The Baptist Beacon
By Elder Ron Spurgeon,
When I was a young boy living in Indianapolis, IN we played childhood games to pass time. Games like "Hide & Seek", "One, Two, Three Stop Light", "Riddley Diddley Dee", Red Rover, Red Rover", and many more, for family fun and enjoyment. One of the most common games we played was "Simon Says". The object of the game was to have one person give instructions or commands to a group of players that were lined up. These players were trying to advance to "Simon" by being the first person to follow all the instructions the Simon Says. If you did something that Simon said to do without them saying "Simon Says", you would be eliminated from the game. The first person to follow all the instructions that "Simon Says" would be the winner of the game and advance to being the new "Simon Says".
In this day and age that we live in, games like "Simon Says" are a thing of the past, giving way to electronic PC games, Video arcade games, Television and Laser Tag to name a few. Although I am very much in favor of innovated technology and advancement in this world, we must not loose sight of the fact that childhood games such as these build a solid foundation to the character or our youth.
I have another thought concerning "Simon Says" that I would like to share with you. The Simon that will be giving the commands is "Simon Peter". It seems that Simon Peter in his early Christian days was not very stable, and gave some commands without saying "Simon Says". For example, in Chapter 21 of the book of John, verses 2 & 3, after that Jesus had died, was buried and risen, we read, "There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee." Peter at this time should have been out preaching the gospel (being a fisher of men), instead of persuading the other disciples to follow him fishing for fish that they had labored all night for and caught nothing! There are other times in the Bible that Peter made unwise decisions and later in life learned from his mistakes. I would like to list at least nine of those occasions by stating the command that is from Peter, and then the nine "Simon Says" that are from the Lord in relation to each of the mistakes that Peter made.
1. BE CONCEITED! "Peter answered and said unto Him, Though all men shall be offended because of Thee, yet will I never be offended" (Matthew 26:33) BUT SIMON SAYS, "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: Casting all your cares upon Him; for He careth for you." (I Peter 5:6_7). To overcome ego trips and conceitedness, we must do as Simon Says and humble ourselves in the sight of God!
2. TAKE IT EASY! "And He cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not unto temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matthew 26:40,41) BUT SIMON SAYS, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour; Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." (I Peter 5:8_11) I believe in R&R (rest and relaxation), but too much will cause us to go to sleep in and out of the church. Jesus said to "WATCH AND PRAY."
3. DO THINGS ON IMPULSE! "Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus. Then said Jesus to Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?" (John 18:10_11) BUT SIMON SAYS, ".....add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity." (II Peter 1:5_7) Never do things on impulse concerning the work of the Lord or exchange evil for evil. Wait patiently on the Lord and He will guide you into all truths!
4. FOLLOW JESUS AFAR OFF! "But Peter followed Him Afar off unto the high priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end." (Matthew 26:58) BUT SIMON SAYS, "For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? (I Peter 3:12_13) Jesus made the statement that if you are ashamed of me, then I will be ashamed of you. Don't follow Jesus afar off, but stay on the firing_line, close to Him!
5. RUN WITH THE WRONG CROWD! " And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals, for it was cold and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself." (John 18:18) BUT SIMON SAYS, "Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life and see good days let him refraim his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: let him eschew evil, and do good: let him seek peace and ensue it." (I Peter 3:8_11) Seeking out the right friends and being friendly is a very important part of running with the right crowd. Too many times in life we let peer pressure or so_called friends lead our lives instead of God. "Simon Says" seeking out peace and ensuing it is a means to aid in selecting Christian friends to run around with!
6. DENY THE LORD OPENLY! "And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also one of His disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not. One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with Him? Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew." (John 18:18) BUT SIMON SAYS, "Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God Hath given to them that obey Him." (Acts 5:29_32) Stand up for Jesus and you will never go wrong! Peter repented for denying the Lord and later on in life proved he was a witness for Christ. Are you a witness for Christ? If so, go and tell somebody what He has done for you!
7. CURSE OR SWEAR AGAINST THE LORD! "And he denied it again. A little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilean, and thy speech agreeth thereto. But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak." (Mark 14:70_71) BUT SIMON SAYS, "Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. (I Peter 2:1) How many times have we spoken evil against God and took His name in vain? Yet, He is long suffering and has not taken our lives as He did Ananias for such a great sin. Be careful not to curse or swear against the Lord. It could be hazardous to your health if you don't do what "Simon Says"!
8. DON'T REPENT AND BE SAVED! Peter never said this, but Satan is telling people everyday not to repent to God. BUT SIMON SAYS, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:" (Acts 3:19_20) Being saved was the most important event that took place in Simon Peter's life. Being saved will also be the most important event in your life, so do what 'Simon Says" and repent of your sins, put your whole heart into seeking and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of your soul that is headed for HELL!
9. DON'T BE BAPTIZED AND JOIN THE CHURCH! Peter never said this, but Satan is telling saved people everywhere not to be baptized and join the True Church of God after being saved! BUT SIMON SAYS, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost....Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them (the Church; Acts 1:15) about three thousand souls." (Acts 2:38,41) Join the Church of God's choice and you will not go wrong! It is very important to be a working member of the Lord's Church to point other souls to the Cross of Calvary and be a witness to the world that there is something peculiar about being a member of The Old Fashion Missionary Baptist Church of Christ!
"Simon Says" is a fun game to play in this life. But following what "Simon Says" in these nine events will last for eternity. Don't follow the first commands of Satan, but take heed to the nine "Simon Says" and you will "Grow in the Grace and Knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen." (II Peter 3:18) Because Simon Said!