6-13-15 “The Most Important Question Ever Asked” – Pastor Shane Idleman

Download this MP3
If you want to stay up on the latest audio messages from Westside Christian Fellowship, don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes.


The Most Important Question Ever Asked

IT’S NOT: What school, or job…or who are you going to marry…where to live?

Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ

Matthew 16:13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” 14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

  1. CULTURAL DISTINCTION: “Open your hearts and search the Scriptures. Bear your cross, follow your Lord and pay no heed to the passing religious vogue. The masses are always wrong. In every generation the number of the righteous is small. Be sure you are among them.” a.w. tozer

“Some say a good teacher, some say a prophet, some say a concept.”

Who do you say HE is?

  1. SON OF MAN – “And behold, one like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought him near before him. Then to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed (Daniel 7:13,14).”

“…I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of the power, and coming on the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.” (Matthew 26:64-65).

CONSIDER THIS: He made Himself out to be the Son of God (Jn. 19:7). AND Created beings are never worshipped.

  1. One thief said – “show us who you are” – the other said, “Lord”.

In counseling people who lack the fruit of conversion, I don’t refer back to a prayer they said, but to repentance… Did it occur? Were they transformed?

DID THEY SAY  . . .  “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” I believe in You…I trust in You!

This is about hope and life; it’s about peace and joy – WHO IS HE?

Advocate     Almighty God     Alpha and Omega     Bread of Life     Captain of Man’s Salvation     Comforter – Consolation of Israel     Cornerstone     Counsellor   Deliverer     Door of the Sheep     End of the Law     Prince of Peace     Faithful and True     Good Shepherd     Healer     The Image of God

17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.

  1. The Father reveals when the heart is receptive: 1 Corinthians 2:14 states, “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” You can’t argue someone into the Kingdom – you pray them in.

  1. KEYS – context is king: As children of God, we have the privilege to enter the kingdom heaven – our authority is in possessing kingdom keys – the message of the gospel [if received] opens the kingdom of heaven, but if declined, shuts the kingdom.


  1. Apostolic succession means that the bishops in the Roman Catholic Church are the supreme authority in the Church, resulting in the Pope.

a] The church is not built on Peter

b] If apostolic is defined as God anointing His remnant to deliver HIS message throughout the ages, and if succession means following one after the other with this message – then it’s fine. They are handing down the essential gospel doctrines established by the original Apostles without changing them.

Jesus Predicts His Death and Resurrection 21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. 22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” 23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

  • The Father reveals things when the heart is receptive, BUT the enemy plants seeds because the heart is deceptive: “You are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

This is why feelings need to be filtered, and why we should respond vs. react. I rarely say, “I moved too slow…”

  • Emotions and Feelings often go against God’s revealed will for this very reason – “it just feels right to marry or date this person…”; “it just feels right to go in this direction, or take this job, or make this move…”

Take Up the Cross and Follow Him 24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. 28 “Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” – Denying the flesh is NOT Popular: DRINK, MEDIA, MOVIES, TV, SERVING, ETC.

ARTICLE: We Cannot Love Both Christ and This World –

  • Throughout history, Christians have vacillated between two extremes: compromising with the culture or removing themselves from it (isolation).

The world will know that we are Christians by our love for one another and by our obedience and our sacrifice – not by how well we imitate the world around us. Oswald Chambers once noted that a sinner, who is now saved by grace, “proves he is forgiven by being the opposite of who he was.” He no longer resembles the world.

Carnal Christians give God “His due” (a few hours on Sunday), but they forget His call to “come out from among them (the world) and be separate” – to deny themselves.

  • In times past, the hero was the father, not Edward (from Twilight). The greatest influence was the mother, not Caitlyn Jenner. Kids once quoted Scriptures; now they are casting spells. They found their identity in God – not in changing their sex.

Carnality destroys our relationship with Christ and genuine fellowship with other believers. It destroys our prayer life as well. A carnal Christian does not pray, really pray and seek the heart of God. A deep prayer life exposes facades and crushes hypocrisy. Carnality also destroys spiritual power and hinders the infilling of the Spirit. In short, everything that God calls us to be is compromised.

     . . . “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me . . .”

Carnality not only affects the pew, but the pulpit as well. A carnal pastor still offers motivating sermons, but he will lose unction, boldness, and spiritual insight. The world, and carnal Christians, will love him, but Spirit-filled believers will leave the service starving for more of God.

On a closing note, You may be saying, “Why try? This is hopeless! I’ve drifted too far.”

Let me reassure you: God doesn’t let our relationship with Him hinge on “measuring up,” or on “following rules.” He wants us to come as we are, recognize our need for a Savior, and commit our life completely to Him.


Change is God’s job, but obedience is ours.