Religion, sex, and money are the things that people seek to find happiness in. God’s Finished Work made us alive to the riches of His Grace and loving kindness. Let’s live in His eternal life. (John 19:30; Ephesians 2:1-6)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller, Pastor Jean Cartier, Pastor Obaid
Sermon # 11285
11:00 AM on 6/25/2017
P. Jean Cartier
Such a blessing to be here with you. We’ve known each other for more than 30 years (P. Jean and P. Mark M.). I’m here today in some big part because of him.
A verse I’d like to share with you this morning, a verse we know well. 1 Jn 4:8. God is love. God is love. This is the Rock upon which we can hold ourselves. It’s the unconditional love of God. The eternal love, the infinite love, the love that does not change. I think you’d all agree with me that we are all desperate for love. Whether we are French, Hungarian, American, South America, all over the world we are seeking love. That’s what God has come to give us. That’s what Jesus has come to prove to us. It’s been more than 30 years I’ve been a Christian and I need the love of God as much today, maybe even more because I’m always asking myself, why does God love me? Why has God chosen me? Why did God come and find me in my high school? Why did he save me to give me this extraordinary life and a glorious future we are expecting together? If we are honest, – I love what P. Brown said, we are all limping. We all have something that isn’t going well somewhere. For some it’s seen visibly. For others it is internal. The work of the devil is to make us believe that God doesn’t love us anymore because our emotions, our circumstances, our errors, our weaknesses, and the things we lack. Why would God love me? Because he is love. He is the one who loved me first.
vs. 19. He is the one who loved me first. He is the one who still loves me first. If today I choose to believe the love of God, to receive the love of God I don’t deserve it but he is available for me. God loves me. I need to educate my thoughts on this fundamental point that God loves me unconditionally. We increase in age. But we must remain little children. Just an image to consider. We were accompanying our Chinese friends to the bus yesterday. Their little girl fell asleep in the car. I took her in my arms. She was leaning on my chest and almost fell asleep again in my arms. It’s only been a week that I’ve gotten to know this little girl. I thought of the trust she had. We should be like that in the arms of God. Tranquil, calm, confident, just resting. The trap is the devil would make us think we have to improve ourselves to continue to be loved. We can’t change ourselves. We can let ourselves be loved. This is what we have been doing this week and receiving his Word, keeping his Word. We think his promises and receive his love. The Body of Christ is the reality of this love. The fellowship we have one with another. The brother named Lou who spoke in the last service. He was amazed what we are experiencing here and this fellowship, this love one for another. Because we have received and believed in the love of God and held ourselves upon this immovable rock. God loves me and it won’t change. We remain standing. That’s why we are no longer conscious of ourselves. In being loved, we can love. This is the good news of the Gospel and this is what God asks us to do.
1 Jn 5:3, when there is love, it is not difficult to serve one another. It’s not difficult to give others the first place, to honor the other, to give his life because we are full of the love of God. Let’s keep ourselves in the love of God. I thank God for this church and ministry. And for the simplicity and friendship with pastors and members of the church. That is the life of God in us. It’s a miracle we are experiencing it. The love of God is invisible but visible here. We can touch it and have friends who are here for years. We are still here because of the love of God.
We have had a very unique week here. Full week in the fellowship and how many are traveling back home this afternoon? Thank you for coming. We had a beautiful week together.
P. Obed, it would be great if you could come up here. This is such a unique opportunity. I’ve never met a person like – this man has a unique history. He’s from Afghanistan and I could say a few things but might get it wrong. His wife is Tarana. We met in India seven years ago maybe. Three or four! Jacob loved Rachel and worked 7 years and seemed like nothing. He worked another seven, 14 years. For us Americans to hear the words like Communism, Taliban, Atheism, Islam, and all these words are in his history. When he was 13, he was with an AK-47 fighting in the mountains and studying for the Taliban in Islam and having big questions in his heart. Escaping Afghanistan because he was going to be killed for his faith in Christ. He escaped to India, and lived in Delhi, India as refugees. He started five Afghani churches in Delhi, India. I could sit and listen to him for hours. They immigrated to Toronto, Canada. He’s an ordained GG pastor. We can ask him to share something.
Thank you Pastor Schaller for giving me this opportunity to speak. My culture I cannot call him P. Schaller. It’s a disrespect. I will call him dear pastor. He’s a senior to me and I call him dear pastor.
Mt 18 two or three, I am there with them Jesus says. To connect something I want to share with this verse. I hope it matches. For me believer is a missionary. If not a missionary he is lost again. We all have a great commission. We are missionaries. A believer is a missionary, disciple, and disciple maker. Believers sometimes we think we take Jesus to Afghanistan, America, Canada. But he’s already there working in the hearts of people. Who are they? ISIS, Taliban and ordinary people. Every day, every moment. God wants everyone in this world to come to him. God is there. It’s not like we are taking Jesus. He is there. God is taking us there to speak for him. To share him with people.
When in Afghanistan in 1997, I was with Taliban and they wanted to hit someone, killing against killing. We were from a special team, special force. They said go there and take the security. That guy was a famous guy. We were there to make sure everything secure. They brought the guy and big knife and hand of the brother of the person who was killed and said either forgive this person or kill him. If kill, it’s ok. If forgive, it’s even better. They believe that even in Islam. It’s a football stadium. We used it for hitting head. One person said I give you my daughter, don’t kill. I give you this, this, and this. Please don’t kill this person. You can see mercy in the hearts of the Taliban. No, he killed my brother. It’s head against head. Iman said don’t kill him. No, I want to. The law gave you permission. They let the guy pray. He was to be beheaded and raised his hand with the knife and said I forgive you in the name of God. Thousands were kissing his hand and feet that you forgave him. I as a cruel person, bad person. I was watching. There is joy in forgiveness. That time missionaries couldn’t go to Afghanistan because of Taliban. God was there teaching me a lesson. P Schaller told me that was a pre-salvation experience. There is joy in forgiveness. Another province, they brought a guy and killed him, kicked his head. I felt so bad. Everyone was cursing him. You are such a cruel person. Why cruel? The law gave him permission. So he did a good thing. He stopped the crime, the sin. People should praise him. Everyone including senior imams were cursing him. I was there and thought there is sadness and no joy in taking revenge. God taught me another lesson. And I beat this guy…Then they took him from there. There was joy in forgiveness and sadness in that situation that killed that person and took revenge. God taught me those two lessons. I learned from those things. When I studied Islam, God was in that religious school and teaching me many new things about him. I learned in that Islamic religious school and one day I said I cannot see God in this faith, in this book, in this religion. God doesn’t exist here. God, show yourself to me. One day we come to missionaries. I don’t know what church made a website and I found it. I contacted those people and got saved. I met no person, no missionary came to me but God used the website and I got saved. Jesus is already there. God is taking us to all the world to preach his name and share this good news with people.
Thank you and God bless you. Hope it wasn’t boring!
Did he say hope it wasn’t boring?! No, it wasn’t. He is living in Toronto and full time in the ministry. He’s been invited by Afghani believers in Finland to come over and minister. Pray for him and his ministry. Being in Toronto and what is happening there in the world with people that are seeking. God is there and he is working and speaking to the hearts of people and preparing them. He was so prepared just going to a website and doing some study. They sent him a New Testament and read it with a dictionary. In one week he read the N.T. and said this is the truth.
Before the message, change your position. Everybody sit down except the Los Vegas team.
Jn 19:30. It is finished. P. Obed, after the service if you go in the café and anyone wants to hear more stories, is that possible? For one hour. He’ll be in the café and you are welcome. For a rap time.
P. Jean Cartier spoke about the finished work, love, and our week together in the Body of Christ. Returning back home to our places of ministry with the finished work. Here on the side we have the cross and the words “it is finished.” It’s what Christ said just before he died in vs. 30. These words are very important, very profound and have to be understood in a context. I want to explain that context to you and make some application in life. The context is what he was sent in the world to do. 12 years old in the temple with the doctors of the law and that was one of the last places his parents went to find him. It was three days. One day of walking back to the city, one day of looking in the wrong place and then finding him in the temple. He was so young. He was 12. They underestimated his wisdom and capability. He was the Messiah. No sin. Amazing wisdom. What he said to his parents when they asked him what are you doing? Don’t you know I must be about my father’s business?
We love to think about God’s business. Creation. Let there be light and there was light. That was God’s business. Resting on the 7th day was God’s business. Making the garden for Adam and Eve. God’s business. Telling them not to eat of the tree and throwing them out of the garden and wanting them to get back in. God’s business. I must be about my Father’s business. Saving man and healing them.
In our Bible psychology, we teach man has emotional problems. He lives with the wrong center, himself. Love isn’t the same love as God has. God has selfless love and we have selfish love.
The Greeks have four words for love: Storgeo, sexual love, friendship love, but the word AGAPE was rarely used in literature. The Holy Spirit used that word in 1 Cor 13 to teach us a new kind of love. I must be about my father’s business. My father is interested in the world and man made in his image and wants to heal man, save man, and give man love. A new center. When he said it is finished he means that lost man and his emotional problems, his selfish center, his way of thinking has been changed by Jesus, by Christ. He finished the work. It is finished. It’s done. It’s finished. Let’s think about the typical way of thinking for people. Man thinks of making a process of getting to God. It takes time and work to get to God. So he thinks. Maybe in a couple years, a month, a week, a day, I could make my way to God. Religion is like this. Religion is a process of getting to God, coming to God, making our way to God. Some of us go the other way. We don’t want to know about it or think about it. There is no God and I don’t care about it. I’m not religious and I don’t care. That person is like you and me. They don’t want to do or seek or have any desire. They have guilt, shame, and fear. I like to think of the word adulterate.
Man has been made for a reason but has been adulterated, used for the wrong service or reason. An anchor on a ship. A big ship and it needs the anchor. It’s about one ton for an anchor. And we used a Mercedes for the anchor. Lower it, brand new, down into the ocean, the fish swimming through the car. Time to leave and pull the Mercedes up. It’s an anchor but was it designed for an anchor? Its purpose was adulterated. We have lived in adulterated purposes. Things that are out of whack that are cheap that steal from us. That make us feel guilty, that twist our purpose. We live for stupid reasons. A woman is to be married to a man and is used for some other reason. A child somehow thrown into life and crushed or buried. A man living only for money. There’s religion like we heard about in the Taliban. Though having a shadow of truth and the moral law and the whole idea of mercy but still religion cannot bring me to God. Another thing so powerful is sex. How much crime is happening because of the sex drive? Money connected with sex and pornography. Abuse happening to women and men. Mutilating bodies to change men into women and women into men. It’s called body mutilation and it does not work. Sin is making us small. Money is the third word that is so powerful. It is the root of all evil, people that love money. What about this guy? Where is his future? What is he supposed to be? Where is his joy and peace? What is his real problem? He lost God. I lost God so I eat this and go there and do this. I’m messed up. I might be clever, proper, and professional, polished but deep inside is a big question why am I here? When Jesus said it is finished it’s incredibly powerful and meaningful in this context. It’s over. What does it mean? It’s finished. This changes. It’s huge. God is saying I lost man. I sent my Son to save him and he has done it on the cross. Nothing more for a man to do but simply believe. Nothing more than to believe God must save me, rescue me, send his Spirit into me. God must wash my conscience clean. God must tell me who I really am. That’s why he came.
It’s the 500th year of Luther’s reformation. We went to Wittenberg, Germany with P. Stein and a group. Take a train about an hour to Wittenberg. It’s the same town he lived in. Same building five hundred years ago. Same rooms. Fascinating. To sit in his chair. It’s a museum. Rap room was called table talks. It’s the same room. The table was there he sat behind. He talked on politics, demons, clergy, church, family life, raising children. He was an amazing man and got his understanding as a Catholic monk. The Holy Spirit worked and moved in him and understood this book in way others hadn’t gotten it at that time. He preached in the church, a little bit up the hill in the town, 2000 messages. He was on fire. Then you walk down the hill to the Catholic Church where he nailed 95 theses on the door. You live in his world and this is the anniversary for that reformation with the beginning of the nailing of the documents to the door. What was it that changed the lives of people? The very thing from our Bible.
Eph 1, God has the mind to reveal to us his wisdom. God wants us to understand his thoughts. God made us with a tongue. We could be walking around saying moo like cows and not articulate words or syllables…God made us to hear. God made us to be educated, to talk, and to be like him. There is so much cursing and hatred and small living. So many Mercedes put at the bottom of the sea and its purpose is adulterated. You understand this automobile is made for the Autobahn, for safety and speed. Made for a certain purpose. Same with you. You’re not made so you’re sin will beat you up but so you have victory over your sin. Not made to be in a chair on a porch in a rocking chair in depression living in fear and bad memories.
Eph 2:1-2 this world had no respect for us. Could care less about you and me. If you had a hundred million dollars, they care about you, but they don’t care about you. If you are beautiful, they care about you, but they don’t care about you. If you are smart, they care about you but don’t. We are throwaways. We realize no man cares for my soul like the psalmist said. No one can take away my guilty conscience. No one can answer the deep questions in my heart.
Eph 2:2 there is power in the air and it’s not good power. Let’s put it up on our diagram as lightning bolts. AC DC is a rock group. How did I know that? I have no idea! The devil can affect history and bring armies against each other and visit leaders. The devil is tearing away at the human race. We have this guilty conscience and this shame and fear. We walk this way…
Eph 2. 2. We’ll move a little faster to verse 4. But God…in Christ Jesus. What did Jesus say when he died? It is finished. Does it mean we died also? When we were dead in sin, he made us alive together with Christ. He died and obeyed the Father. He was obedient to God the Father. Always doing his Father’s will. Can you imagine Christ never sinned and living here. He’s always obedient and enjoys it very much. The Father’s love is in him. He’s not a Mercedes at the bottom of a sea. Can you see the Father in the Son of God? Do you see the power, the holiness, the clarity, simplicity and wisdom? See what a man is. We are made like him. When he said it is finished it was for us. That we would be raised up together. We come to him and believe. Seated. That’s where we are today. Seated in heavenly places. But I see we are seated in Baltimore, but also in heavenly places. Have you felt it, seen it, understood it? Is there fear? No, love cast out fear. Are you self- conscious? Not so much. More conscious of the truth and what God has done for me and of others. We were raised together. We are seated together. We are distinct and different from each other. God has put as as every member unique and yet a thread of commonality, of humanity, of Christ himself here and amongst us. That is not high and far away but is present with us. It’s Body life. Barbara Gordon who was here at 9:00, I asked when did we see you last? Thirteen years ago. She said I watch on the internet in Florida. Why come? It’s the Body. When Christ said it is finished it’s over the work, the guilt and the fear. It’s finished work. He has empowered us. He lives in us. We love each other.
Eph 2:7 in the conventions to come! Let’s put in there in the church services to come, in the services in France, and Romania, and Finland, etc. and more in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace. P. Obed said in the football stadium in Kabul which was meant to be for football, when the Taliban took over, it was a place of execution. There were cranes with people hanging and beheaded. That’s the way it was. When a man gave mercy, everyone was rejoicing over the mercy. Imagine the magnitude of this mercy. All our sins taken away. Imagine the magnitude of the mercy when God says though you sin, my grace is greater. I’ll never leave you or forsake you. Always my blood will cover your sin.
I’m a merciful God and love mercy. In the ages to come in vs. 7. I think the magnitude of the judgment will be evident to us when we go to heaven. Thank you for your mercy. I didn’t realize how lost I was, how holy you were. I didn’t realize what the wrath of God was. We will see the exceeding grace of God that he called you, convicted you, spoke to you, gave you more life so can get saved one day, grace that angels visited you and brought you to your senses. I gave my Son. How much more will I not freely give you all things? (Rom 8:32).
vs. 7. Billions of years in his kindness toward us.
Eph 2:8. What did this guy do? Nothing but believe. That’s all. It is finished. I did the whole thing. Come to me and trust me. Let’s pray for each other this coming year and carry each other’s burdens. Let’s go for morning walks and have each other in our hearts.
In Baltimore, I want to have Friday night prayer for the sake of people coming Sunday morning. We have 5 or 7 visitors that raised their hands this morning. People coming and finding out what life really is.
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