TEXT: John 18:12-18:
12 Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him,
13 And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year.
14 Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.
15 And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest.
16 But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter.
17 Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man’s disciples? He saith, I am not.
18 And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals; for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself.
Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.
This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 298.
Blaise Pascal said, “Without Jesus Christ, man must be in vice and misery; with Jesus Christ, man is free from vice and misery. In Him is all our virtue and all our happiness. Apart from Him, there is but vice, misery, darkness, death, and despair.”
After Jesus was arrested, He was led away to the high priest’s palace to be put on trial. We learn that two disciples follow Him — Simon Peter and “another disciple” who was “known to the high priest.” This disciple was likely John the writer of this Gospel. The other disciple went in to the courtyard of Annas’ palace. He vouched for Peter with the young woman who kept the gate, and he, too, was allowed in. From here, Peter and John were able to see and hear some of what was going on concerning Jesus’ trial. By following Jesus, Peter was still trying to prove his loyalty, although in a misdirected fashion. Perhaps he had some fanciful idea about rescuing Jesus from his captors.
As he entered the courtyard of the high priest’s palace, the servant girl who was keeping the gate asked him, “Art not thou also one of this man’s disciples?” She was most likely asking out of curiosity considering the events of that night. But Peter likely thought it was important to keep his anonymity. He didn’t want to call attention to himself. On top of that, he was likely afraid of being arrested. So, he answered, “I am not.”
I believe this first denial slipped out before Peter even realized what he was saying. He just wanted to stay close to Jesus and find out what was going on and perhaps he was afraid he would be shut out if people found out who he was. But, while Peter may have set out to do something good, he demonstrated a lack of trust in God. His loyalty to Jesus should have come before any concerns about his own safety. John juxtaposes Peter’s denial with Jesus’ trial showing us the depths of the sin which Jesus was going to the cross to pay for. John MacArthur said, “The glory of Christ shines against the backdrop of the utter failure of his most noble, vociferous, verbally committed, and self-confident follower — Peter. In fact, it shows us the very kind of sin for which our Lord is headed to the cross. As ugly as Peter’s sins were, the punishment for all of these denials is about to be born by Jesus within a matter of a few hours. So in the darkness, grace shines, because this is just the kind of sin, sin at its worst, among those who belong to the Lord, whose penalty our Lord Himself paid.”
Peter was exactly the type of person Jesus came to die for — someone who was confident in himself, someone who thought he had it all figured out. But someone who ultimately failed when the big test came. We may not want to admit it now, but many of us are just like Peter: we think we have it all together only to find out that we are woefully insufficient at the moment of crisis. And, because of that, we ought to be glad that it was Jesus, not Peter, on trial that night. We ought to be glad that it was Jesus alone who went to the cross.
Ben Price wrote:
It was alone the Savior prayed
In dark Gethsemane;
Alone He drained the bitter cup
And suffered there for me.
It was alone the Savior stood
In Pilate’s judgment hall;
Alone the crown of thorns He wore
Forsaken thus by all.
Alone upon the cross He hung
That others He might save;
Forsaken then by God and man
Alone, His life He gave.
Can you reject such matchless love?
Can you His claim disown?
Come, give your all in gratitude,
Nor leave Him thus alone.
Dear friend, Jesus gave His life for you. But you have to make the decision to give your life to Him by placing your faith and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation from sin and the punishment of sin. Here is how:
1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.