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Denial: Accepting the Unacceptable



"Then Jesus *said to them, “You will all fall away because of Me this night, for it is written, ‘I will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered.’ But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee." But Peter said to Him, "Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away." Jesus said to him, "Truly I say to you that this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." Peter *said to Him, "Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You." All the disciples said the same thing too."
Good Morning my beloved,
We welcome you to worship in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. We're glad to have
you here with us , thank you for joining us today. Our international reaching is continuing to grow! We are thankful God has blessed this ministry and people are responding to His Word. Please consider sharing our website and social media platforms with others. If we can continue reaching people in other countries with the Gospel, we can fulfill the Great Commission, and can change the world, one soul at a time. For Christ's sake and for the glory of God!

We are living in a day, where many people who identify themselves as Christians, yet reject His teaching, either because they're living in unrighteousness or they are fearful of the social repercussions of speaking the Truth. I believe both speak loudly and clearly as to their relationship with Christ. The hope for this lost world is found in the faithful proclamation of His Gospel, trusting the One Who promises transform unbelieving hearts. We have no power ourselves to open deaf ears, but we do have a responsibility expose sinners’ to their need of the Savior. The power to transform sinners' for salvation, is in the Word of God, not in those who proclaim it. We have not been commissioned to debate anybody into the kingdom of God. Desire and determination are not enough. We must faithfully pray that as we continue to proclaim hear God's Word, that He will open the ears of the hearers, molding and shaping their lives, while drawing them to Himself. The key to finding great strength, is to recognize our own human weakness.
Let's us pray
Heavenly Father,
Father, thank You for Your Word, for Your Spirit that is transforming our lives as we receive it. Thank You for reminding us that when our weaknesses trail behind us like a shadow. When we are tempted to be ashamed, grant us the courage to stand firm in the faith, the boldness to confront sin and error in Truth, with love; trusting You will never leave us or forsake us. Equip us for the challenges that we face in the world today, and guides us to conduct ourselves in a way that demonstrates to the world the gospel has profound power the to change our lives at its core. Lord, continue to work in our lives, so that we may live for Your glory, seeking to please You rather than ourselves. Father, we ask that You would touch every unbelieving heart, soften the hardened places in their hearts, open theirs eyes and ears to the Truth.
In Christ's name we ask and pray

Today's Message: Denial: Accepting the Unacceptable

This an unforgettable story of over confident believers, overestimating themselves. As much as we would like to think of ourselves as never being caught up in a situation where we would be ashamed of the Gospel or deny our Lord, many Christians have willingly chosen to compromise God's Word, rather than to be labeled as hateful and intolerant, or a bigot, identifying themselves with the world, they have refined reality and denied the reality of it's truthfulness. Ultimately, accepting the unacceptable, denying the costly consequences of rejecting God's Word. I suppose that we all want to be liked. In fact, I’ve never met anybody in life who has said, "My goal in life is to disliked." However, some people will do anything to be liked, even compromising the Truth.
In Matthew 10:33, Jesus clearly says, "But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven."
In Genesis 1:27, "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them."
Buying into the rhetoric of an "alternative" reality, that people are the gender they prefer rather than the biological sex assigned at birth, is contrary to the medical scientific evidence that chromosomes, hormones, internal reproductive organs, external genitalia, are the determinant of sex. Some transgender advocates even make the remarkable claim, that ones gender identity need not necessarily be restricted to male or female, citing no reputable sources for any of their claims. Far worse, these ridiculous ideologies are now being taught to young children.
Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the former psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital and its current Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry, said that transgenderism is a "mental disorder" that merits treatment, and that changing ones sex is "biologically impossible." Furthermore, "people who promote sexual reassignment surgery are collaborating with and promoting a mental disorder." 
While hatred and discrimination has no place in our nation, neither does redefining the truth. God is the Creator and Author and source of Truth!

In John 14:6, Jesus said "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." There is a profound lesson found here, that I believe ought to alter the course of our Christian lives. 
Open your Bibles to the twenty-sixth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. Matthew 26:31-35. I invite you to follow along with me as I read to set the text in our minds. So, let's open our hearts and our minds to see what the Spirit of God has to say us today. Matthew 26:31-35.
"Then Jesus *said to them, “You will all fall away because of Me this night, for it is written, ‘I will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered.’ But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee." But Peter said to Him, "Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away." Jesus said to him, "Truly I say to you that this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." Peter *said to Him, "Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You." All the disciples said the same thing too."
Let's look at verse 31, "Then Jesus *said to them, "You will all fall away because of Me this night, for it is written, ‘I will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered.’"
The Passover meal has ended, and along the journey to the Mount of Olives, a very familiar place that they have gone to many times before, and Jesus delivers another devastating blow, confronting their weakness, "You will all fall away because of Me this night." Obviously, this is shocking, and very uncomfortable for them to hear. Having given up everything, they've just spent three years with Him, learning from His teaching, they witnessed miracle after miracle, He just told them one of them will betray Him, now He tells them they're all going to desert Him. How can this be? Like many today, they overestimated themselves, and their love for Christ, they believed their loyalty to Him was greater than it was. But when it comes right down to taking a stand for Christ, they'll choose to save themselves. The unfolding plan of God was taking place, in preparation for His crucifixion, which is hours away, this is a time for teaching.
Most of us as Christians, would like to think we would never be ashamed of Christ, much less deny Him, there's no place for that in the life of a believer! Yet, none of us are immune to trials that will put our loyalty to the test. That's when the rubber meets the road. The lesson here is we can't face the enemy in own strength, no matter how faithful, how strong we think we are, our courage will fail. True strength is born out of a recognition of our weakness. We all make a choice every day, when the chips are down, we'll either stand with Christ, or flee, seeking safety, affirming the sins of the world.
He then quotes Zechariah 13:7, to make a connection between what is about to happen and God's sovereign plan. He understood the meaning of the prophet Zechariah; He is the Shepherd and His sheep, the disciples will all scatter and leave Him alone when He is struck by the Father. "For it is written, ‘I will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered.’" It would have been easier to understand if He had quoted the entire verse. In chapter 13, Zechariah is talking about some false prophets who worthy only judgment, will be wounded because God is going to judge them. But in verse 7, he's not referring to the false prophets, when he says "Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, And against the man, My Associate," Declares the Lord of hosts. "Strike the Shepherd that the sheep may be scattered;
And I will turn My hand against the little ones." He's clearly talking about the the Messiah. Notice he says, "I’ll turn My hand on the little ones," I believe this is the nation Israel. After the death of their Messiah, Israel has remained in chaos, even today, for rejecting Christ. But God always has a remnant, doesn't He? He's not finished with them either! 

Look at verses 8-9, "It will come about in all the land," Declares the Lord, "That two parts in it will be cut off and perish; But the third will be left in it." And I will bring the third part through the fire,
Refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ And they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’" Israel has been scattered but God is gathering them back into the Promised Land, for the day that is to come, when they finally receive the Messiah. God doesn't keep His promises because of who we are, He keeps them because of Who He is!
The good news is, no matter your past, thankfully, Jesus doesn't leave us where you are. Because Jesus is not finished working in your life, there's always hope for the future! Once again, Matthew reminds us the focus is on Christ, soon He will to the cross to bear the sins of the world. Jesus knew He came to save the lost, to take on sin and conquer death as an enemy to be defeated. He told the disciples He would be raised on the third day. Here, we see the contrast between the disciples weakness and Christ's power. They should have known He had the power, they watched as He raised Lazarus from the dead. They should have remembered that He said, "Where I go you cannot follow Me now, but you’ll come later.’" He told them, "And everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?"
In verse 32, He reminds them again, "But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee."
Even though the disciples may seem like the issue here, they're the first to be scattered. They had to be terrified by this point, thinking "He can’t possibly get them out of this after He's gone, they’re going to kill us too." What a glorious truth, even though it looks like it's then end, it's not! "Have faith, I'll never forsake you. I will personally come back to gather you and restore you, I'll lead you once again."  Beloved, we too must learn not to trust in ourselves, in our own strength when the inevitable trials come and things look bleak, but to trust in Him Who is all powerful and has promised never to forsake us. 
That's why James 1:2-4 says "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." When we trust God to use our trials to make us stronger, to grow our faith, we can rejoice far more than when we're not experiencing difficulties. We shouldn't avoid trials, spiritual strength only comes through overcoming difficulty. Perfect faith is only found in God's perfecting work, none of us is there yet. 
Verse 33, "But Peter said to Him, "Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away."
Peter, not unlike many today, is full of pride and over confident, it's not the first time, he's got quite a history of it. You've got to hand it to Peter, he's so consistent, very determined, clear in his convictions. He can't seem to help himself from just blurting things out, I guess that's why he commonly referred to as the "disciple with the foot shaped mouth." I believe he often gets a bad rap, for boldly saying what others are thinking but were too afraid. I believe his heart is in the right place, he loves Jesus and refuses to accept anything he feels threatens it.
In Matthew 16, when Jesus told them He would die and be raised up on the third day, "Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You." But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s." In John 13, Peter rebuked Him saying "Never shall You wash my feet!" You know something, I believe Satan really loves to mess with Peter. He's sort of an easy target, as is anyone who is unwilling to recognize their flaws, and accept the gift of humility. I believe it was Augustine who said, "If you plan to build a tall house of virtues, you must first lay deep foundations of humility." Humility is an attribute, characteristic in the life of a true follower of Christ, who knows himself as he truly is, not as he thinks himself to be. Humility lacks the vulgar supremacy of the postmodern worldview, "I want, I need, I will, Me first!" Humility is dependent on God, it asserts truth not exalting self. Everything in this world is upside, humanity has drank from Satan's poisonous cup of kool-aid, and I believe it's made its way into the church. Allow me to remind you, creation is not above it's Creator!

I'd like to share a story I heard some time ago about a Life Saving Station, I have no idea who the original author is, or even where I heard it, but I believe its profound message is very relative to the church today. 

"On a dangerous seacoast where shipwrecks often occur, there was once a little life-saving station. The building was primitive, and there was just one boat, but the members of the life-saving station were committed and kept a constant watch over the sea. When a ship went down, they unselfishly went out day or night to save the lost. Because so many lives were saved by that station, it became famous.

Consequently, many people wanted to be associated with the station to give their time, talent, and money to support its important work. New boats were bought, new crews were recruited, a formal training session was offered. As the membership in the life-saving station grew, some of the members became unhappy that the building was so primitive and that the equipment was so outdated. They wanted a better place to welcome the survivors pulled from the sea. So they replaced the emergency cots with beds and put better furniture in the enlarged and newly decorated building. 

Now the life-saving station became a popular gathering place for its members. They met regularly and when they did, it was apparent how they loved one another. They greeted each other, hugged each other, and shared with one another the events that had been going on in their lives. But fewer members were now interested in going to sea on life-saving missions; so they hired lifeboat crews to do this for them.

About this time, a large ship was wrecked off of the coast, and the hired crews brought into the life-saving station boatloads of cold, wet, dirty, sick, and half-drowned people. Some of them had black skin, and some had yellow skin. Some could speak English well, and some could hardly speak it at all. Some were first-class cabin passengers of the ship, and some were the deck hands.

Consequently, the beautiful meeting place had became a place of chaos. The plush carpets got dirty. Some of the exquisite furniture got scratched. So the property committee immediately had a shower built outside the house where the victims of shipwreck could be cleaned up before coming inside.

At the next meeting there was rift in the membership. Most of the members wanted to stop the club’s life-saving activities, for they were unpleasant and a hindrance to the normal fellowship of the members. Other members insisted that life-saving was their primary purpose and pointed out that they were still called a life-saving station. But they were finally voted down and told that if they wanted to save the lives of all those various kinds of people who would be shipwrecked, they could begin their own life-saving station down the coast. And do you know what? That is what they did.

As the years passed, the new station experienced the same changes that had occurred in the old. It evolved into a place to meet regularly for fellowship, for committee meetings, and for special training sessions about their mission, but few went out to the drowning people. The drowning people were no longer welcomed in that new life-saving station. So another life-saving station was founded further down the coast. History continued to repeat itself. And if you visit that seacoast today, you will find a number of adequate meeting places with ample parking and plush carpeting. Shipwrecks are frequent in those waters, but most of the people drown."

Every day, people are drowning in their sin, no longer offering a life jacket, but a warm blanket, to make them more comfortable as drown. The church has lost it's true mission of saving souls and rescuing them from Hell, yet so very few seem to really care in the Life Saving Station that has become self-centered, arrogant and egotistical, ignorant of its purpose.
Back to Matthew verse 34, "Jesus said to him, "Truly I say to you that this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times."
In chapter 22, Luke records something Jesus said that Matthew doesn't, "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." But he said to Him, "Lord, with You I am ready to go both to prison and to death!" And He said, "I say to you, Peter, the rooster will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me."  
Notice Jesus called him by his old name Simon, rather than his new name, Peter. Jesus knew Peter cannot withstand the test that is soon coming. None of them could, that's why He said "You will all fall away because of Me this night."
That brings us to verse 35, "Peter *said to Him, "Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You.” All the disciples said the same thing too."
In keeping with his old impulsive nature, once again, Peter rejected Jesus' prediction, saying "I will not deny You!" Before the night is over, Jesus would be left alone, forsaken, deserted, just as He had said. 
In Closing.. 
We could literally go on and on about the failures of God’s people, Peter is certainly not the only one. Even David failed as both a husband and a father. He coveted another man’s wife and in that committed adultery and murder. His relationships with his sons and daughters are full of strife and deceit.Yet, he is said to be a man after God’s heart, not because of his failures, but his willingness and seek God’s forgiveness. Scripture teaches that repentance is necessary for forgiveness and salvation, yet we hear so little about it in the church today.

We often look at Peter's arrogance in saying "I know what You've said Lord, but that's not going to happen!" It's really not much different for many professing followers of Christ today, they know what His Word says, yet defiantly do as they please.

Jesus isn't fooled by false professions, He knows exactly who will be ashamed of Him, who are going to desert Him when the pressure of this world, under the influence of Satan comes against them. He knows those who are, in keeping with their old nature, cling to their sin, rejecting His commands to turn away from it. He knows every detail about every one of our lives, it's all clear to Him, even before it happens.
It isn’t enough to profess Christ, it's what we live out that matters. Jesus wants to restore you today, I pray that you will hear His still small voice and respond to Him today.

May it be so..
And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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