The passage we read this morning and several others we can find in the Scriptures portray individuals who simply say no to God. There was no question in Peter's mind who was speaking with him. Yet he said "No"!
We read this and say, "Shame on Peter, he should have known better than to tell God 'No'." But before we become to indignant toward Peter, let's honestly consider ourselves. I believe there are those of us here today that have also said 'no' to God.
There are those who have said no to God's gracious offer of salvation. And there are those who have accepted Christ, but still refuse to follow Him and have said 'no' to His call to discipleship.
I. Saying 'No' to Salvation.
A. The need is expressed.
1. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. (Ro. 3:23)
2. There is none righteous no not one. (Ro. 3:10)
3. Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. (Jn 3:3)
4. All we like sheep have gone astray. (Is. 53:6)
5. These phrases describe the need that every one of us has for salvation.
6. No one is exempt from this great need, salvation is not an option.
7. The Scripture clearly states that the wages of sin is death. (Ro. 6:23)
B. The offer of salvation to every person is also expressed.
1. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Ro. 5:8)
2. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved. (Jn 10:9)
3. We believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved. (Acts 15:11)
4. Being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (Ro. 5:9)
5. Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Ro. 10:13)
6. These Scriptures are very clear, God's desire for all people is that they accept His offer of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ.
7. There are no alternative offers of salvation...it is only through His Son.
C. The consequences of saying 'No' to salvation.
1. There can be no eternal life.
2. When we place our faith in the finished work of Christ on Calvary, we are passed from death unto life. (Jn 5:24)
3. Jesus said, "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." Lk 13:5
4. "...If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins." (Jn 8:24)
5. "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our lord." (Ro. 6:23)
6. This morning, if you have never accepted God's free gift of salvation ...please do not tell Him no!
II. Saying "No" to Discipleship.
A. Definition of a disciple.
1. One who learns and follows.
2. To be Christ's disciple we must then be willing to both learn from Him and to follow Him.
3. That means that we will obey Him.
4. The Scriptures place a premium on our obedience.
5. Samuel told Saul that to obey was better than to sacrifice.
6. In other words, God wants us to walk the walk rather than just talk the talk.
B. Discipleship is up to us.
1. We are the ones who decide if we will follow Christ.
2. Christ will not force Himself upon us.
3. We must make the choice to put Jesus first in our lives.
“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26)
a. Before anyone else, including members of our own family.
b. And certainly before ourselves.
4. We must choose to obey Him.
“And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” cf Luke 14:27
a. Jesus doesn’t expect us to carry a cross up Calvary’s hill.
b. He did that already for us.
c. He did it because it was what God’s will was for His life.
d. Those who would be His disciples must be willing to do whatever God may desire for us to do.
5. We must be willing to forsake all and follow Him.
“So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:33)
a. In other words, Jesus must be KING and LORD of our lives.
b. Nothing should take precedent over Him and His Will for us.
C. We say 'no' to discipleship when:
1. We disobey the clear commands of Scripture.
2. We do not have to actively do anything to say no to God, all we have to do is fail to follow Him.
3. James wrote, "To him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin."
4. When we know what God expects from His children and we refuse to obey Him we are saying 'No' to God.
5. Let's be honest today:
a. Is there something that God, through His Word, has called you to do? (expand)
b. Are you trying to excuse your failure to obey?
c. Do you comfort yourself with words like 'well God will understand why I do not obey Him in this area'.
d. May I remind you of what Jesus said?
“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46)
e. Jesus said that there would be those who will call Him Lord, but they are deceiving themselves and others around them.
f. But God is not mocked! Whatso- ever a man soweth that shall he also reap. (Gal. 6:7)
As we close today, are you saying 'no' to God? Are you saying 'no' to His free offer of salvation? Why not come today and say 'Yes' God, I know that if I were to die right now I would spend eternity in Hell. But I come now to accept the price Jesus paid on Calvary for my sins. I come this morning placing my faith in Jesus Christ. Will you say yes to God today?
Christian, are you saying no to God in your life? Perhaps you have been saved, but you have never obeyed the command to be baptized, will you say yes today? Maybe you are sitting on the sidelines and have not actively gotten involved in serving the Lord in this local church. Why not say yes today? Maybe God is calling you into ministry, whether here or on the mission field, will you say yes to God today? Maybe God is calling you to prayer this morning, will you say yes to Him?