Accompanying John MacArthur sermon: The Prophecy of Failure
Thankfully this defection by the disciples was not a permanent one. They denied Jesus, but this was not apostasy. They were restored immediately after the resurrection. And the disciples did not deny Jesus again after that - the majority of them to the point of forfeiting their lives.
What made the difference?
What made the difference was the coming of the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:8, “You shall receive power after the Holy Spirit is come upon you.” You remember that Jesus promised them in the upper room in John’s gospel, the Holy Spirit has been with you, that’s an Old Testament concept, but He shall be in you. It is not a matter of whether the Holy Spirit was with the people in the Old Testament. Yes, He was with the people in the Old Testament. But in the New, there is a dimension that is unknown in the past because our Lord says He has been with you, He will be in you. And the power will be accelerated, and they were never ashamed after the Holy Spirit came upon them in Acts chapter 2 on the Day of Pentecost. They never were ashamed again. They went out and boldly preached Christ....
We are protected from an ultimate defection by the will of our Savior who in this intercessory prayer prays according to the Father’s will that nothing…nothing will separate us from Him…nothing.
If you ever were to face the kind of thing that these men faced, the kind of persecution and martyrdom that believers through the years have faced and some face today, I can promise you confident in the prayers of our Savior, that in that hour the grace that you need and perhaps even the words that you need to speak would be granted to you. And as a true believer, your faith would not fail.
Martyrdom, staying faithful to the point of death, is possible not because of our will or determination, but by the power of the Holy Spirit within us. All glory to Him!
Tomorrow's scripture focus: Mark 14:32-42