LISTEN: Jesus Asks, “Do You Love Me?” Part 3 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 381)

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Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III

TEXT: John 21:15-19:

15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.

19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.

———-

Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.

This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 369.

John Walvoord said, “Obedience to Jesus’ command, ‘Follow Me,’ is the key issue in every Christian’s life. As Jesus followed the Father’s will, so His disciples should follow their Lord whether the oath leads to a cross or to some other difficult experience.”

Three times, Jesus asks Peter, “Lovest thou me?” I don’t think there was ever any doubt in Jesus’ mind that Peter loved Him. In the crucible of suspicion, questioning, possible persecution, ridicule, arrest, and death, Peter had allowed his fear and his desire for personal preservation to override his loyalty to jesus. From the outside looking in, it is easy to criticize Peter, but until we have been in the place where Peter was, we should not look down on this disciple.

Nevertheless, Peter felt terrible when Jesus reminded him of his faults by asking him three times, “Lovest thou me?” The Bible says he became “grieved.” The word means “to make sorrowful, to affect with sadness, to make one uneasy, or to offend.” Jesus’ action of taking care of this issue head-on, though it was painful for Peter, reaches us an important principle that pastors and all believers should take heed to: When you have failed, you cannot just carry on as though nothing has happened. You must stop, confess, and repent of sin, and then, under the Lord’s guidance and the Spirit-led direction of local church leaders, be restored to ministry leadership when the time is right.

In this case, Jesus decides to publicly restore Peter at this time. He tells him, “Feed my lambs. Feed my sheep.” And then, he makes this statement which is part prediction and part challenge: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.” As we look at these words, you can see that it is almost as if Jesus is saying, “Peter, hard times are coming for you. Will you love me then?”

The first part of Jesus’ statement — “When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest” — described Peter in his current form. He is able to do what he wants and go where he wants. He has complete control over his direction in life. But if he chooses to follow Jesus and continue in the ministry that Jesus is restoring him to — if, in fact, he loves Jesus as he says he does — this is what will happen to him: “thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.”

Regarding this verse, Dr. Warren Wiersbe stated, “Jesus had just spoken about Peter’s life and ministry, and now He talks about Peter’s death. This must have been a shock to Peter, to have the Lord discuss his death in such an open manner. No doubt Peter was rejoicing that he had been restored to fellowship and apostleship. Why bring up martyrdom? Anyone who yields himself to serve the Lord must honestly confront this matter of death. When a person has settled the matter of death, then he is ready to live and to serve! We as Jesus’ followers must yield ourselves — just as He yielded Himself for us — and be ‘living sacrifices’ who are ‘ready to be offered’ if it is the will of God.”

John provides this explanation of Jesus’ words: “This spake he signifying by what death he should glorify God.” Jesus is telling Peter, “If you love Me, if you follow Me, there will come a day when My enemies will come for, take you, and carry you away to a place you would not go on your own. Many years later, Peter;’s arrest and imprisonment ended in him being crucified upside down. Jesus’ challenge to Peter is this: “When you face your own trial, your own imprisonment, your own death, just as I did, will you remain dedicated to Me? Will you love Me then?”

This challenge applies to us today as well. It is easy to say we love Jesus and will follow Jesus when we are not being persecuted or ridiculed for our faith. But, like with Peter, there will come a day when we will face difficulty, false accusations, persecution, and in this day and time, even death. Will we love Jesus then? Will we follow Jesus then? If you, like Peter, are committed to doing that, then you can answer Jesus’ call in verse 19: “Follow me.”

John Bell wrote:

Will you come and follow me
if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t know
and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown,
will you let my name be known,
will you let my life be grown?
Will you come and follow me?

Will you leave yourself behind
if I but call your name?
Will you care for cruel and kind
and never be the same?
Will you risk the hostile stare
should your life attract or scare?
Will you let me answer prayer?
Will you come and follow me?

Will you love the ‘you’ you hide
if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside
and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found
to reshape the world around
through my sight and touch and sound?
Will you come and follow me?

For those of you who are not yet disciples of the Lord, Jesus extends the call to you, “Follow Me.” The restoration of Peter reminds us that Jesus can and will forgive any sinner. If Peter chose to follow Jesus with all of his faults, you can follow Him too. Jesus wants to forgive you, save you from your sins, and bring you into His family. Here is how you can receive Him into your heart and life today:

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at dw3@gospellightsociety.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

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