Following From Afar

Posted on 30 Jun 2019, Pastor: Tolu Makinde
Title: Following From Afar
Text: Luke 22:54-62, Luke 22:31-34
[Luk 22:31]  And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.
[Luk 22:32]  But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”
[Luk 22:33]  But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.”
[Luk 22:34]  Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.”
[Luk 22:54]  Having arrested Him, they led Him and brought Him into the high priest’s house. But Peter followed at a distance (from afar).
[Luk 22:55]  Now when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them.
[Luk 22:56]  And a certain servant girl, seeing him as he sat by the fire, looked intently at him and said, “This man was also with Him.”
[Luk 22:57]  But he denied Him, saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.”
[Luk 22:58]  And after a little while another saw him and said, “You also are of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!”
[Luk 22:59]  Then after about an hour had passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, “Surely this fellow also was with Him, for he is a Galilean.”
[Luk 22:60]  But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed.
[Luk 22:61]  And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”
[Luk 22:62]  So Peter went out and wept bitterly.
  • The ones that Satan plan to sift as wheat are not the ones in the world.  They are the ones in Christ.
  • Jesus knew the plan of Satan concerning Peter and prayed for him.
  • Then Peter followed Jesus from afar to avoid being caught, not knowing that was his entry way to being sift as wheat
  • From following Jesus from afar, he proceeded to deny Jesus Christ, not once, not twice, but three times
  • There are followers of Jesus Christ who are following Him from afar.
  • They do not want to get close to be labeled a fanatic
  • They do not want to get too far to miss heaven
  • It is a dangerous place to be.
  • Such followers of Jesus Christ do not want to leave the world and its sinful pleasures, and do not want to leave Christianity
  • John, the Apostle, called such as lukewarm believers.  They are neither cold nor hot.
  • I pray we learn something from this short teaching in Jesus name.
Main Topic
  • Following from afar is the first step towards complete backsliding
    • [Joh 6:66]  From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.
    • I wonder if it’s a coincidence that this Scripture is 666
    • Some disciples stopped following Jesus because they could not comprehend what He was saying
    • A time is coming that your belief will be shaken.
    • Those following from afar will stop following Jesus and become backsliders
  • Those following from afar are neither committed nor uncommitted
    • Following from afar produces lack of commitment
    • Commitment means dedication, loyal, faithful
    • I define it as making yourself available at the most inconvenient time
    • If your service is out of convenience, such person is not committed and is following from afar
  • Symptoms of following from afar
    • No motivation to study the Word of God
      • Watching TV when one should be in Bible study or prayer meeting
    • No motivation to pray
      • You would rather attend a party than attend a prayer meeting
    • Other events take precedence over Kingdom work all the time
    • Your head is in the church, but your heart is in the world
  • Dangers of following from afar
    • It is like building a house on a shaky foundation, the house will fall once the wind blows
    • Not deeply rooted in Christ
    • Salvation could easily be lost
    • All efforts for the Kingdom work is wasted
  • How to avoid following from afar
    • Be determined that it is either Jesus or nothing
    • Get your head and your heart in the Word
    • Get your head and your heart in prayer
    • [Gal 2:20]  I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
    • [Php 3:12]  Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
    • [Php 3:13]  Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
    • [Php 3:14]  I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 
Ps. 51:10-17 (KJV)
[Psa 51:10]  Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
[Psa 51:11]  Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
[Psa 51:12]  Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold mewith thy free spirit.
[Psa 51:13]  Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
[Psa 51:14]  Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
[Psa 51:15]  O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
[Psa 51:16]  For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
[Psa 51:17]  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.