Date: 20 July, 2014
Text: Luke 22:31-34
Title: When Thou Art Convertd
Theme: What happens around conversion?
I recently spoke with some children at the park and who said they were Christians. I said, "Do you know what a Christian is?" They said, "Yes. A Christian is someone who believes in God."
Christianity is not just a nice name given to people who have a generic belief in God. You'll remember that the leader of Christianity is Christ who was brutally murdered because He was hated and despised. Those who followed him were treated with hatred and contempt. They lost their homes, businesses, were ostracized from their families. They risked imprisonment, beating and death.
In our day, "A Christian would dress modestly, speak without profanity or taking God's name in vain, watch only good movies, listen only to good music." And because they are different in a Godly way the world would hate them. They would also lose friends, be despised by those who disagree and possibly be put out of their families.
At the park they said, "What is good music?" They named some current groups and I said, "I don't know who they are." They were shocked. I said, "You think about it. Do they dress modestly?"
These kids didn't want to be Chrstians like God's Word teaches. They wanted to be politically correct Christian in name only.
God hasn't called us to Chrsitianity in name alone. He's called us to take a stand for him.
Those who stand with him will be treated like him.
Matthew 10: 22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.
24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.
25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
So, what experiences bring us to true Christianity and the ability to stand with Him?
We are going to let Peter be our example this morning. Peter had already obediently followed the Lord as a disciple. He had already confessed that Jesus was the one who was sent from God. He has seen the transfiguration of Jesus and has witnessed amazing miracles. And yet he would fail miserably.
· He was an OT believer who would come to NT salvation by faith in Jesus Christ's death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins.
· He would after be indwelt by God's Holy Spirit.
· He would become the bold preacher at Pentecost who would be jailed and beaten often for his preaching of the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Regardless of whether his conversion is salvation or consecration, I want us to consider this morning - WHAT TAKES PLACE AROUND CONVERSION?
You may be saved this morning but lacking identification with Christ (consecration). Or you may be here this morning without any identification with Christ because you have not experienced salvation. The truth here applies to both conditions. What takes place around conversion?
I. Jesus calls us to attention.
31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon...
exp. Simon is the spokesperson for the disciples. The "you" in this verse is plural referring to all of the disciples, and yet Jesus singles out Peter because of his particular failure. Peter is heading towards great failure and Jesus wants to get his attention with compassionate words twice calling his name.
ill. Times where God stops to speak to individuals by name in Scripture.
· ADAM Genesis 3:9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
· ABRAHAM Ge 22:11 And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
· MOSES Exodus 3: 4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.
· SAMUEL 1Sa 3:10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.
· Ac 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
exp. God had no difficulty in getting the attention of these men for his service. Peter isn't going to be an ordinary Christian. He is going to have an extraordinary ministry for God. Jesus was getting his attention.
question: Is God seeking to get your attention? Are you thinking more about God today than at any other time in your life? Do you sense that He has a plan for your life?
ill. I'll often tell unbelievers that it is no accident that I am speaking to them about the Lord. Many times those whom I am speaking to have family members who are born again.
ill. I spoke to a lady at Edinburgh castle and gave her a tract. She kindly took it and said that she had a son who was a preacher. They don't talk about religion. But, I was able to speak to her about God.
app. God won't have difficulty speaking to us when he wants to do so. Peter had to turn and listen to the Lord. So, do we. If God is speaking to you, you need to listen. (He loves you just as he loved Peter and will speak lovingly to you if you will listen to Him.)
II. Satan's power over us is revealed.
...behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
exp. Jesus is giving us a behind the scenes look into a spiritual battle that is in a realm where men's eyes can not reach. Satan wanted to sift the "disciples (plural "you") like wheat.
A. He must ask permission to do so.
exp. Jesus knew that this desire was going to be allowed to take place. He is uttering a warning to his disciples ahead of time.
question: Why would Satan launch such a great offensive at the cross? There never was and never will be a greater spiritual battle than what took place at and around Calvary. At Calvary Satan forever lost any hope he had of overthrowing God's kingdom. But, he used every tool in his arsenal. God allowed it as he allowed Judas to be Satan's tool to betray Christ. So, he allowed the friends of Jesus to desert Him at the most crucial moment of our Lord's ministry not allowing any mercy to take away from the painfulness of the cross. BUT IT WAS ALLOWED OF GOD.
ill. Job 1:9-12
9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
exp. I can almost hear the conversation in Heaven. Satan perhaps says, "Jesus fears you for nought. If the disciples forsook him he would quit and never endure the cross." And God says, "Behold, all that he has is in thy power, you can even stir up your crowd to crucify him."
app. If you are undergoing a severe test of your faith, it is allowed in the wise providence of a loving God who knows what is best for you.
B. His desire is to destroy you.
exp. As much as God loves you, we know this morning that Satan is not your friend. He is a deceiver who has captured and captivated much of this world and made them his slaves.
ill. Pagan walking up out of the glen. I told him that what he was involved in was satanism. He told me that I was wrong and that he believed in Jesus because the first vision he had seen was of Christ in glorious light. I told him that he was deceived and that Satan dresses himself up as an angel of light.
II Corinthians 11: 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
app. Our world thinks wicked music, videos, movies, games, substances are great. There not bothered to think that Satan has them deceived and enslaved. If you this morning are involved in something which you know is wicked, I promise you with the authority of God's Word that Satan is using it to destroy you. That is his only desire for you - use you and lose you.
III. Jesus prays for us.
32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not:
ill. Peter would fail miserably on his own despite his best intention.
33 And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.
34 And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the @#!*% shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me
exp. Even though God allowed the disciples to go through a great trial, Jesus had prayed ahead of time for God's grace to sustain them despite failure.
A. God has angelic defences for those who will be saved.
Heb 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
exp. In the wisdom of God, he knows this morning who will obey the Gospel and put their faith in Jesus Christ. In his mercy to them, he has angels who minister to them before their conversion.
app. You may be upset this morning to think that God allows Satan to attack those who would seek to come to Christ. It ought to encourage you that he has also sent his angels to defend those thus attacked.
B. God has a great prayer warrior pleading His blood no your behalf.
Heb 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
exp. The Son of God who died on the cross is willing to plead His blood for you this morning. He ever liveth to claim his right of redemption because of His shed blood for any who would come to God.
question: Why did Jesus die? Because the wages of sin is death. He paid the penalty and can say to the Father, "Father, forgive this one who has come to you in my name asking for a pardon. I paid the price to give them this gift of eternal life. Please now grant their request in my name."
app. You can be assured this morning that Jesus will plead His blood on your behalf if you would come unto God by Him.
IV. Jesus promises us victory.
...and when thou art converted...
exp. The Lord's heart was heavy with the realization of the great failure of His men. When Jesus was betrayed there is recorded in God's Word one of the saddest verses of Scripture. Mark 14:50 And they all forsook him, and fled.
note: Before you are too hasty in your judgment of the disciples. We've done the same thing.
Isaiah 53: 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 ¶ Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
exp. We turned away when He turned to the cross. And yet, there is great hope for those who will be saved.
A. God will do his part.
John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
exp. God is able to bring you to faith in His Son. He has no other desire for you this morning than that you would put your faith in Jesus for salvation.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise (of coming back to earth to rapture the church), as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
exp. God will do His part....
B. If you will do yours.
Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
John 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
app. The only thing keeping you from salvation this morning is you. If you'll turn to Jesus this morning, he'll not reject you. Joh 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
V. Jesus commands us to help others.
...strengthen thy brethren.
exp. Peter was not just responsable for himself. He was resposable for others as well. He would be a key leader after the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. This man who failed so miserably would have to stand up and declare to others the loving power of the Lord Jesus Christ to save their soul for @#!*% because HE HAD RISEN FROM THE DEAD.
ill. I have people ask me, "Why are you talking to people about God?" "Why not just let them believe whatever they want?"
I'll say to them, "If you knew that someone was going to walking into a burning building, would you just let them go on their way because you don't want to bother them or would you do everything you could to keep them from going there?"
question: Are you converted and restored to Jesus? GREAT What about your brethren? What about your dad, sister, mom, brother, aunt, uncle, neighbor, friend, co-worker, nation, etc?
app. Conversion is not the end, it is the beginning. And that is again why I say this morning, Christianity is not just a name. It is a commitment to complete identification with Jesus Christ. It embraces JESUS WHOM THE WORLD HATES.
Peter was converted to Christ? Are you?
Maybe conversion for you this morning is consecration. You are already saved, but you have failed miserably? Are you willing to get right with Christ?
Maybe conversion for you this morning is salvation. You have never identified with Christ and received His gift of eternal life?
· Is God speaking to you?
· Satan is not going to let you turn easily to Jesus.
· BUT - Jesus is praying for you and pleading His blood.
· He's promised the victory for those who would turn.
· He wants you to get victory so that you can help others turn to Him.