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The Harvest Is Great- Part 3

Shawn Boonstra


Shawn Boonstra

Speaker/Director for the Voice of Prophecy media ministry.


  • June 12, 2016
    3:30 PM
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I've chosen tonight to study from one passage evangelists have a habit of going all over the place in the Bible in a stand one chapter maybe. Depending on what happens but I've chosen to read from John Chapter twenty one tonight and I want you to think carefully we read through the Bible so often and not really put things in context but John Chapter twenty one takes place immediately after the resurrection of Christ the death burial and resurrection of Christ so try to think as we go into this chapter try to think about what kinds of things are really fresh in the disciples minds as you get into John Chapter twenty one I mean it all just happened in the last few hours the events at the trial of Jesus the brutal flaw going that he got as the result of the testimony of false witnesses the sight of Jesus writhing in agony on the cross and crying out for a father who didn't seem to be all happened in the last few hours the humiliating mockery of a crowd making fun of the Son of God the limp body of Jesus being taken down from the cross hastily stuffed in a tomb so they could keep the Sabbath on time the destruction of their hopes they thought it was the end the end of the kingdom that was coming the end of their hopes and their living in rule all fear wondering who might be the next to hang on a cross and then the word from Mary. That she'd seen him alive it's all happened in the last few hours. So I want to encourage you to follow along if you didn't bring a bible. You pull out your i Pad news that if you promise not to tweet and Facebook and snapchat and whatever all Instagram and. I'm going to trust you not to go on Twitter and if you don't have any of those things your neighbor has a Bible you can check your breath really quickly and then get close and. Follow I want you to see it it helps to hear it and see it doesn't it you've got to put scripture in your heart and mind. Because there's coming a day where you're going to need it. John Chapter twenty one. Verse one. After these things Jesus showed himself again because naturally if you've come back from the dead you might have to show up more than once before it really sinks in that you're alive. After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples at the sea of tie beer is and in this way he showed himself first to Simon Peter Thomas called the two in Nathaniel of Canaan in Galilee the sons of Zebedee and two others of his disciples were together so that's seven disciples if you do a head tail verse three Simon Peter said to them I am going fishing they said to him we're going with you also they went out immediately and got into the boat and that night they caught how much nothing hang on to that piece of information but when the morning had now come Jesus stood on the shore yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus then Jesus said to them Children Have you any food they answered him. No. Father in heaven. Moment has come for me to stand up here. I'm not what you need but you've called me and I'd like to be faithful tonight and so I'm asking that as we go through the. The words in this passage. That you would speak so clearly to our hearts that it's unmistakable that it's obviously you and I'm asking that as I speak I would hear you unmistakably to I want to say what you would have me say. So easy to start talking in and and say things that maybe you didn't give me to say and I don't want that to happen I want to be faithful Lord I I want you to say Well done good and faithful servant give me the power to think clearly and to speak clearly and to represent Jesus faithfully I'm asking forgive my sins cover me again tonight with the blood of Christ blow the dust out of our hearts I'm asking. Let us see you more clearly here you more clearly and give us the courage to follow for I ask it in Jesus' name a man. When you go visit the old city of Rome and I mean the old ruins of the ancient city of Rome some of you maybe have been there this is bad to admit for an avenue pastor but Rome is my favorite city on the face of the planet I in the last fifteen years I've probably lived in that city for a full year just digging through the ruins and looking at everything and and because of fallen in love with history now I love the city of Rome and when you go down to the city of Rome and you get to the old Roman form you've got the coliseum here and then you've kind of got the Arch of Titus and then you've got the Basilica of Max N.T.'s which became the Basilica of Constantine and you go through the ruins temple of Jupiter and temple of vestal virgins Julius Caesar's house the Roman Senate one of the best preserved buildings of all antiquity it looks like it was built in one thousand sixty they've kept it so nice it's so well preserved and then right beside that kind of tucked in the corner is the ma'am or teen prison some of you perhaps have been to the member to in prison this is the place where history tradition legend says that they held both Peter and Paul before they executed them in the city of Rome we don't know for sure that Paul was ever in the member teen prison but there's a pretty good chance that's exactly where Peter was held before they let him out over the Tiber River out to a wasteland on the Vatican who smiled and they and they crucified him there it's probably true that that's where he was now when you go to the prison you go down this set of stairs and double stairs or go down there's a guy sitting on a stool who takes a coin from you because nothing in the city of Rome is ever free and when you get down the stairs you walk into this room and now you're in the prison but you're not yet in the cell that they held Peter that's one story below you this dark musty dank. Low ceilinged cells you walk into this room you turn around face the door that you just come in and to your right is this staircase going down into the cell some of you perhaps you've seen it and above the staircase there is this mark in the stone wall this smudge this didn't and you know that that smudge or dent is important because they put a steel grade over top to keep you from touching it with your oily tourist fingers and ruining like two thousand years of patina I know because I tried to touch it and they pulled me away and there's a great right over that didn't smudge in the rock and you know it's important you wonder what is that dent or smudge in the Rock and fortunately there's a plaque right beside it to let you know why it's important what it says I I wrote it down in Italian and I don't want to embarrass myself so I'll just read the translation here's what are you interested you want the plexus good because that's what I was going to do. Against listen carefully against this rock Peter struck his head having been pushed by guards and miracle remains what miracle are they talking about the miracle is that dent in the rock when the soldiers threw him down the stairwell his head hit the rock and it left a big dent in the stone and the miracle is still there two thousand years later it's absolutely remarkable there's only one little problem with the story. Those stairs were there when they imprisoned Peter they were added hundreds of years later I know that from studying history that they never pushed him down those stairs and yet I look at that dent in the wall and I'm thinking I want this to be true it can't be true because that's terrible what there used to be a hole in the floor they would lower you on a roof through the hole is still there there's a sort of a manhole cover over it but the stairs weren't there and I know it's not true but I want it to be true I want this to be true because I'm thinking yeah you know what that makes sense that matches Peter ahead hard enough to put a dent in Iraq Nick. Doesn't it I mean read the New Testament Peter is hands down the most stubborn the most blockheaded the loudest mouth the quickest to jump to conclusions out of all the disciples so it's easy for me to want to believe this oh yeah if there's somebody with a head hard enough to put a hole in a rock wall it is I want it to be true and I know I know it's not true but I want it to be true. Rome's a city of fairy tales if you've been there if you haven't just brace yourself a lot of what you see just can't be true it just it just absolutely they've got everything there everything from antiquity is on display in the city of Rome I mean everything I was in one building and I can never remember whose finger they have on display it's either Philip or Thomas and I should have looked that up this week to remember which finger I saw but they have the finger of one of the disciples it's in a glass case it's remarkable if it's Thomas because he died in India somehow his finger made it back to Rome and they have it in a in a glass case and that's on display and you think well that's interesting they've got his finger on display and I've told my wife when I die I'd like my finger kept up on the you know just keep one finger or something up on the mantel piece because that be interesting what he says no it's not interesting at all but they did it in Roma and you go to this other church and they have this golden mask it's this helmet kind of a thing it's kind of a whole head made out of gold will tell you we've got the head of Luke the disciple inside of that we've got Luke's head and he said that's fast and loose head's in there really Yeah absolutely it's Luke's head I said what's really remarkable about that is I was in a building on the other end of the city and they say they have Luke's head in that church and so there's a problem either somebody cut Luke's head in half or he had two of them or this isn't true and they smile they smile a little bit because they know there's this one place outside the city the Abbey of the three fountains and this is actually probably where they cut Paul's head off the location is accurate best as I can tell that's really where they did it they cut his head off there but there's this abbey and you go into this building this church and there are three holes in the floor you want three holes and you look in the holes and there's a spring water coming up under each one of them and the story goes that when they cut Paul's head off that bounce three times and every time a bounce on the ground an artesian well sprung up out of the ground. And you're looking you know it can't be true but it's delightful You can't help yourself this is amazing got everything here that the staircase that Luther crawled up on his knees in the beginning the fifteen hundreds that one pilot staircase right across from the ladder and palace and you know that's the place for a pop in whose mind the just to live by faith he got up off his knees went back to Germany and launched the Protestant Reformation but the story goes that that is pilot staircase Jesus walked up and down those stairs on trial with pilot and somehow they miraculously teleported from Jerusalem to Rome and that's where they are today it's all stories Rome is a city of stories it is the world's biggest Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum I mean the world's at Except or at Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum most of it's true in Rome not so much I mean there's lots there that is historically accurate it's still worth visiting there's lots on display that's actually true but the more you travel around Rome and look at everything the less you tend to believe it's just there's one relic there is one relic that might actually be a real one and I laughed at it when I saw it because it's in the Church of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem now it was built by Helena Constantine's mother and that part is true she went to Jerusalem and she brought enough dirt back from Jerusalem put it on the ground they built a church on top of the dirt that they consider the church to be built in Jerusalem all true that part's all true and when you go down inside and the attorney left you go up behind to the back of the church they've got a little museum and there's this old wouldn't. Black and for years they said oh that's a medieval forgery it's the sign from off of Jesus cross I said another medieval forgery and I got home and the Journal of the biblical archaeological review said not so fast that one might be the one thing in all of Rome that's actually real but other than that. Other than that still I'm not sure but other than that it's all fables and so I scan in the prison and I look at that dent in the wall and I know it can't possibly be made by Peter's head but I'm telling you folks I want it to be made by Peter's head I want that to be true because if anybody if anybody could do that it would be Peter think about it he's the guy who rushes in and cuts off the servants here the servant of the High Priest and if you are a thinking pragmatic man you don't do that he just rushes in and cuts off an ear he's the one who brags in front of all the disciples. Never for sake you Jesus I mean the rest of these disciples look at them they're going to let you down but not me in the end chickens out Peter is the one who could Peter is the one who watches the rich young ruler walk away although he doesn't have it. What a shame I left my boats I left my nets I am here for the long run and then in the end he makes a worse mistake than the rich young ruler made I mean think about if one if one of the twelve disciples could put a dent in a stone with his ad it would be have to be Peter have to be so I see this much and I want to believe it I'm thinking that makes sense. I want to be true you know why. Because Peter's my guy. I dinna fire with this disciple I mean if I'm really honest I could probably put a dent in Iraq with my head. On no do you know why I have to be careful with this in the state of Michigan but I am the son of Dutch immigrants and we win the Nobel Prize for stubborn. Who said a man. I mean you go to the Internet you Google two words stubborn and Dutchman just do it the last time I did it several years ago two point three million results all from women who were dating a Dutch guy this guy has some stuff or. Did they say the reason we wear wooden shoes is to keep the woodpeckers off of our heads we are that stubborn we are stubborn I like Peter. My guy the truth is I like Peter because I'm not entirely does no one leg is Dutch and one quarter My mom is from a Dem black born in the Netherlands and so on but her mom was German So this lady is I'm one quarter German she left Germany in the twenty's or thirty's I can't remember exactly when she left and married my grandfather in the Netherlands so one you know one quarter Dutch one quarter German but from the waist up I'm pure blooded Friesian. Now some of you I'm in Michigan some of you are going to know what a free how many know what a Friesian is and home country the rest of you haven't got a clue do you heard a phrase and cows those are ours and. The frissons are the same Germanic tribes people were you going with this Xan Trust me there's a point. We're an ancient Germanic tribes we haven't changed in two thousand five hundred years we're still speaking virtually the same language that we spoke two thousand five hundred years ago its closest relative frankly as English it's the closest relative to English on the planet if you go back eight hundred years Friesian English are virtually identical Chaucer's Canterbury Tales if you can speak for Asian You can actually read the original copy of it because we didn't change our language and all that time it's really really close we are an ancient Germanic tribes at one time we were actually a big empire people would come on freeze an empire Yes fifteen hundred years ago across the north of Europe there was a Friesian empire and maybe because we're so stubborn and blockheaded our numbers began to do Windell over the years and now there's just half a million of us left living in the north part of the Netherlands and the rest of us are in Michigan and in other places like that in the diaspora but we were a stubborn stubborn stubborn bunch. Let me give you a freezing lesson X. Do we have time for one quick version lesson I'm going to teach you some Friesian because because it's the language of heaven you're going to have to get used to it there's a famous sentence in the Friesian language that if you can say this sentence you can speak Friesian and if you listen it's so close to English it's amazing you know my Friesian is bad my dad would be ashamed of it but here it is in English butter bread and green cheese you can tell we're not really big on the health thing but our bread in green cheese is good English and good freeze here it isn't Friesian boot and getting a cheese is who tingles include Fisi It sounds almost identical Now we are stubborn We're all my for reasons right we are a man we are stubborn how stubborn you might have read in The Gospel According to Luke that Augustus Caesar decreed that all the world should be taxed the river that comes out every December if you don't remember it wait a few months and somebody will read it again the whole world is taxed now you had a stepson Bierria Caesar who was utterly despise so despised Daniel predicted that he wouldn't even get a state funeral and Daniel Chapter eleven is true they just left his body out in the sun they hated him so much why because he looked at what Augusta Caesar did among the other things that he did he says you know if he collected taxes from the whole empire that sounds like a good idea I'd like that money too and he sent out his tax collectors now being a tax collector a New Testament times was a bad raw deal I actually feel sorry for the tax collectors it was sort of a social strata that you were born into and you could not get out of it you had to go collect taxes and if you didn't the Caesar took the money from you you had no choice so your heart has to go out to the tax collectors that you come across in the New Testament they didn't have a choice in their despised they worked for the Romans and type area Caesar sends them out and they go up through Italy and through France Spain and up into France and through what is now Belgium in the Netherlands and they come to the kingdom of the Friesian and they introduce themselves we're here to collect taxes on behalf of Caesar and the Friesian is looked at them and hung them. I read that story to my kids that's our bedtime reading at home and. And Dad They said it must be genetic because we hear you moderate every tax time got to be genetic as a no no in that case everybody's a Friesian Honey WE ALL THE MOTHER When we fill in our taxes we were stubborn how stubborn are you going with this Shawn trust me. The first Roman missionary to go to the Friesian is a guy by the name of Bonifas. He got there and figured out that we were a bunch of pagans worshipping a holy tree and he didn't like that so we cut down our tree. And we thought what are we going to do about that we cut off his head seemed fair and then the Friesian is noticed he was traveling with a trunk and they opened it up I thought I'll be full of money oh I didn't have any money and had books and we were illiterate we couldn't read so we got mad we stabbed all the books until there was just shreds of paper then they found a bottle of wine and then they drank that and they started to argue with each other about who got the trunk. And they couldn't back out of an argument because we're so stubborn and they stab each other to death someone found the scene of the crime to capitated missionary and a bunch of dead for Asians who couldn't leave the scene of the. Stubborn Those are my people those are my people if you study Bible prophecy you're right remember that the first barbarian king to give allegiance to the Little Horn power was Clovis king of the Franks and. Write remember that beginning of the twelve hundred ninety days you you should remember it is important the conversions in Europe start with Clovis winning everybody over to the Little Horn power about two hundred years later they go up to among the Friesian Zz and they meet our king read bad. That's a great name for a king read bad the king and there can read bad the King he's a bad king they read bad the king and he almost converts their talking him into it and his dad says this is going to be great for a whole kingdom if we build an alliance with the bishop of Rome this is going to be really really good for us and so we decide you know I'm going to get baptized and there's an old tapestry you can still see it to this day he's got one leg in the baptistry proving by the way that in the same. And hundreds it was still by immersion he's got one leg going into the baptistery he's got one leg out why did they paint him that way because he stopped and he turns to the priest and he says listen if I get baptized I go to heaven Yeah absolutely we got the keys of Peter you're going straight to heaven good he said what about all my pagan ancestors Oh no no they're not going to heaven where they're going to go all they're going to flip and fry throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity in a place called Hell in and that's what happens to them what can't they come in with I get baptized No no it doesn't work that way so he pulls his leg back out. So that settles that. Said I'd rather go live there with them than live in Heaven with the French and read that story to my kids one night he said Dad that's got to be generic too because French was your worst subject in school wasn't Yeah it was. Now I've confessed I was no good at poetry no good English no good history and no good at French My people were stubborn. Peter is one of us if there had been a disciple to the free agents Andrew went to Britain Thomas went to India Paul went to Spain went to Asia Minor if there had been a disciple sent to the Friesian is it would have to be Peter no one else would stand a chance he's just like me. Or maybe if we're all going to be honest tonight. Maybe there's a reason he wasn't sent to any particular nation maybe he's a lot like. You let's read it again. John twenty one. After these things. Jesus showed himself again to the disciples of the sea of Tide Derrius And in this way he showed himself Simon Peter Thomas called the twin Nathaniel of Canaan in Galilee the sons of Zebedee in two others of his disciples were together Simon Peter said to them I am going fishing I. Think about that for a minute. That is a very strange thing to say I am going why would you go fishing on a day like this the biggest events in the history of the universe have just taken place in the last few days it doesn't make sense Jesus has just defeated the devil at the cross of Calvary the seed of the woman promised in Genesis Chapter three has just come and it crushed the head of the serpent the first prophecy in the Bible has just been fulfilled in the last few days the biggest problem we have as a human race our sin and rebellion death in the grave they've all been conquered by God who just came in human flesh the curse that fell on us when Adam rebelled against the creator can be lifted now we have a future to look forward to the salvation of the human race has just been purchased by the Lamb of God who was slain from the foundation of the world this moment in the last few days his everything the prophets had been in to supporting this is the moment all the angels of heaven had been waiting for this is what Daniel saw when he's writing out the vision of the seventy weeks but cyber would be cut off but not for himself this is the moment David saw as he penned the twenty second Saul and her Jesus crying out My God my God why have you for saken me this is what I say a saw as he writes he was pierced for our transgressions he was crushed for our iniquities this in John Chapter twenty one if you're reading this chapter this moment is the culmination of all those prophecies all the hopes of Israel it's the deciding battle the grand climax in the drama of the ages. This is the victory of Jesus over the forces of darkness this is the public indication of the character of God and it's the public undoing of the devil himself and Peter wants to go fishing. That doesn't make sense it's wildly inappropriate to the occasion it is like what's in football on your wedding day. Not that anybody in this room has ever done what sense does this make. Think about it it makes sense put yourself on that beach with them. Put yourself on the beach in your in your mind's eye I want you to watch seven disciples walking on the sea of huddled in a tight group and they're reviewing what has just happened in their minds except as you're looking at this in your mind's eye I don't want you to see all seven together I want you to see six ahead of the rest of Peter lagging about thirty feet behind because he knows what he did in the last few days he can hold his head up. I mean they all panicked and fled they all for so Jesus and ran but he betrayed Jesus He swore up and down I don't know him. And that night when he made eye contact with Jesus across the courtyard. He could see it Jesus knew what he had just done and they all failed Jesus but not like him there are two that are worse than the rest Judas sold Jesus for the price of a slave that that was bad but Peter publicly denied knowing him. He choked standing warming his hands at the at it at the fire hey you you you're one of his disciples aren't you I don't know what you're talking about what you're with Jesus of Nazareth I don't know you I'm just here in town I who. Operate he sure you are with him listen guys he's got the action of a Galilean this is one I'm telling you I don't know what you're talking about I'm not no no that's the guy who cut your cousin's ear off in the garden that's here I don't know this Jesus. You can't get that out of his brain. Judas hadn't even done that. It just keeps playing over and over and over you ever had that. Yes to think about everything he said over the years all the dumb stuff he did. Jesus said lay down my life for your sake you can count on me. Jesus this is so exciting Moses and Elijah are here let's build three tabernacle sorry of the one for you one for Moses one for Elijah will put you right in the center one Jesus except that when they hang Jesus between two thieves instead he does not you cannot wash my feet Jesus that's not the job of a master that's what a servant does don't wash my feet but he does nothing is they pound a spike through Jesus feet nothing. And he can't stop thinking about it and now he knows there is no way he's part of God's Kingdom there's no way. That maybe you can imagine what he feels like I can I can think back I mean start looking back. I can I can think of it. All way back to childhood I can think I've done all that stuff boasted and been called on it oh yeah. Third grade. Swimming lessons kids let's sign up everybody has to sign up for beginner intermediate or expert there's not a chance in front of my buddies I was signing up for anything other than expert even though I grew up at the foot of a glacier and you couldn't swim and. Jumped in the pool thrashed around like I was drowning in the lifeguard called me out and made me walk in front of all my buddies to the shallow end of the pool with the little kids it's childish but I know what if I know what it's like I know what it's like to pretend I don't know Jesus to let me tell you about it you don't mind if I'm honest the seventh grade I get pulled out of the school I grew up in Christian school my family moved and we moved to Newtown and I'm sweating bullets boy I grew up in a Christian house and I'm probably gonna be the only Christian kid in the class and I know what's expected of you because I've read all the books from Moody press and I had at you decision magazine came to our house I'm going to have to be a witness when I get there and I wasn't. I wasn't a witness to those kids at all there are a witness to me and by the tenth grade I didn't have one foot in the world I had them both in there's no describe people say so harsher in tenth grade Why do you say you were lost because it's the truth of what. I was last. Raised on reading the Bible first book I ever read went to a Christian school attended church twice every weekend and now I had not one foot in the world but both in and I might have been a kid I get that but I know what it's like to pretend you don't know him I know what it's like to find out the. You can hold your head up around your friends. You know what that one feels like tenth grade I get selected to go on a fourth foreign exchange trip or some miracle because I had really bad grades in French. I went on a French exchange trip and in Canada you don't have to leave the country to go on a French exchange trip we have our own we have our own kingdom of the Franks. To back and in a one point we took this train trip overnight and the teachers in their infinite wisdom decided they would get a sleeper car and sleep that night and leave us out in the general public on the train and. Fifteen years old and. I guess they figured we'd sleep in the chairs. What we did was terrorize the passengers on that train all night long to the point where today when I check into a hotel somewhere in the high school sports team checks into the room next to me I know I've got to come and terrorize that train and that night we committed some offenses that the school rulebook said should end in suspension expulsion Now some of you were shocked the guy had V.O.P. was a bad kid yeah kind of. Not as bad as some of you are imagining though we didn't commit any crimes I mean none that could be proven and we would have gotten away with the two except some kid snatched. Those two places in this world you don't want to be a snitch federal penitentiary in middle school. Somebody told the teachers rounded us up put us in a classroom sat us in chairs open the Inquisition bare bulb steel chairs. Were you involved and I watched as all these kids began to cry and buckle and I guess what they didn't count on as a Friesian kid. I was one of those kids that would not give you the satisfaction of crying when you spanked I'm. Not going to no way I'm not going to cave in that's very Friesian but then I did something that's very unfree. Let me tell you that the Dutch information they don't lie my folks than Mike my clan they would rather lose their career than tell a lie. But I did. Let everybody down and told a lie Sean do you know I think about what happened on that train that night Oh no sir I guess I was so tired doing my geometry homework in my chair that I just fell over on the textbook and fell asleep and and I haven't got it and there's this article gas goes up around the classroom because I was one of the most guilty of them all and they couldn't prove a teacher's eyeball in me couldn't prove it I walked out and for thirty seconds that felt also to my friends caught up with me. How could you do that we're all suspended my parents are taking my driver's license away from me I know you like to save yourself yeah I know it if you like and I know those are childish stories that was my childhood. Maybe minor offenses. But let me be really honest with you tonight there have been other times in my adult life when I have been confronted with the darkness in my own heart I've been forced to see myself the way haven't must see me I have looked at myself face to face of come face to face with the fact that I am a sinner and I have a rebellious heart and I have been ashamed of who I am and I've been ashamed of what I've done haven't you Martin Luther once wrote I'm more afraid of my own heart than the Pope and all his cardinals because I have within me the great pope self he's absolutely right your worst enemy in this world not liberals it's not conservatives it's not atheists your biggest problem in this universe is you. You did as you know it's true there comes this point never bodies life to were suddenly your carefully crafted disguises ripped away and the whole world can actually see you like you actually are it happens to all of us if it hasn't happened to you yet trust me it's going to happen because you can only pretend for so long before it fails you only fake it you can only play charades for so long until you're that woman caught in adultery thrown on the ground in front of Jesus and she was guilty she had done it oh yeah it was set up but she was guilty of what they said she had done and even though the devil set you up even though you are a pun in the devil's game even though the fairest sees might have walked you into it you are still guilty of your sins and you know it. There's no excuse and it hasn't happened yet if the real you is never burst out. It's going to happen because God loves you too much to keep letting you live like a hypocrite it'll destroy you in the end. It's going to happen count on. It's going to come out funny when the kid. But when you stand in front of the great white throne with the filthy rags of your broken relationship with God. When you stand there and all your excuses are gone what are you going to do when you going to do when you have to stand in front of the one person in this universe you can't fool. What will you bring to that meeting the broken promises you've made the relationships you've damaged the broken hearts of people you've hard the laws of God that you've broken the times that you pretended it lived like you don't even know him What are you going to bring to that meeting it's not hard to figure out why Peter wants to go fishing for. He's giving up. He's strolling in the towel. Because there's no hope now he's gone back to his boat and to his nets because he's defeated he knows of the sort I don't have what it takes he's like so many people that are in your church he's like so many of you. You come to Jesus and then you flounder and you sin. And you discover that you don't have what it takes on your own and some people when that moment comes instead of realizing that we have an Advocate with God the Father Jesus Christ the righteous we look around and we say oh my goodness I'm at odds with God's people I must be at odds with God and they disappear they go back to the life that they had There's a reason you find in the old places where they used to go they're going back to one day before they came to Jesus because we're also they going to go they've given up it's not hard to figure out why Peter wants to go fishing where else is he going to go what else is he going to do he goes back to the life he had the day before he met Jesus that's what he's doing I don't know about you guys I'm I'm I'm going fishing John Chapter twenty one is Peter walking away from the kingdom of God Jesus had said Satan wants to sift you now he's been sifted So he leaves and he goes any he goes to the boat and he's pushing it away and he's about to get into his buddy's unfolding the nets and he hears the most remarkable thing in the universe. Another voice another disciple. P. Peter you're going you're going fishing that's a great idea because they all feel that they all fail. Not one of you is alone in your sin. Not one. No temptation is overtaken you that is not common to man Polaroids. We all feel separation from God We all know our sins condemn us we all know we fall short of the glory of God But what happens is the devil pushes us all apart and isolates all of us so that we feel lonely we hide in the corner and we think if they only knew what I was actually like when nobody was looking if they only knew what my family life was like if they only knew what I did at work this week if they only knew it what I did on the Internet if they only knew how much I hated my neighbor if they only knew how I behave when I'm not around church people if they only know. Devil takes all of us he pushes a solid part he isolates us makes us think we're the only ones he steals your hope but it's at that moment when you know you're lost that Jesus shows up. Verse three. Simon Peter said to them I'm going fishing they said we're going with you also. They went out and immediately got into the boat and that night they caught up how much nothing but when the morning and now come Jesus stood on the shore that's where he always is even in your darkest loneliest moment he's still there yet the disciples did not know it was Jesus that makes me wonder how often if I just failed to see him because I'm not paying attention how often have I just not recognized that it's him. Jesus said to them Children Have you any food Well of course they had nothing Jesus knew that he also knows you don't have anything to bring you've got nothing he knows your net is empty he knows what it actually is nothing in my hands I bring simply to the high cross cycle of course they had nothing. They answered him No he said to them cast the net on the right side of the boat and you will find some so they cast and now they were not able to draw in because of the multitude of fish. Now I want you to pay attention to what Jesus just did Peter's going back to the day before he met Jesus and so Jesus is going back to that very same moment he's going back to the moment that he first met Peter and he performs the very same miracle that he performed at the very moment that he met Peter it's the very same story in Luke Chapter five verse four when Jesus had stopped speaking he said to Simon there's Peter launch out into the deep let down your nets for a catch but Simon answered him and said Master we've toiled all night and caught up nothing Nevertheless at your word I will let down the net. And pay attention here it comes we're three and a half years earlier it's exactly the same story it's exactly the same story verse six and when they had done this they caught a great number of fish in their net was breaking so they signal to their partners in the other boat to come and help them and they came and filled both the boat so they began to sink. And here comes the big part Don't miss this this is in Luke fiver. Say listen carefully this is the moment the Jesus now wants Peter to remember verse eight when Simon Peter saw what he fell down to Jesus needs saying. Depart from me promise and full man. He had nothing three and a half years ago. And Jesus wanted him he has less now. And Jesus still wants him he performs Exactly. The same miracle Jesus wants Peter to remember what the terms of their relationship were in the beginning he had nothing then he's got nothing now salvation is not of works list any man should post. Folks you have always had an empty net you have always had an empty net. Jesus rewinds the tape for Peter he stands on the shore he calls out hey. Did you catch anything. Who's that guy on sure. Now we caught nothing. Why don't you throw your nets on the other side of the boat and see how that goes What in the world does a landlubber know about fishing Why is that guy over there it's John that clues in first. Peter. I think that's Jesus. How much invitation does bullheaded Peter need. This is one moment we're being Peter is just the right thing he doesn't wait for them to turn around the boat he steps out of the boat and starts for shore. And he gets to the beach. And he finds himself shivering and wet and looking into the same eyes he looked at across the courtyard. Hearts pounding What's he going to say he can't fix it you can't fix it so Jesus speaks first. Peter I know you're broken. I know you think I have no more use for you. But you do remember the first time we met don't you. Or how could I forget I felt so worthless set day and I'm even more worthless now I don't have what it takes Peter don't you get it that's what I'm trying to tell you it's the whole point you don't have what it takes you can't prove yourself to me you don't earn a spot in my kingdom you're going to have to take this is a gift. That is the hardest thing in the world isn't it. To take it as a gift. We want to earn it. You noticed Peter does have to confess. Peter Yes Lord do you love me more than these other guys. That had to hurt because he used to say that I don't know about these other guys Lord but of course I love you. It's not comparing himself to anybody now because when we all stand at the feet of Jesus what's the point of comparing There is no one good but God Jesus asked him three times. Do you love me Lord I don't know about these others I love you Peter you love. Ya then Peter I want you to feed my lambs and me yeah you I want you to hear me carefully tonight that's the one thing he gave us to do is go build a fire on the beach call arrest of him home zit don't get it in why does he give us that job why has he given Peter that job because if you're focused on leading other people to Jesus you finally get out of the way I mean if if your idea of getting right with God is gritting your teeth and working on you more your focus is still human that was the original problem pride but if you're focused on the one thing God gave this church to do you get out of the way and now the Holy Spirit can actually work on you because you got out of the way so it's brilliant God has this work for other people feed my sheep I want you to build a fire for somebody else now because Peter the world is full of people exactly like you that think that God doesn't love them and will never take them back go build a fire on the beach feed those people feed them I want you to bring the moment Helen White once wrote that working for someone else of salvation is the only way to grow in grace. And we get what you're saying when you've been drilling that into us for three meetings. All right but you don't understand I'm not H.M.S. RICHARDS No I know. Not George Van I'm no i know i'm not James White No my no. I'm not Martin Luther. I know he's been dead for five hundred years and oh. See when God needed those people he called those people. Don't try to be somebody else. He calls you with what you have the gifts you have and the gifts you don't have just the way you are because he needs you now. That's who we needs it's not a big secret that in recent years I had an incredible struggle. Three weeks into a campaign downtown Rome people been telling me you can't you can't preach this message in Western Europe won't work and I thought well what town could we go to and preach this real nobody could say my town's tougher and my heart sank when I knew the answer. Roll. Third week of those meetings I doubled over in agony and it never got better as the months went by. Eventually occurred to me I'm going to have to step down I'm losing motor control somedays Gene would bring me to the hospital and I couldn't speak like it out a stroke and I'll be honest with you. I'm a human being. At the very bottom I remember the moment I got mad at God I'm human Lord gave you my whole life like like. Like you as me something. I gave you my whole life and this is how I died like this. I get Peter I might have done it quietly in the emergency room we've all done and I started to get better. And I wondered well if I must be finished in my done. Let me tell you what I've discovered I don't know what you've gone through some of you've gone through some awful stuff some of your going through some awful stuff but I promise you right now he's still on the beach the fire is warm and he's still calling I asked Lord can you still use me. I'm not what I was you know I'm not twenty anymore. I get tired cranky. Morgan used me. Let me tell you was on the shore a few years ago in an airport I seem to live in them. And I had a new book I mean I love a new book I was so excited when I travel that's when I get to read and I'm sitting at the gate with my brand new book and I open it up cracked the spine you know the first crack you put in the spine and this is going to be great and the lady sits next to me and starts talking about my year I'm thinking I want to keep my book this isn't fair met the and I better listen I can't read anyway and starts telling me a story my husband's died. Kids are trying to tell me to sell the house and I don't know what to do I thought Whoa boy I'm an idiot so we talked for a little bit they called her flight and she left o'boy going to read my book cracked it open again. This guy sits on the other side of me but. I'm a doctor and my practice is falling apart I don't know if I want to do this anymore I need to do something meaningful with my life and he talks for a while. I'm telling you if I can do this anybody can do this and he gets up and he goes to catch his flight Oh now it's time thirdly she says don't look at the I'm getting divorced and I finally OK I soften up a little bit. All right Lord I get it I'm supposed to be a light here and then they call my flight. I get up to the ticket spitter you know where they scan your thing and spits a little ticket my seats been changed oh no oh maybe it's an upgrade or THAT'S GREAT No No they've changed equipment you know what happens now I'm not in twenty C. anymore I'm in one thousand See that's fine still an aisle seat I like that. And I get on the plane in the seat next to me is empty Oh praise the Lord I'm going to read my book. I mean they're going to we're about to close the door in the seat still empty it's the only empty seat and you know that doesn't happen anymore old thank you Lord I've got an empty seat and just as they're closing the door this kid gets on the plane and I look around in a panic Oh there's got to be another if you see some no no no right next to me OK you're traveling to home or away from home I asked he said I'm just coming home alone on a big trip first time in my life I've gone on a big trip oh so we start talk a little bit you know in the plane is taxiing instead so what do you do says well I renovate buildings so really you like he says I love it it's such a great feeling when you're done you can walk away from the building and it's all looking brand new and I fixed it up and it's great I said Is that what you went to school for he said No I went to school for something else I said well that's interesting I went to school for something other than what I do too he said really what did you go to school for I said Well I went to school for political science and economics and philosophy. So that's quite a degree I said it's completely useless you know unless you keep going go to law school or something and it's completely useless I've got a big career and would you like fries with that that's what I got in. He laughed and said all that that's true and he said but I love politics you study Pollack says yeah and he starts listings is a love that's a start listing all these political philosophers that he's been reading and it's I'm listening I'm thinking this is amazing Those are exactly the political philosophers I was reading at his age it's like a time machine this guy is me twenty five years ago that is amazing I said you know so much about the sets amazing is that what you want to school for did you go to school for political science he said Oh no I did not I said would you go to school for he says I went to school for religion is it really is yeah but I hate religion No I quit I gave up on religion I'm done with it I hate religion and little boy and I'm thinking I can't be sitting by this guy by accident I got assigned to the seat at the last minute I guess I'm not going to be reading a book at all there's something going on here so we talk a little bit I let him sort of expound on religion for a few minutes and finally I change the subject to so what was your family's background you said Well my grandparents were Dutch immigrants. I said No kidding my parents are Dutch immigrants I'm like right off the boat Dutch I said Yes I said Do you speak Dutch He said No I don't speak my parents speak a little I don't really speak any I said That is remarkable I said I just you know I understand a little bit I can speak a little my kids don't speak any I think I'm your parents' generation and this is this is just amazing he said well I need to be really honest with you I'm not really does. He said no he said No I'm free. I said Friesian Have you heard of King read bad you're going to like this guy he got halfway into the baptistery and he walked away said Well that does sound interesting guys and let me tell you about this story did you know we hung the Roman tax collectors easy to get up but that's amazing I got to tell the stories and I'm thinking this is like my own personal time machine this guy is exactly me twenty five years ago he's me one day before I came to Jesus. I said you know we have so much in common. I bet I know your family's religious background I got it nailed he says take a guess and said you're going to be like Christian Reformed or Dutch Reform or something like that you got to be said that's a really good guess. You said But you're oh you're going to think this is really strange for a Dutch family I'm sure you've never ever heard of it but we were seven they haven't missed. And I said. We talked about that for a minute keep my mouth shut. And he finally said So what do you do for a living. I said oh I'm a minister. He said I feel bad about all that stuff I said about religion I said Oh no no a good bit of what you said was actually true I worry about the same things he said you do We talked a little bit more and he said so what church. So you're going to think this is really really strange for a Dutch family. You've probably never heard of them. I'm a Seventh Day Adventist. I wish I'd had a camera with me right at them and. He said I say yes. And no we are doing here is I wasn't supposed to sit here and he says neither was I I am stand by I said I got a sign of the sea at the last minute and I'm not going to preach at you because that's just not who I am except for one little tiny baby sermon just one you know I have to do that my job requires I got to preach one sermon at she said OK go ahead I said I sat here at the last minute and so did you you have to come back to church and you know. To Friesian kids to Peter. Sitting side by side on an airplane and we're both been asked to come back. Eventually they took Peter out of the ma'am or teen they let him out of town across the river to be crucified Willy know on hearsay and testimony of evidence of witness is what happened. When they brought him there and he saw the cross he began to cry No not that. It's not because he was scared. He said that's how Jesus died that's too good for me he said we can fix that and they crucified him upside down he drew his last breath and closed his eyes but he wakes up and he gets to see Jesus again. Peter. It's you. Did you catch anything old lord we caught fish all my goodness three thousand and one day I told you I would make you a fisher of men Peter I told you Jesus it was amazing we've got to catch up and Jesus says well we can catch up but there's something you need to see I'm so excited to do you've got to see this what is it or just just follow me and they walk out of the New Jerusalem and they turn around Peter look oh lord that is a beautiful city I know but look well lord it's gorgeous No but Peter Peter Wark what look down below. And he looks at the foundation. And there's one with his name written on it. Peter because I promise you God's building that kingdom out of people just like you. And while we wait there's only one thing he told us to do just just the one thing it's not complicated go feed my shoes when Natalie was a little seems like yesterday. She's what two three. Talking or into bed. And I kissed her on the forehead goodnight Daddy loves you and I'm walking out of the room I'm about to turn the light off and I hear her voice cry out in the dark Danny Yeah. Daddy can we have a discussion OK honey but as long as it's a short discussion and I know a stall tactic when I see it. So I sit on the edge what would you like to discuss daddy Yeah when we get to heaven. You know do you think there are orange trees in heaven we just moved to California she just seen your first orange tree and. So I don't know for sure but there is fruit there and and if you love oranges maybe Jesus have an orange tree for you oh good she said. Daddy you know we get to heaven yeah. You can have kitty cats there. I'm thinking quietly I hope not. I don't know honey they have animals though and if you love kitty cats there might be one there for you oh good. Daddy. You now daddy when we get to heaven do you think Jesus would have any time for me I know that one are going to be there a long long time honey I bet he might even have a whole day for you oh good I'm going to ask him to come over and we'll eat oranges and. Sit under that tree and. Daddy yet are you going to be there yeah count on that one. I wouldn't you can come over and eat oranges to dead. Just around the forehead again and I'm about to leave and turn out the lights and. One last question Daddy I promise it's the last one I see taking so long that question is up to stance or it's up to us. I know there's lots to keep you busy folks I know there's lots to distract the attention I know there's all kinds of debates that go on and all kinds of discussions but the only thing he told us to do the my sheet. Go look go read your bible again please do there's no other assignment feed my sheep I have to get on a plane and I have to go now but. I don't want to do it without asking you. I know it's scary I still don't know what I'm doing. If you know what you're doing you haven't thought about this very carefully I know you don't know what to say I don't either all I'm asking are you willing. Are you don't don't do this if you don't mean it please don't. All he wants is your courage he doesn't need our good looks or our intelligence or he just needs your courage at that. You can choose that if you're going to choose it I want to pray with you. So we'll sing that chorus one time again I got to go but I'd like to close out why if you're going to do it and come down here and join me for prayer will sing that chorus I've decided to follow Jesus but I we're going to have to press into the aisles and stuff but I want to pray for you let's let's do it just calm don't let anything stop you. Oh she is with us. This. Was. The. No. No. The world behind me. Will be. To me. It was to me. Speak. To me. Know. There's someone here who has struggled they don't believe that Jesus wants them. He gave His life for you cross was for you. And now you feel like you have nothing to offer that's the whole point. He's giving you everything there's a story Jesus told about a father who. Had a son who left. When he came back he said Could I just be a servant. And the father said Don't you understand everything I have is yours. You can choose to believe that tonight you can just choose it. It's not about how you feel it's about how good Jesus is and tonight you need to accept. He's coming for you asking tonight do you believe. That Jesus loves you that he forgives your sin. Raise your hand if you choose to believe that. Father look at this I know you're smiling because your love is so deep for us you've lived for the moment that you come to get us I know the reason you shout when you come is excitement. Lord we're standing here because we want to see the work finished we want to go home we want to look into your eyes and see you face to face we want to thank you in person. And there are people who are not here. They're out in the boat. And they have no idea how much you love them. We don't know what to say but we we promise we're going to build a fire on the beach. We're to call them ashore. We'll tell them what you've done. So give us courage that's all we're asking for tonight just the courage will thank you for it in Jesus' name. Amen one more time I've decided. And fees. Followed she. Do this was to follow she. Was. Due. To follow she. Knows were nearing. Knows good nearing. Thank you Lord for loving our centers fourth give us some winners. If you will the praising or it was just. 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