Be Ready

Jesus shall come to take His Bride to Himself. How well do we live as we wait for this moment? We need to have the Bible as way of thinking — not only the letter, but by the grace and spirit of the Word. We go to church, and it makes such a difference. Matthew 27.

Speaker(s):  Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11442
11:00 AM on 3/25/2018

 

P. Schaller

Easter play starts Tuesday. When is the next day? Thursday. You passed that test! Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. These actors are from our church and Bible school. Bring friends, relatives, neighbors. After each play, P. Love will give an invitation. Keep it in prayer.

About a month ago, I was wind surfing at Rocky Point. It was very cold. The weather was not bad but the water was freezing. There were two Arab ladies sitting at the end of the pier. I said is it cold? Yes. What are you doing? I went wind surfing and I talked to them. We exchanged numbers. When I was in Poland they sent me a text message when are you going to visit us? Yesterday morning they said when are you going to visit us? Would you like to come to church? They said yes and here they are! Thank you. Fishing. Big net load. From Aleppo, Syria. We all know what is happening in Syria with the civil war. And the people coming. It must be awesome to come here. Hard, sad, leaving home and then to come here. To say welcome. Welcome. God loves you. Amen. God is love.

Mt. 27, we see a unique chapter in our Bible. I want to give you a challenge of reading this chapter this week. I always think of Israel being a small country. There is a very dynamic force with many elements. Christ is there. That’s one element. Christ is in Israel. The government of the country, the Jewish government and the Romans, the civilized world governed by the Romans and Pilate. In that contest where Christ is before Pilate we have something going on today everywhere. Pilate does not know who Christ is. His wife had a dream. What did she say? Have nothing to do with that man. Pilate found himself in a very difficult place. He wants to release Christ. The Jewish people are crying out, crucify him. He is trying to make his way and detach himself. He would like to get out of this and wish it wasn’t happening. Should I release the one called Christ? Barabbas. Then Christ is crucified and the people are saying if you are the Christ come down. Show us your power. He doesn’t come down. If we took these elements and spread them around the world, – (coughing). Jesus is on the cross and there are two thieves.

Our play is about a contemporary single mom with a teenage son who has stolen a phone charger and is in trouble for a small thing. He’s a thief. In the play, you have the story of the thief. Both are thieves but one sees something in the dying Christ. He sees that Christ is different. He sees something. In the world today we could say globally there is the spirit of the world that does not see Christ. The world cannot see him. Pontius Pilate could not see him. The one thief didn’t see him for who he was. That is happening today in the world. People don’t see him. But Pilate, Christ is the answer. He is the wisdom of God and the power of God. I don’t know what you are talking about but my wife said I shouldn’t have anything to do with them. Because of politics, I have to crucify him. Who will you set free? The bad guy goes free and the innocent man is crucified. But there is a thief that sees him. He is the Christ. Lord, receive me in your kingdom. Today you will be with me in Paradise.

Well, if the world is like this calling evil good and good evil, how will I fit in this picture in Mt. 27? Who am I? I don’t want to be Pilate or the high priest or the thief that doesn’t see him. I could be Joseph of Arimathea. After Christ has died, he asked Pilate for the body so he could be buried in the rich man’s tomb. Why would that be important? If Christ dies and is buried in a common way, you might mistake where the grave is. If he was buried in a rich man’s tomb, it is identifiable which tomb he was buried in.

The leader said that his disciples would steal the body, vs. 64. So the last error will be worse than the first. Seal the tomb. Make sure the body is not stolen. I love this. This is one reason why I became a believer. We could ask big questions. How do we know that the body is not stolen? The Romans sealed it with a cord and wax seal and Roman emblem saying this is Roman territory. Don’t break the seal. You are in trouble with us if you meddle with this thing. That didn’t stop the angel from rolling the stone away. Didn’t stop Christ from being raised from the dead. The world can lie, destroy, kill, cheat but can’t raise from the dead. They can manipulate and control but then there is God. God raises from the dead. Christ is risen from the dead. Christ is the high priest for us, the Savior of the world. Christ is the answer. He was raised from the dead so we also shall be raised from the dead. We are speaking about end times. Signs of the times. This is the list of simple evidences that we live with every day that realize the Bible prophesied about the coming of Christ. Christ is going to return, not as the Lamb of God that dies on the cross but as the King of Kings, the Savior of the world. The Bible is telling us about the beginning and then the history and the prophets. We read at the end about where we are going. Why Christ came was to take our sin away and give us a new birth. We would be saved and born again. God would be our Father. We would have power in this life, spiritual power. We need to have a fellowship in the reality of these things. A fellowship in the Spirit of God. We need the Bible to speak to us personally in our spirit and teach us who Christ is. Now, this period we would have a church. A place to go to. I was sitting here after 9 service and watching the activity, cars coming in and leaving and you folks coming in faithfully to be fed spiritually. To open the book, love each other, be loving and wise. To have the Spirit of God in our hearts and lives. To be encouraged in edifying. We are living in challenging times.

Like Mt 27 in a microcosm, Pilate and Christ. It is global. It is the world and Christ. The world crucifies him again so to speak. Who are you? What is truth? Pilate said who are you? What is truth? A few words are exchanged. Pilate is being forced into it. He caves. He doesn’t have the Spirit of God in him. He doesn’t have the truth in his heart. He doesn’t have the nature of Christ in him. Pilate can’t do anything but go with what the world is saying. Get rid of him. Crucify him. Set Barabbas free. Pilate regardless of his conscience does that.

1) The regathering of the Jewish people. In 1871, there were 25,000 Jews in Palestine. They were scattered around the world. They didn’t have a nation. 1900, 1914 about 75,000 in Palestine. There was no Israel on the map. It was Palestine. How many are there now? 5.4 million Jews are in Israel. How did it happen? God is saying in the word when they come back when the Jews are gathering again in Israel it is the sign of the end times. That coming of Christ is near. He could come at any time. One of the evidences of the time we are living in is the Jews are back in their own country.

2) The church falling away from apostolic teaching, from the Bible. Having their own opinion about things. Not having conviction about sinful things. We realize what holiness is. What is truth? The joy of being a holy person. The joy of R. The joy of the H.S. moving in our hearts and lives. We repent of our sin. I know I may do it and God will forgive me but it’s not good for me. It’s like poison. My sin is like poison. It’s not my friend. What sins? Hate, that’s a great sin. Not to mention murder. How about gossip? How about talking behind people’s backs. Cursing. Social sins that the world is trying to embrace like homosexuality. It’s a sin. You say pastor the day we are living in. That’s my point. People would rather live in the culture than in God. In God it says it is not correct. Th world is trying to tell us something else. Set Barabbas free. What about Christ? Crucify him. Same principle on a global scale. Hash tag me too. Women that have been sexually harassed at work. On one hand they say that is wrong but in Hollywood they say it’s normal and natural. Can we find another way? The other way is Christ. The answer is Christ. He is standing in the presence of Pontius Pilate and on trial and he is the answer for the problems in the world. We in the church in the H.S. know he is the answer. He changed our hearts. He gave us the H.S. He gave us an understanding of who God is. We love God with all our heart and mind and soul and strength. We are not perfect people but aspire to him and his way. I could go to a church and hear nothing about sin or conviction or the Bible being opened and quoted chapter and verse. I might be entertained and avoid those issues that divide us. Let us be happy, good, kind people to each other. Let’s go deeper. Christ is in our midst. What do you think of him? Is he the answer to your life? If he is you will be against Pilate and the mood and spirit of this age. We have found the answer. The truth will set you free. There is a great falling away.

3) Threat of war in the Middle East. This isn’t new. The Middle East has been having war regarding Israel since 1948. It was peaceful but now we see the problems in the Middle East and this threat of war in the Middle East is part of the end times. Wars and rumors of wars. The Antichrist will use this as a platform for his emergence on the scene. Many American presidents have tried to bring peace to the Middle East. It will only happen with the Antichrist. He will bring peace 3.5 years and then terrible tribulation.

4) Globalism. Worldwide connections, economy, community and power, government. We can see it can happen. U.N. is nothing compared to the worldwide global connections will happen in the future after the church is gone.

5) Reuniting of the Roman Empire.

6) The Rapture, the church. We are here slowing it down. We are preventing some of these directions from happening. We are here praying. We are here with moral fiber or conviction. Slowing down the coming of an antichrist mentality that will be happening in a larger scale. The Rapture. One man told the story in the civil war that the men in the army had to camp in an open field with no tents. That night there was a heavy snow fall. A lot of snow covered the sleeping soldiers in that field. They sleep through the night and snow piled up. The bugler blew his bugle for reverie and they started emerging out of the snow. The mounds of snow started moving and the bugler said it looked like the resurrection of the dead. This will be happening at the Rapture. The buried believers who have gone before us their bodies will be raised up in a glorified state. We that remain will be glorified instantaneously. We will go up in the air and meet Christ in the air. He will come back to get his bride. To get the believers in the world. This special troop of believers that have believed in Christ. Joseph of Arimathea said can I have the body of Christ. There are people who are believing in Christ and others say Barabbas. We want Barabbas. We know Barabbas is not the answer. Christ is the answer. God is greater than the world, the devil, than unbelief. God is greater than any lie. God is greater than Pilate’s weakness and inability to change things. I can’t change this world. How many believers are saying I cannot change my life? I cannot change the powers in the world. When the world is advertising, pushing, presenting I go with the flow. We say there is a secret, the new birth, the Spirit of God who comes in you. The Bible that speaks to you. Other brothers and sisters that say no. I am different. I am born again. We have the nature of Christ in us. We are in the world but have done that. We have found the confusion and trouble in the world. Hanging out with Barabbas is no fun. I don’t trust him. This guy is not my friend. He’s not the answer for my life. I need someone greater than Barabbas. I need Christ. I sit with him and say he’s my friend. He’s a good shepherd. He’s the answer. I like his company and direction. I like what he is saying. Be ready for the Rapture. I am coming again to take my bride. To heaven.

7) Reasons for the Pre-tribulational rapture.

8)The judgment seat of the believer. The beam seat. God will search our hearts and everything we have done. I have a short list here. Thing to consider regarding the bema seat. The cough drop is working!

At the bema seat how have we treated other believers, Mt. 10:41-42? How did we use our talents and abilities?

Mt. 25 how did we use what God gave us? Thank you Lord, Body, brothers and sisters that are using your talents. Showing up and available and learning to live in love. All the things we do in our church. We are free. Teaching adult Sunday school and the play and raising up people to go and minister. The many things we do. How do we use our money? How well did we suffer injustice and mistreatment? Were we able to turn the other cheek? How do we spend our time? Time is a great gift to us. How did we use our life? You might say I don’t know. If you keep listening to what God is saying you have to have the Bible as part of your diet. You have to have the Bible as a way of meditation. As a reference in your heart and life. The spirit of the Bible. The message of the Bible. The grace of the Bible. How much grace did you give other people? The judgment seat of the believer. How did we run the race God has given us? How did we control our fleshly appetites? A fleshly appetite or bad habit. I can bring it before God and say God help me. You’re going to deal with this through the finished work, the Holy Spirit. I’m walking by faith in you. If I say I have a bad habit and don’t change I’m lacking faith. Why not believe God and change me and take it away. If he could say to a tree be plucked up by the roots and cast into the sea. I like the roots part. Sometimes I deal with my bad habit by lapping off a branch or too. Our God can deliver me and set me free. How many souls do we witness to and win for Christ. It’s not hard to be a witness. We are going to have a special day on a Saturday. Opportunities to learn to share your faith. No big evangelistic thing I did out there. Just being friendly with this Syrian family. There are people searching. Is there any message. Is there anything greater than what I have seen in this world? A Finnish girl went to work at a law office. She said I had a great weekend. The lawyer said what did you do? I went to church. That’s a message we have. I met the brethren. I had the joy of God. I was challenged in my life. I love the church and love what God is doing. Judgment seat of the believer. What does the Rapture mean to you? If you are anticipating it, there is a reward at the bema.

Acts 20:26. How hospitable we are to strangers. How faithful we are in our working place. How we support others in ministry. How we use our tongues.

Every word I say in Mt 12: 36. I am saying this not condemning but when the light switch of God’s reality goes on I will say amen. Praise God for truth. Praise God I had exposure to it on the earth. Thank God I went to a church where there was the Spirit of God moving. The other voice, Christ, the answer. Halleluiah. Hosanna, Maranatha. Come Lord soon is what Maranatha means. After that the marriage of the Lamb. The reception. We had a wedding here and the reception was in the café. We said crank up the coffee pot. We’re going to have a party. Princess Diana and Prince Charles their wedding cost 100 million dollars. Imagine. All the money and details. We haven’t seen any wedding yet like this one. When Christ comes and takes us, he comes and he takes us out of the earth. He takes his bride. The father sent for bride for Isaac. Nobody from the Philistines. Take someone from my relatives.

That story in Ge 24. Christ came to take us. We will go in the bema seat judgment and we will be clean, purified, like Esther. She bathed for 6 months before she went to the king. She was made clean by perfumes and bathing. Long period of time in preparation to meet the king. God is preparing us in our hearts. We will one day when the light switch of God’s really goes on we will be accepted in him without condemnation. He is risen. That is the answer. We know this. There will be the big wedding feast. The way it is understood is it will start in heaven and many Bible commentators say it will continue into the millennium. The people that go into the millennium will witness it. It will be a real thing happening. The wedding feast of the Lamb. The warmest fellowship you can imagine. The bride is the church and Christ is the bridegroom. Behold the children that my Father has given unto me. This will be happening. The world will be in a lot of trouble. The world will get into a lot of trouble. A lot of trouble. Tribulation. Wow. Why? Why will the world have so much trouble? Why will there be so much death, war, disease and famine. When we are gone and the Antichrist comes into the picture. There will be a rise of a group of ten in Europe. Revived Roman Empire. A group of ten leaders. The Antichrist is called a little horn. He doesn’t have a lot of power in the beginning. He will kill three of the kings of the ten and replace with himself and eventually above this group and the leader of the whole world. That’s another message coming this spring. Why? When Pilate said who shall I release and they said Barabbas. God is saying I will give you Barabbas and take Christ away. You will have the world you want to have. It will be a world without Christ, without Christ’s people. Without their prayer, love, R. I will let you have what you want. The world will be filled with delusion and deception. When someone ungodly is promoted, it will be like Hitler in 1938 with his huge army. 1938 Time Magazine declared Hitler man of the year. God is saying you can have your Barabbas. I’ll let you have him. God will do his work here anyway. You can have it your way. Don’t say that.

Say it this way: Lord, not my way your way. Not my life; your life. Learn to say that prayer. Not my way. My way might be party time but then comes the stomach cramps and poison. Chocolate in the mouth and cramping in the stomach. Let’s count how many are dead at the end of the night. Be careful of those parties and that stuff on the street, the opioids and all that stuff they sell you. A 19 year old in Bermuda. He drank one night on a college trip, leaves the bar room and they find him in a ditch the next morning. Party time is not necessarily party time. Be careful what kind of party you go to. Say instead Christ I’ll take Christ. Nobody wants him. I don’t care. I want him. Joseph of Arimathea wants him. Nicodemus wants him. The soldier that put the spear in his side said surely this was the Son of God. He wants him. The thief on the cross wants him and so do you. The Spirit of God is saying don’t go with the world. Pilate doesn’t have a clue. He is talking to Christ and he has no idea. The Lord is saying I will give you seven years and I will leave. The church will go. I’ll let you have your world the way you want it to be. I’ll have to come back and save it from total annihilation. You’ll destroy it because that’s who you are anyway, screw balls.

Humble yourself and get before me. God, give me mercy. I need Christ. God is saying I will give him to you. I came into the world to love you and save you and give you want you need.

 


Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.

 

 

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