How To Escape From The Present Rut

Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday evening, Jan. 23, 2000, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia:


By Michael D. O’Neal               Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church               Albany, Georgia

Scripture Reading: 2 Peter 1:1-15

Text: 2 Peter 1:13

2 Peter 1:13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;

Introduction: It is a wonderful thing to see a new Christian grow. Babies are unstable. Babies really can’t do a lot of work. However, they do bring a lot of excitement into a church family. As they grow, it is also exciting to watch them learn to do things for our Lord. If they continue to study and practice the basics of the Christian life, they will eventually get mature and settled in the work of the Lord and in walking with the Lord.

However, a mature Christian often is not a GOOD Christian, because a GOOD Christian is a GROWING Christian. A mature Christian can feel that he has “arrived.” That is, he has a routine of serving the Lord, and he sticks to it. He knows basically where he stands doctrinally. He tithes his income and gives offerings.

However, it is possible for a mature Christian to stagnate. He can get into a RUT. When he does, he will eventually backslide, even if it is in errors that no one notices.

Being in a rut is so close to someone who is established in the present truth that it forms the center of the word! That’s right. There is a t on the front, and an h on the end of rut, and that’s the TRUTH!

The mature Christian must at all causes avoid and escape being in a RUT. On a rainy day, a rut may seem like a safe place to drive on a dirt road, because it has been packed down. However, a rut in a Christian’s life must be AVOIDED. A rut may seem like a safe way to travel, but a rut can actually be a line of erosion that ends up in a DITCH or a PIT. If you get down TOO deep in a rut, it’s hard to get back OUT of it again!

Someone has said that a rut is just a grave with the ends kicked out. If you stay in that rut, brother, you’re going to die, practically speaking, in the Lord’s work.

Most of the time, if I am driving on a dirt road, especially when it is dry, I will straddle the ruts and drive on high ground! I don’t want to get entrenched in a rut that I can’t escape!

The answer to the problem of being in a rut is NOT

  • to change churches
  • to change to a newer version of the Bible
  • to change to more contemporary music
  • to move from one location to the other

The answer to getting out of the rut is to get STIRRED up about things you already know, and to REMEMBER them!

Peter said to those who were “established in the present truth”:

2 Peter 1:12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.

Notice that they needed to be put “always in remembrance of these things.”

The next verse is our text verse:

2 Peter 1:13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;

Peter thought it meet to stir them up by helping them to REMEMBER.

One of the main purposes of this epistle was to STIR UP the people of God. Two chapters later, the Bible says:

2 Peter 3:1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:

I want to STIR YOU UP tonight to avoid and escape being in a rut.

Once again, notice that Peter said he would STIR them up by way of REMEMBRANCE.

Tonight I’ve asked God to make me a spoon for HIM. A spoon:

  • Stirs
  • Serves a meal
  • Shines

Well, let’s get into the message. If you are in a rut tonight, you need to


2 Peter 1:9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

A. Remember the body that was broken for you

B. Remember the blood that was shed for you

C. Remember the burial did not last

D. Remember the blessings that resulted

  • The completion of salvation
  • The coming of the Holy Ghost
  • The conviction of the Spirit
  • The conversion you experienced


2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

A. They deny the Lord and His word

B. They deceive multitudes

C. They damn many gullible souls to hell

  • Making them twofold more the child of hell than themselves


2 Peter 3:1-4 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: 2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: 3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

A. While they laugh, let’s keep on living for Jesus

B. While they laugh, let’s keep on leading people to Christ

C. While they laugh, let’s keep on looking for the Lord to return

Which brings me to my next and final point … In order to escape the present rut, you should stir yourself up as you:


2 Peter 3:9-10 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

A. Remember the Rapture

B. Remember the resurrection

C. Remember the reunion

D. Remember the rewards and reckoning at the Judgment Seat of Christ

E. Remember the Revelation, the universal appearance of Christ at the close of the Tribulation

F. Remember the reign of Christ, 1000 years of righteousness, followed by the Great White Throne Judgment

G. Remember the recreation, a new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness

Are you in a rut?

Get out of it!

Don’t change churches! Don’t change spouses! Don’t change Bibles!

Change your thinking! Change your meditating! Remember these things and stir yourself up!

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