But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
Note 3 at Mt 10:33: This word "deny" can mean a variety of things from as little as to "contradict" to "to disavow." For example, one can see that it must have been the lesser type of denial that was committed by Peter (Mt 26:69-75; Mr 14:66-72; Lu 22:54-62; Joh 18:15-17, and 25-27) because God certainly forgave Peter's sin and continued using him, not rejecting him. In Heb 6:4-6, the Lord stated that there is no repentance from total denial of the Lord (Heb 10:29). Therefore, even though Peter denied (asserted he did not know) the Lord, he did not disown or disavow the Lord.
Many people have been tormented by fear in thinking that they have denied the Lord because of some type of sin in their lives. However, God looks on the heart (1Sa 16:7), and regardless of how offensive people's actions or words might be, if there is still a place in their hearts where they honor Him, He will not deny them (2Ti 2:12-13).