Where Do We Deny Christ? | Luke 12:8-12

Where Do We Deny Christ? | Luke 12:8-12

Where Do We Deny Christ? – Luke 12:8-12

Introduction

Luke 12:8-12 ESV  “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God,  (9)  but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God.  (10)  And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.  (11)  And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say,  (12)  for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

  • One day Reverend Charles Spurgeon was preaching a particularly long winded sermon, the topic? Matthew 10:32

Matthew 10:32 ESV  So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven,

  • Of course, Matthew 10:32 mirrors Luke 12:8, of our key passage today.
    • And as Spurgeon was wrapping things up he noticed an old woman who was previously very attentive was now awkwardly slumped over her chair.
    • Upon noticing this Spurgeon stopped, and simply said from the pulpit “I do believe the woman over yonder has passed away”.
      • Some men came and carried the dead body off. To which Reverend Spurgeon finished his sermon by saying “How wonderful it must be to one moment fall asleep while confessing Christ, then in the next wake up to Him confessing you.”
      • (Note: I am recalling this story from memory, I can’t find the source so some details may be off.)
  • Think about that for a moment: “How wonderful it must be to one moment fall asleep while confessing Christ, then in the next wake up to Him confessing you.”

SHOW TITLE SLIDE

  • Look, I am talking to a room full of Christians, Amen? The vast majority of us have given our lives to Christ.
    • Therefore I am going to preach this sermon to you as if you have at some point publicly confessed Christ as Savior.
    • And if you have not made that decision and confession, get pumped! Because if you let it, things are going to change for you today! Halleluiah!
  • So as Christians how should we take these verses? Are they for the unbeliever only? Of course not, if you think you are incapable of denying Christ before men then I urge you to study the life of Peter.
    • PETER WALKED ON WATER!
    • JESUS CHANGED PETERS NAME!
    • PETER SPENT EVERY DAY WITH JESUS.
    • Yet Peter denied Christ three times.
      • If Peter can do it, we can do it to.
      • And not only can we do it, but I think we actively do it!
    • So this morning we are asking the question “Where do we deny Christ?”
      • Because if we can answer that question then we can fix it, amen?!

Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray

Point One – We Deny Christ In the World

Luke 12:8-9 ESV  “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God,  (9)  but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God. 

  • I believe there are two major places that we Christians deny Christ. The first is in the World.
    • So point one this morning, we deny Christ in the world.
  • When I say “The World” and when the New Testament talks about “The World” it is talking about everything outside of the Church, everything aside from Christ.
    • Culture, people, practices… everything that is not Christian is labeled as the World.

John 17:14-16 ESV  I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.  (15)  I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.  (16)  They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.

  • Write this down: “We are in the world, not of the world”.
    • We are IN the world, not of the world”
  • Jesus left us here, in a world full of sin, and hatred, and hurt. Why? Because He want’s us to spread the Gospel and make disciples.
    • Look at verse 15, Jesus says “I don’t ask that you take them out of the world”.
    • God intentionally leaves us in this world, in this culture, surrounded by people that don’t know Him.
  • So then, every time we ignore Christ, every time we ignore Scripture to fit in with the culture… to fit in with our friends… to fit in with the world… every time you do that you are in turn denying Christ before men.
    • Oh man church, I hope you wore your steal toe shoes to church this morning… ‘cause I am about to step on some toes!
  • But before I step on toes, let me allow Jesus to step on some toes first…

Matthew 5:13 ESV  “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

  • Jesus says we are the salt of the earth… the salt of the world.
    • Salt is good for a lot of things:
      • It changes the flavor of things… it’s real easy to tell when someone has put too much salt in something, right, because it is potent.
        • Salt changes the taste of things, it is noticeable! Therefore Christians should be changing the flavor of culture, we should be noticeable.
          • A country that is full of Christians should, culturally, look different from countries that are mostly void of Christ.
          • Countries full of Christians should have less racism, less crime, less sexual sin, lower divorcer rates, more love, more peace, more forgiveness. Right?
            • America is the most Christian Country in the world… yet we also create the most pornography in the world. SOMEBODY EXPLAIN THAT TO ME!
        • Salt also preserves things. Before fridges, salty meat was the thing, because it kept WAY longer.
          • Therefore, Christians should influence culture by preserving holiness.
          • When this Country started we were the country of “In God We Trust”, school rooms where literally in churches. Text books were literally the Bible.
          • When TV and movies became a thing we were so morally pure that we didn’t even allow married couples to be shown sleeping in the same bed.
          • Anyone remember the 1960’s movie Phsyco by Alfred Hithcock?
          • That was the first time in American media history that a toilet was shown flushing on film!
            • That was scandalous then. Just 60 years ago it was wrong to show toilets flushing on a rated R movie!
            • Now you can turn on HBO and watch a midget having sex with a witch and nobody blinks an eye! WHAT HAPPENED TO THE SALT OF AMERCIAN CHRISTIANS?
        • Finally, salt is used as a fertilizer. It helps things grow.
          • Yet America has gone from the Land of One God and Two Genders to the land of No God and more than 100 genders… WHAT HAS HAPPENED?
          • Things got better for a while… we abolished slavery, we had great revivals…
          • But somewhere along the way we started denying Christ and allowing the enemy in.
        • We have lost our saltiness… Jesus puts it this way in Luke…

Luke 14:34-35 ESV  “Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?  (35)  It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

  • It has no use for even the manure pile… you know what Jesus is saying… If you are not a Christian that is salty… that preserves holiness, that changes culture, that brings growth… if you are not a Salty Christian you are so useless that you would literally ruin a pile of POOP! That’s what it says, you are useless even for manure!
    • Now nothing I am about to say is more offensive than that, ok, so take it up with Jesus OK?!
    • practical example time:
      • When you watch Game of Thrones and talk about it with you coworkers… you are denying Christ before men.
        • You are saying “All that stuff I hear on Sunday, all the stuff I read in the Bible… it doesn’t really matter. We can all watch porn and laugh about it!”
      • When you share a cute meme about your “Sign” you are denying Christ.
        • You know, that’s just Libra’s… NO! What?! I thought you were a Christian, not some false religion based on the stars.
      • When you go to church on Sunday, post that selfie looking all holy, then on Saturday post an album on Facebook of you and the girls getting drunk at the Shawn Mendes concert. YOU ARE DENYING CHRIST!
        • Talking ‘bout “I love it when you call me Senorita”
        • How about “I love it when you go to church and dress modestly!”
      • When you treat your wife like dirt, when you get so fired up about politics you cuss people out, when you march in the Pride parade, when you share that crude video, when send that snap chat you know you shouldn’t, when you text that girl who isn’t your wife, when you join in with gossip, when support a friend who is making ungodly decisions… ALL OF THIS AND MORE, You are denying Christ.
    • Because listen, in America, people know what’s in the Bible, they know that Jesus says these things are wrong, and they watch you turn your back on Him time and time again when you fold to culture. We are not supposed to fold culture, we are supposed to CHANGE culture!
  • Now this doesn’t mean we don’t love those in the world, we should! We should love all people. But there is a difference between loving the world and agreeing to their sin, or worse, joining in with there sin.
  • I have told this story before, but it so perfectly shows how NOT denying Christ, truly being salty, actually works in a loving way.
    • When I was dating Amanda I got a job in a tech company in Seattle. On my first day I brought my Bible to read on breaks…
      • Immediately a transgender man comes up aggressively to my desk, let’s call him Corey. I dind’t know it at the time, but Corey was in the process of surgically being changed from a man into a woman.
      • Corey asks “is that Bible yours?!”
      • I say “Yes it is”
      • Corey says “So you think I am going to hell?!”
        • It was clear from Corey’s voice that he was extremely effeminate, so it was not hard for me to guess his angle…
        • But Corey thought he had trapped me, If I said “Yes” then I was a bigot, if I said “No” then I was a hypocrite.
        • So what did I do? I prayed. Remember the passage from today, look at the end of it…

Luke 12:8-12 ESV  “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God,  (9)  but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God.  (10)  And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.  (11)  And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say,  (12)  for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

  • “The Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say”.
    • What I didn’t know was that Corey was my new boss. Corey had the ability to fire me or promote me.
      • I was literally brought before an authority to answer for Christ.
    • Now this wasn’t a court room, and my life wasn’t on the line, but this is America, and right now this is the kind of persecution we face… it may get worse, but the reality was this… Corey wanted a reason to hate me, Corey had made up his mind, Corey was trying to trap me… trying to trap my Christ.
    • So again Corey says in an accusatory tone “DO YOU THINK I AM GOING TO HELL”.
    • I prayed, and the Holy Spirit taught me what to say, just like Luke 12:12 says He would.
  • I said “Corey, do you believe in this book”
    • “Of course not!”
    • “Do you believe in hell”
    • “No, not at all! Not.One.Bit.”
    • “Then why, Corey, would you care if I believe you are going to a make-believe place?”
    • “Wow… that’s the most honest answer I have ever heard a Christian say… huh”
  • That was the end of the conversation.
  • Two weeks later Corey promoted me.
  • Four weeks later Corey called me into a private meeting. He was struggling with thoughts of suicide; he didn’t trust anyone else to be honest to him. He asked me to pray with him.
  • I was salt for Corey, and you can be salt for your co-workers, for your friends, for your family, for your culture.
  • And the beautiful thing about being different than culture is it brings up opportunities to preach the Gospel…
    • Why don’t you watch Game of thrones?
      •  Great question, I would really love to watch a show with such a great story, but I am a Christian and I just can’t bring myself to look at woman having sex every episode. The only woman I want to see naked is my wife!
    • Hey bruh, want to go to this concert?
      • Is it worship?
    • Uh, nah man.
      • Yeah man, I need to pass, I love worshiping God… he has done so much for me, I just don’t want to entertain music that doesn’t glorify Him.
    • But pastor, if I start doing that people will think I am weird… GOOD! YOU SHOULD LOOK WEIRD COMPARED TO THE WORLD, BECAUSE YOU ARE DIFFERENT, YOU ARE CHANGED, YOU ARE REEDEMED, YOU ARE BRAND NEW.

Conclusion

  • In conclusion I want to read this lyric from the Casting Crowns song “What This World Needs”

What this world needs
Is for us to stop hiding behind our relevance
Blending in so well that people can’t see the difference
And it’s the difference that sets the world free

                -Casting Crowns, What This World Needs

  • It’s the difference that sets the world free…
    • When you deny Christ before men, you are literally robbing them from the freedom of Christ, from the gospel, from the message of Saving Grace.

Show Title Slide

  • Shadrack Meshach and Abednego did not do what the culture demanded, they did not bow down… they ended up being promoted to government officials.
  • Daniel could have prayed in private, but instead prayed for all to see, he was promoted to be in one of the highest government offices.
  • Joseph could have slept with Potifers wife… I mean she was rich, she was probably pretty hot, he was a slave and had no chance of ever being married… this was his chance to get it! BUT NO, he ended up being promoted to Second in command over all of Egypt.
    • Many Christians I know would have said “But pastor there was nothing else I could do, if I didn’t sleep with her she would have called me a rapist”… BE SALT! DON’T DENY CHRIST! THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS YOU!
  • Jesus Himself could have denied himself to Pilate to live.
  • Paul could have denied Christ to save his life, instead he asked to speak to Ceaser.

Altar Call, Gospel Call

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