For today’s message, I just want to encourage everyone to understand that you can never be too far gone for Christ to forgive and redeem you. You see, Jesus does not hold grudges or withholds His salvation from anyone. He gives it freely to whoever comes to the foot of the cross willing to repent of their sins against Him. It does not matter where you are in life, or even who you used to be. The Bible is full of examples of people transformed by the love and grace that can only come through Jesus Christ. A perfect example of this is the Apostle Peter. In the Gospel of John, we find out that Peter denied knowing Jesus and being His follower three times before the rooster crowed (John 18:17, 25, 27). In fact, the last time Peter denied Christ he was warming himself near a fire publically. Out of anyone in the world, Jesus could have separated himself from his disciple but Jesus chose to deal with him in a manner. We find out exactly how in the Scripture below.
It is written, “So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these [others do—with total commitment and devotion]?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You [with a deep, personal affection, as for a close friend].” Jesus said to him, “Feed My lambs.” 16 Again He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me [with total commitment and devotion]?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You [with a deep, personal affection, as for a close friend].” Jesus said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me [with a deep, personal affection for Me, as for a close friend]?” Peter was grieved that He asked him the third time, “Do you [really] love Me [with a deep, personal affection, as for a close friend]?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know everything; You know that I love You [with a deep, personal affection, as for a close friend].” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep,” (John 21:15-17, AMP).
When Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him “more than these,” He was referring to Peter’s proud statement that he would never fall away from Jesus, no matter what others did (Matthew 26:33). We all know how this turned out because Peter not only fell away from Jesus but he denied Him in three separate occasions. This is why Jesus asked Peter these three-fold questions. These questions were truly a three-fold commission of apostolic mission, in contrast to the three times Peter denied Jesus. However, here and now, Peter told Jesus that he loved Him three separate times. It is funny how Peter denied Jesus next to a fire and then Jesus restored him next to another. The sense of humility and awe that Peter must have had at that exact time could probably never be written down in words.
The moral of this message is simple and clear. No matter how great of a person you are, we can all fall (1 Corinthians 12). But God’s grace and forgiveness will always restore those with humility and true reverence for the sacrifice of His Son. For those who can swallow their pride and submit their sins and their lives to Jesus, regardless of who they were, Jesus can transform their lives for the better. This is why we all need to understand this principle because we are never too far gone to be forgiven and redeemed. So if you have fallen away from Christ, the church, or you have never accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, He is waiting for you with open arms. So do not hesitate to come to Him. If you feel like you cannot forgive yourself for the life you live, He can and will forgive you. This is what it means to be redeemed, and He will not only transform your life for the better but give you a new purpose in living it. So what are you waiting for?