter went out and wept bitterly.

But Jesus forgave him again. Go tell the disciples and Peter. He's risen in Jesus not only forgive me, recommissioned immobile see that later.

In the Gospel of John. So in conclusion, maybe you have fallen spiritually, maybe quite expectedly, you're like that lady in the commercial I've fallen and I can't get up.

I'm not making fun of her.

By the way do I think she's an actress, but Tom, I'm not making fun of anyone who falls in can't get up, but maybe you feel that way.

Spiritually I've fallen and I can't get up.

Well, you can't get up on your own.

But God can pull you up God to help you get back in your feet again. Jesus forgave Peter and he will forgive you as well is it one dissociating do not even worthy to be here at church can I tell you little secret you've never been worthy to be at church you've never been worthy to pray you've never been worthy to read your Bible.

Would using your Worthington all, none of us ever were worthy on that one week when you did so well and good to our devotions every day and prayed and fasted led for people of the Lord you want even worthy of that wonderful week. This is never been about worthiness.

This is always been about the blood of Jesus shed on the cross for us, giving us access to the father and I will always be about that. So let's lose the worthy stop the worthy no one's worthy, but I'm invited. I have access not because I deserve it. I don't deserve it. I deserve judgment, as do you. But God says I love you and I want have a relationship with you. This is exactly why Jesus was going to the cross to die in our place and to bear all of our sins as he shed his blood for us in the rise again from the dead, so we can have this relationship with God. Going back to the Garden of Eden were our first parents in that big wall when up that separates us from God. But now the wall is torn down through the death of Jesus, so I can know God, but it's only through Jesus. I can know God and he calls me to himself. So working to close now in a prayer in a moment, and I want to extend an invitation to someone here tonight. Maybe it's her church for the first time or you been here before, but this is all start and it makes sense to you and you want Jesus. I talked to a young man last Sunday, and John. He said you just calm and he was looking into this. Want to know more about it and heard about us and wanted to know more about Jesus. He had questions and so we talked for a while and and were discussing this and I said well you know what I I just pray that you will come to Jesus and and I was just thinking about anything. You know what I think is guys ready to come to Jesus right now I don't think he really needs the way that arms can ask him if I pop the question I'm asking a question. Would you like to accept Jesus Christ right now. He said I really would see some people that's what they want to do. They just on the how to do it well because they've never done it. How would they know. So baby you're the person I like to do this so like is it to get here to converter a month. No listen, it can happen just like that, just in a flash. Would you say Lord forgive me of my sin and ask Christ to come inside. I prayed with him, let him in a prayer and that was his moment.

This can be your moment right now you survive some questions and that's my you know what I believe. If you will come to Jesus. So many of those questions will be answered. Maybe not every single one but a lot of them will be the big ones will be resolved. You find what you're looking for so so I get all these things together than come to Jesus don't like this come to Jesus and he hoped to work all those things out. Just come to him with as much faith as you have one final thing, there might be someone here that maybe even raised in the church, a maybe even raised in this church you knew me when I had a hair which is a long time ago and you you read these things before but if you're really honest with yourself.

It's a backslidden it wasn't overnight, but it was over time, and I'm not walking with God I'm doing stuff I know I shouldn't be doing. I'm living a miserable compromise life will look simply to come back to the Lord. It's time to come home to your father who loves you and will forgive you.

Just as surely as he for gave Simon Peter returned to me. The Lord says you backsliding children, but I will smack you around know somebody says return you backsliding children. The Lord says that I will heal you. That's what he says come on here. I'll give you a big hot and I'll forgive you. Just like the father did for the prodigal son.

When the son returned him to the father smack him around. See some of the stent know he threw his arms around this my son was dead is alive again. He was lost is that can happen for you to close now prayer if you need to come to Jesus or come back to Jesus wanted to do it right now to pray.

Father, thank you for loving this so much that you sent Jesus to die on the cross in our place. Thank you Jesus for coming and making that great sacrifice and then rising again and now you're here with us in this place ready to come to the heart of any person who calls out to.

I pray that your Holy Spirit will convince those that don't know you love their need for you commit them to you. Now Jesus name we pray that Pastor Greg Lord important closing prayer if you like to make a change in your relationship with the Lord today. Pastor Greg will help you do that in just a moment before this addition of a new beginning. Concludes that were making available a wonderful new book about the afterlife. It's Lee Strobel's book the case for heaven and were glad to have Lee with us in the studio today, your pastor, Greg. Speaking of the afterlife. Just recently a very dear man died. He was like a second father to me.

I hadn't seen him in years and I learned from his funeral that he accepted Christ at the age of 70. Well, and I can't tell you the joy I felt when I knew I'd see him again in heaven, but can you imagine if you didn't believe in the afterlife. How much harder it would be to grieve for loved ones who pass you. You know what everybody grieves when they lose a loved one, even Christians. The difference is we don't grieve. Hopelessly we grieve.

Hopefully there's we have hope. We know will see him again, but the depth of our sorrow is an indication of the depth of our love because we love the person we mourn, we grieve even when Stephen was martyred. It's as godly men mourn over him why he was in habit well because he loved them and they missed him and they wanted him there with them.

Still, there's nothing wrong with that.

The Bible even says there's a time to mourn, but at the same time, there can be comfort that will come from the Lord, because Jesus said blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted in the comfort is knowing will see our love. Once again the comfort is in knowing they're happier than they've ever been, and that so it puts things in perspective.

You know, I would like to ask Lee a question that illustrates out no one is beyond the reach of God.

As you mentioned your friend who is 70 years old, Lee told us a story of famous daredevil evil Knievel yeah and you received a phone call from you because a lot of people don't know the story about what happened to evil Knievel yeah evil Knievel manner lived here as a womanizer. He was a drunk he was and went to prison for beating up a guy with a baseball bat gestate lived a very godless life and one day my phone rang and I picked it up and and I said I this is Lee and the voice is asleep so I said yes and he said this is evil and I got on site and is got my phone is not always it is evil Knievel at all and he told me the story said it was.

I was on the beach in Florida and God spoke to me. I said I felt it on the inside, and God said to be Robert was his real name is Robert. I've saved you more times you'll ever know. Now you need to come to me to my son Jesus. He had a Apsley profound conversion experience. Old was he when this happens you know he was Callie. He was around 70 got around 70 and as I got to know you because we became friends before he died he should call me upset Lee what if I had received Christ as a kid as a teenager, my life could been totally different and I think about that when I speak to teenagers and I think you get your whole life ahead of you and and Eve would've given anything to go back receive Christ and live a godly life. He just had that sensor regrets. I tried to encourage German and he became a dear friend that's Lee Strobel you're hearing from everyone and he has a brand-new book out called the Kings for heaven, subtitled a journalist investigates evidence for life after death. There were sending it to you for your gift of any size this month.

That's right and you're gonna love this book is so full of rich insights and deep research, but it's presented in a way that's easy to understand and fascinating so I hope you send an investment today that we can put to use in teaching believers and sharing Christ with unbelievers.

Then ask for the case for heaven by Lee Strobel and will only be able to mention this resource. A short time longer so got in touch as soon as possible. You can call us at 1-800-821-3300. You can reach us any time there at 1-800-821-3300 or write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or go online to harvest.org and then here's pastor Greg once again let me close with this thought. Would you like to know that you will go to heaven when you die.

Would you like to fill that big hole deep inside of you listen. It's about a relationship with God. And here's the good news.

God loves you so much that 2000 years ago. He sent his son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for your sins and then to rise again from the dead and now Jesus who died and rose standing at the door of your life, and he is knocking, and he says if you hear my voice, and open the door. I'll come in.

Would you like Jesus Christ to come into your life would you like your sins forgiven.

Would you like to fill the hole in your soul. Would you like to go to heaven when you die. If so just stop what you're doing and pray this prayer with me.

You can pray it out loud if you like you can pray it in the quietness of your heart.

If you choose, but pray this prayer. This is a prayer of asking Jesus Christ to come in your life. Pray these words Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you're the Savior died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead-ite Schoen from that sin.

Now, and I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for hearing this prayer in answering this prayer in Jesus name I pray, amen handed you just pray that prayer if so I want to congratulate you and be the first to say welcome to the family of God.

Yeah that's right you have a whole new life in front of you now, and to help you begin living this new life.

Pastor Greg would like to send you some free follow-up resources called our new believers growth packet. It'll help you get started in living your life for the Lord. So can we send it to you just ask for the new believers growth packet. You can call us at 1-800-821-3300 were here to take your call around the clock that's 1-800-821-3300 or write us at a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or go online to harvest.org and click on know God.

The next time Pastor Greg gives us a close look at the role Pontius Pilate plays in the trial of Jesus.

Fascinating insights from the Gospel of John. Join us here on a new beginning. Pastor and Bible teacher Greg for past my harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God learn how to do, harvest partner, sign up for daily devotions and find resources to help you grow in your faith harvest.org


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