Matthew 26:34, “Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, that this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice”; Matthew 26:75, “And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly”

Do we deny Christ? One of the worst things a Christian may possibly do in his/her lifetime is to deny His Savior before the presence of unbelievers. We usually think that denying Christ is an outright act, like Peter’s disavowal of Jesus in John 18, but that isn’t the case. It’s so sad and disheartening that many believers today aren’t even aware that they are denying Christ. Reginald Heber, the English writer of the hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy,” pointed out that we can deny the Savior in more subtle ways. He wrote:

(1) We deny our Lord whenever we, through love of this present world, forsake the course of duty which Christ has plainly pointed out to us.
(2) We deny our Lord whenever we lend … our praise, or even our silence, to [things] … which we ourselves believe to be sinful.
(3) We deny our Lord whenever we forsake a good man in affliction, and

(4) We deny our Lord when we refuse to give countenance, encouragement, and support to those who, for God’s sake and for the faithful discharge of their duty, are exposed to persecutions and slander.”

The following article written by Charles Colson for Break Point speaks so succinctly about denying our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and entitled: “Denying Christ: Has Bradley Lost His Faith?” … "I've made my choice," wrote the young basketball star. "I love Jesus Christ and I try to serve Him to the best of my ability. How about you?" Who is this … David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs? It may surprise you to learn former Senator Bill Bradley wrote the tract 30 years ago. Bradley has since renounced his Christian beliefs, and his actions are a warning of the perils of political expediency--and of not holding our fellow believers accountable. The pamphlet, titled "I've Made My Choice," was published in the 1960s by the American Tract Society when Bradley was a rookie with the New York Knicks. In it, Bradley recounts how he accepted Christ while a student at Princeton. "I knew I had been giving my life to the wrong goals," he wrote. "I knew then that I wanted to give my life to Jesus Christ and His service." Not anymore, it appears.

In his 1996 memoirs, Bradley says he was put off by the exclusive truth claims of fundamentalist Christianity. He was also bothered by the uncharitable attitudes and racism displayed by some Christians. Bradley now disavows his Christian beliefs and, according to "Investor's Business Daily," says he "now embraces all religions" from Buddhism to Islam, as long as they seek "inner peace." These are chilling words from a man who was once very active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. It appears that he has either renounced his faith entirely--or he has decided, for political reasons, to renounce it publicly. After all, the Democratic Party has never really warmed up to evangelical Christians. And politicians in general are afraid to talk about tough moral issues. Now, since I believe that a person once saved is always saved, I have to conclude that either Bradley was not truthful in his earlier testimony, or that this is purely a political move--that deep down, Bill Bradley does know the truth. But is there anything scarier than someone who knows the truth and yet publicly denies it? One trembles for the state of his soul.

Bradley's story is a cautionary tale, not just for Christians who go into politics, but for all of us. Here was a man who was converting others to Christ, and somewhere along the line, he got off the rails. It's a warning that we need to constantly keep ourselves fresh in the faith, to attend discipleship classes, and to hold one another accountable. It's a cautionary tale, as well, as to what the political system does to candidates. It does seem to reward politicians for turning their backs on unfashionable commitments, like Christian faith or pro-life positions. But what kind of "leader" does that produce? Can such a leader ever be trusted? As Bradley rises in the polls, Christians ought to pray that he will come to his senses. I can't think of anything more frightening than knowing the truth, but denying it. As for Bradley, I hope and pray he will to reconsider the words that he himself wrote in that long-ago tract: "The choice is simple. It is between the eternal and the passing, between the strong and the weak . . . between Jesus Christ and the world."

Further thoughts:

Titus 1:16 puts it this way, "They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate." We who have been born again by the blood of Christ will consciously avoid any open, deliberate, and vocal denial of the Lord. But loving the world, failing to do as God directs, tolerating sin, and refusing to support our fellow believers are subtle ways we do, in effect, deny the One who has redeemed us from eternal death. We also deny Him in other ways such as:

(1) Does our lifestyle deny that we are close to Him?
(2) Does our checkbook deny that He is Lord of our life?
(3) Do we deny His hold on our lives, by disobeying Him, tuning Him out?
(4) Do we deny His gifts to us, by neglecting to use them?

(5) When we cheat on our taxes, we deny His lordship over our lives, for it was Christ who told us to give the money we should give our government as citizens (Mark 12:17).

(6) When we buy new clothes or a new car - and there is nothing inherently wrong with these - but if we do not tithe to our church, we are denying Christ's rule over our pocketbook.

(7) If we are spending our entire spare time pursuing our hobbies - nothing wrong with these either in balance! - but if we are neglecting to use the gifts God gave us for the purpose of service, we are denying Him lordship of our time.

You can’t turn your back on Christ if you keep your eyes focused on Him, our Redeemer and Savior.