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Seven Steps To Backsliding

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Seven Steps To Backsliding

Mark 14:66-72

Mark 14:66–72 KJV 1900
66 And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest: 67 And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth. 68 But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew. 69 And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them. 70 And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto. 71 But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak. 72 And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.
INTRODUCTION:
Backsliding is a process. Eve, first saw, then desired, then took.
So we may trace Peter’s fall step by step. Let us examine our own hearts in the light of the tragic events in Peter’s downward descent.

I. STEP ONE - SELF-CONFIDENCE.

Mark 14:29 KJV 1900
29 But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I.
Peter said, Although all should be offended yet will not I (V. 29).
Proverbs 28:26 KJV 1900
26 He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: But whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.
Jeremiah 17:9 KJV 1900
9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
1 Corinthians 10:12 KJV 1900
12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

II. STEP TWO - BOASTING.

Mark 14:31 KJV 1900
31 But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all.
Boasting aka pride
If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee, in any wise (V. 31). So said they all, but Peter spake the more vehemently.
Proverbs 16:18 KJV 1900
18 Pride goeth before destruction, And an haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 29:23 KJV 1900
23 A man’s pride shall bring him low: But honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.

III. STEP THREE - PRAYERLESSNESS.

Mark 14:32–38 KJV 1900
32 And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray. 33 And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; 34 And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch. 35 And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt. 37 And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour? 38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
He said unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou (V. 37). Sleepy souls are easy marks for Satan’s temptations.
1 Peter 5:8 KJV 1900
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
1 Peter 4:7 KJV 1900
7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
Ephesians 6:18 KJV 1900
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
1 Corinthians 16:13 KJV 1900
13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

IV. STEP FOUR - SHAME.

Mark 14:54 KJV 1900
54 And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire.
Peter followed him afar off (V. 54).
Christ was now less popular with the crowd, Peter follows but not near enough to be identified with Him. Ashamed to bear the reproach of Christ, the disciple is backsliding and afar off. This is followed by neglect of prayer, reading, and worship.

V. STEP FIVE - WORLDLINESS.

Mark 14:66 KJV 1900
66 And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest:
Peter sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire (V. 54). After falling out of step with Christ, it now becomes natural to warm at the fire of the world.

VI. STEP SIX - DENIAL.

Mark 14:66–70 KJV 1900
66 And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest: 67 And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth. 68 But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew. 69 And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them. 70 And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto.
The natural consequence of self confidence, boasting, lethargy, and worldliness is denial. The world and the Devil will surely put the pressure on and all are forced to either confess Christ or deny Christ with our daily lives.

VII. STEP SEVEN - RECKLESSNESS.

Mark 14:71–72 KJV 1900
71 But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak. 72 And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.
He began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man. Often times seven devils return to the house that is now swept and garnished.

CONCLUSION:

What is the cure for backsliding? It is confession and repentance.

Peter went out and wept bitterly. Now in all sincerity, have we been guilty of boasting, shame, or self-confidence? If we have, we can start the revival in our own hearts by humble repentance.
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