“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to have all of you, to sift you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen and build up your brothers.” Peter said, “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you, and even to die with you.” But Jesus said, “Peter, let me tell you something. The rooster will not crow tomorrow morning until you have denied three times that you even know me” (Luke 22:31-34).
You may have thought, how could Simon Peter who loved and walked with Jesus possibly deny knowing Him not once, but three times? It might be hard to imagine Peter doing such a thing, but wait. Ask yourself how many times you have denied knowing Jesus.
Although Peter denied knowing Jesus three times, the Lord knew Simon Peter’s heart and prayed for him when Satan asked for him. Jesus’ prayer was that Peter’s faith would not fail and that he would repent and turn back to Him again to strengthen and build up others. Jesus also knows our heart and is sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for us.
When Simon Peter realized that he had denied his Lord three times, he wept bitterly from remorse (Matt. 26:75). On the day of Jesus’ resurrection an angel spoke to the women who came, saying “Jesus, the Nazarene who was crucified isn’t here! He has been raised from the dead! Go give this message to his disciples, including Peter…” (Mark 16:6-7). Notice the angel said “including Peter,” who had denied knowing Jesus three times. The Lord knew Peter was feeling bad for denying Him.
Peter was fishing when Jesus came to him and asked Peter to feed and take care of His sheep (John 21:15-17). It was Peter who, filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, preached with boldness to a crowd who afterwards asked him, “What must we do?” Peter said to them “…turn from your sins and turn to God…” About 3,000 repented and were added to the church in one day (Acts 2:37-41).
How is it possible today in the 21st century for God’s children to deny the Lord? Are they becoming lovers of the world and conform to it (Rom. 12:2 – James 4:4)? Have they forgot that they will be held accountable for every idle word (Matt. 12:36)?
If you are a child of God, here’s a checklist of just some of the ways could be denying Him and allowing Him to shine through you?
When Jehovah Witnesses or Mormons about ring your doorbell do you answer and tell them about Jesus Christ or ignore them?
Do you love and forgive others, even your enemies?
Do you pass out tracts or witness to others?
Do you rob Him by not paying your tithes?
Do you grieve the Holy Spirit and His leading?
Do you deny him Monday through Saturday only know him on Sundays?
Do you gossip, lie, or sow discord?
Do you pray before eating when with unsaved co-workers or family members?
Do you listen to secular music or watch ungodly television shows?
Do your unsaved family members and neighbors know that you are a child of God?
Do you tell and laugh at jokes filled with sex and profanity?
Are you training up your children, by example in godly ways?
Are you praying, studying, and meditating daily on His Word?
Are you bitter, angry, or quick to find fault in others?
Are you disobedient or rebellious?
Are you denying self or promoting self?
Are you faithfully serving in ministry and using your spiritual gifts?
Are you worshipping idols (things or people)?
If you checked any of these questions, like Peter repent and be restored. God’s children have been called out of darkness because God has a plan and purpose. “For I know the plans I have for you… they are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). We serve an awesome God who loves us so much (John 3:16-17). He wants His children to walk in the full power and authority given to them and do greater works (John 14:12) before Jesus returns.
During these perilous days, there is a harvest of souls waiting for the children of God to share the hope that they have in knowing Jesus Christ. We have been chosen to rescue others from darkness so they may also be added to the kingdom of God. We are ambassadors for Christ in this world, and only what we do for Him will last. There could be 3,000 lost souls waiting on you to speak the unadulterated gospel boldly so that they may ask, “What must we do?” (Acts 2:41)
Don’t deny Him or be ashamed of the gospel (Rom. 1:16). Jesus didn’t deny us… He came, died, and rose on the third day that we may have eternal life Eph. 1:20; 2:6). It’s not about us, but telling others about HIM. A day is coming when every knee will bow and tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil. 2:10).
Remember, “…If we deny Him, He also will deny us” (2 Tim. 2:12).
“Are you knowingly or unknowingly denying Him?
Helen L. Green (Insight Magazine 2006)