A time has come when the Word of God is ignored. Many talk tolerance, while Jesus presents us with His righteousness. Let us not be deceived. (Hebrews 7:2-3; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller, Pastor Steve Peragallo
Sermon # 11418
6:30 PM on 2/11/2018
P. Steve Paragallo
Good evening. We’re here tonight to honor a special friend of mine and a lot of yours, a young man called William Lemell Simmons. He went home to be with the Lord and for some reason, it’s hard to express, we didn’t even know it. He was a great guy. He attended GG Christian school. My wife taught him in first grade and many of you did. He attended the annex also. Pastor. T.J. spent a lot of time with him. He spent a year in military school. He set a push up record, 225 pushups. I used to call him the machine. He worked for me for a while. He could work all day and we would say three words to each other. I would tell Debbie and said it was great. We worked all day, no complaining, we both did our jobs. He was a pleasure to be around and work.
He went through some things, Ec. 4:1-2. It almost sounds like he’s saying it was better if you weren’t born. There is so much trouble in this world. He was down. But there is oppression in our city. It’s not easy sometimes for kids. They can get in trouble. It’s not easy to make a living. There is a demon called poverty. Someday I’m going to kick it in the teeth real hard. It’s there. Drug abuse, crime. Our city can be a tough place for many who live here.
I’m thankful for what our brother Ray is doing with the homeless, and the whole homeless outreach. It’s a beautiful ministry and it’s a hand and there is a comforter. It seems like at times there is no comforter. You can be out there and say where is the comforter? Jesus Christ is there with us.
Luke 16 Lazarus was laid at the rich man’s gate and the rich man faired sumptuously and the dogs licked Lazarus’ sores. The rich man walked by him every day. That’s your problem. They both died and Lazarus went to be with Abraham. The angels took him there and he was comforted and the rich man didn’t go there. God chooses the weak things to confound the wise. You can look at someone’s life and wonder what is the big thing they accomplish? Sometimes people accomplish things by little things, and they might not have victories we consider great but are winning in other areas.
One of the areas Mel was winning in was his wife. When he got a place he married her. She ended up in the nursing home and P. Justin did an outreach there and they sang and his wife got saved there. That’s what God did for him. God answered prayers for Mel. He does that for us. We can’t control whether we win every fight. We might not win the fight against poverty or whatever it is. Paul said I fought the good fight and laid up for me is a crown. We can’t decide if we win but we can fight and fight right. When we do we will be promoted. There is a blessing at the end. We are delivered from whatever it is. We win because we fought the fight. We fought with our faith and trusted God and walked through things. The Hebrew boys said we don’t care. We are going in. It’s not so important that we win as much as how we fight. That we stay in the fight.
I’ll tell you a story about Mel. We were doing a job one day. We built additions and we put a gutter and downspout on it. It was brand new and we came back and a bird had built a nest under the downspout. Big mess. I said to Mel take it down and clean the siding. He took the nest down and cleaned it up. There is a door and a pathway and Mel was walking up to the door and a little sparrow came and it landed right there. It looked up at him and went beep, beep, beep! And the bird was shouting at him, beep, beep, beep! It was the strangest thing. Mel said Steve, what did you make me do? This bird is all mad at me. We had to do it. I never saw a little bird, – it walked right up to him. It was funny.
I thought about it and that’s how we can be with God. Something happens and we go into the throne room and we are like beep, beep, beep. We’re not winning and God says little birdie go to the trees, sing and build another nest and don’t quit. We don’t always understand the plan. We can’t quit though.
God bless Mel. He didn’t quit. He was a loyal friend. If he was with you on the street, you weren’t worried. We are thankful for his life and his grandmother and (many names mentioned). We are thankful for Mel and this church and the victory we have and we never give up. We preach the Gospel and people get saved and our angels are bigger than that. People are getting saved and can get healed and be comforted and we can overcome.
Wed. night I was sitting here and I gave a short intro at the beginning. And just felt the absence of the Spirit. I didn’t feel the anointing. I spoke for a few minutes at the beginning. When I sat down, I said to P. Steve I have a message but not the liberty. I said just have the church pray. When I came back up here it was here. The H.S. was with me. That was amazing. I say that to say I know you folks are serious with God. I love it. And we are and if we are hungry, they shall we be filled. I believe that. P. Steve shared about this young man and the pain in the family. Think about losing a child. P. Steve that was an awesome word and our prayer for Baltimore. The poverty, the hard life of temptation, and the weakness we have as people. The need to be loved. The need for someone to help me read my Bible. Help me find Christ in the Bible. It is possible we could read the Bible and then it’s not hitting me. I’m not getting it. This is our prayer. Our message tonight is along these lines. Let’s have a prayer first.
We have three brothers here from Sweden. Do you want to stand for a second? They came over to go to Bible college.
We have our end times diagram up on the screen. This morning we had a message explaining in simple terms this diagram. We will go over these different periods in the coming weeks and biblical periods for each one of them. Today we spoke about the church age being the end days. Israel’s end days start here, the Tribulation period. For the church it’s here before the Rapture. We leave in the Rapture. That will be our message Sunday morning on the Rapture. Now we are talking about this period we are in. Israel returning and becoming a nation and increasing in their population, being stable there as a nation. Recognized legally back in the country and the Jews going to Israel. That will be a sign of the end times. The Antichrist will need the Temple and goes in and make himself as god.
2 Cor 2. Globalism is a sign of the period we are in. And also money becoming an issue in regards to the economies of the world not being local but global: the Chinese, Japanese, European and here. Buying and selling. The global mentality of knowledge increasing and connected with that is a moral fall, a degradation and moving away from moral laws that we are familiar with as Christians and Jews. We have a religion coming in the Middle East, Islam, and it is growing and its influence. In the West, we have philosophy attacking Christianity. Believing in God, trusting in God, knowing God, and the culture is against this view. Anything but that. Do not have this moral orientation that we have had for centuries but instead you can decide for yourself what you believe in and embrace. We see that moving strongly in the world of today in the university campuses, movies, TV shows and general character of Hollywood and school and education and transgender and identity questions about male and female.
There are theologians who believe before the Rapture, there is a great falling away in the church in 2 Thes. 2:3. The key word for us. Let no man deceive you by any means.
I read Mark Hitchcock’s book called the Great Apostasy. You can pick it up at the Christian bookstore. He makes a lot of references to this era we are living in. He told of a Spanish airline the system of the planes pull up to the pilot. Raise your elevation. And the pilot said shut up, gringo to the machine. A minute later the plane slammed into a mountain and killed everyone on the plane. That was discovered in the black box they retrieved. It’s easy to be deceived. We know but we could be wrong. All of us are afraid of that. I don’t want to be deceived. How can I tell and how can I live according to what God has given us here. He is saying I will lead you and show you and guide you. You can’t trust in your feelings, your way, your speculations, or your mindset. I believe that is at the heart of our spiritual life.
Trust in him with all your heart, Prov. 3:5. Roman 12:2 we are promised by God he will renew our mind. We would get it right. Not always in every way or one hundred percent. The point is we can be Spirit taught and Spirit led.
vs. 3. This falling away is apostasy or a departure from apostolic teaching.
Charles Ryrie says “it is though the infidelity of those who profess to be religious will prepare the way and perhaps even furnish the occasion for the final display of revolting against God in the person of the Son of Man. But the day of the Lord will not be present until this great apostasy sweeps the earth as those that profess to know the truth turn wholesale from it. They shall embrace the ultimate lie worshipping man as God.”
John Walvoord says the increment of evil, the growth of hypocrisy, selfishness and unbelief within the bounds of confessing Christendom are according to Scripture signs of the approaching end of the age. Though there are thousands of faithful congregations many pious souls still bearing a faithful testimony to Christ, it is hardly true that the majority of Christendom is bearing a true testimony. It is the exception rather than the rule. For the great fundamentals of the church ring from the pulpit and for the pew to manifest the transforming grace of God in life and sacrificial devotion.” One of the things I never hear about is denying ourselves.
Heb. 7:2…peace. This is Melchizedek. The priest’s name is king of righteousness after king of peace. Which comes first? King of righteousness. He is a king of righteousness after that he is called king of peace. In the world we live in, the first thing that comes is love. They say love is the important thing. But Scripture says its love with hypocrisy. It’s not real love.
When a man says I love another man, it’s Rom 1:26-32. 1 Tim. 1:8-10, 1 Cor. 6:10, it’s described there. It’s Sodom in Ge 19.
Lev 18:22, it’s an abomination. The man is saying I love the man. King of righteousness first. It’s first righteousness. When Jesus came, it was first righteousness. In his mind, in his heart, in God, God is a righteous God. Then there is love, peace, but there isn’t love without R. There isn’t peace without R. This is where we don’t have the means, the power, we don’t have the insight or understanding. When someone walks with God this is one of the things. What happens when you walk with God?
What is the one thing that really happens to you in Jn. 4:21? You don’t know what you are worshipping. It’s empty. There are a lot of people praying but they don’t know who they are praying to. Here comes your life and my life.
vs. 22. Jesus you are offending that woman. Don’t you know she has feelings? You’re telling her she doesn’t know what she worships and the true worship is with the Jews.
vs. 23. We are not reading only the psalms in our Bible but 2 Chronicles and Deuteronomy and Esther and Job. We are all over this book. We are learning the book because God is speaking. The true worshipers worship in Spirit and in truth. If the church loses the truth we move in apostasy away from the faith. So they don’t believe Jesus is virgin born, the Trinity, the resurrection of the dead, and they don’t believe the Bible is inspired. They don’t believe in holiness and spiritual life. They don’t believe in prayer the way you do. You believe God and God answers our prayer. They are apostate. It’s a departure from the faith. Then it’s almost as if this homosexual issue is a watershed issue for the church. In a way I’m happy it has surfaced because now we see how wrong churches are. When the Anglican denomination goes into that. Presbyterians ordain homosexual women and men. Are you kidding? That’s not even close biblically. Why was Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed? Why is it written three times very clearly in our N.T.? There is an amazing need for people to understand what God is saying. Not what the world is saying. The true worshippers worship him in Spirit and in truth.
The H.S. enlightens the mind, Ps 119:131. Jesus said it and this is how we make it.
1 Tim 1:18, it’s amazing we have to start Bible colleges up out of our churches. It’s beautiful, but we have to start our own Bible colleges out of our churches because where is the seminary that we can send him where he can learn about God as a worshipper and learn about serving God with all his heart and learn about meditating on this book and how to guide others with a profitable life with knowledge and truth. P. Stevens, you mean we have to start our own Bible college? Aren’t there others? Do they believe in the virgin birth, in this book? Are they on their knees with humility? Or has it happened historically after a time the wrong teachers are in the schools. There is arrogance that comes from our own heart.
1 Tim 1:18-19, a ship wreck. I’ve met believers that are shipwrecked and how does it happen? He gave two names. Hymenaeus and Alexander. You sit down with them for coffee for an hour or two and your faith may be shipwrecked. How many remember that off the coast of Italy, the cruise ship? Any of you on there?! Ship wrecks. There is a reef you didn’t see. You didn’t realize it. It’s crazy the people you could listen to, the books you could read, the people you could be part of at work or your community. Your best friends. Your relatives. Hymenaeus and Alexander were bad news. They will shipwreck your faith. How could that happened? I thought God was with me? He is. It shouldn’t happen. Your ship should go from point A to B your whole life. Your faith should grow from faith to faith with the knowledge where the Spirit is saying to you in your heart this is the way. I’m going this way. A man falls in love with a man. You have some feelings? Deny them. Deny them. A man is heterosexual and falls in love with another woman. What do you do? Deny it. Deny it. Who are you? Do you have any idea this is serious. God is in heaven and let our words be few on the earth.
Take care of your feet in Ec. 5:2 when you go into the house of God. Be Spirit filled. I love saying what I just said. I want to say it again. People shift from the book to some of these things: my parents taught me this. What does God teach you? My friends say. Fine, what your friends say but what does God say? A famous Christian said. A pastor said. It feels right. It’s what I’ve always believed deep down inside. It gives me comfort to believe this. It makes me happy. I can’t imagine doing otherwise. Sending people to hell. I seriously studied it or found it in the Bible. This age we are living in is a time when people are shifting and it’s happening in large numbers.
“The river of apostasy is rising today. The perilous times of which Paul wrote are upon us. Soon the river will overflow its banks as all the tributaries of delusion in deception join the main stream.”
Let’s go back to this for a second. Do you know what is happening here? The church age there is the deception that happens. With Israel they are deceived by the Antichrist. Reality hits and they are murdered and persecuted. Christ returns and at the end of the millennium is another time of deception. Nations rise against Christ at the end and Christ will put it down. It seem deception is a common thing with us as people. Eve was deceived in the Garden of Eden, wasn’t she? They didn’t believe Paul was an apostle. They were deceived. At the end of the church age this whole thing about truth is brought into question. We are saying when it reaches flood level that our sisters and brothers could be shipwrecked by some teacher, teachings, and the world’s influence.
If you and I, and this is possible, all the days of our life trust God, he will fill us, lead us, and guide us. If we love each other in truth. If we say to God, make it clear to me so I can discern and recognize when this thing is wrong. I don’t care if the whole world is against me. I have to know from you, God, and in the Body we would know and bear witness.
“Some think we can look for a worldwide spiritual awakening before the Rapture but this passage in 2 Thessalonians indicates the opposite. A worldwide departure from the faith can be expected. God might indeed send a revival before he calls home the church but the Scriptures do not prophesy one.”
I believe it can happen any time all the time with people who seek God. Worldwide revival we don’t know. This is his opinion. I would love that to happen but we don’t know. This is sure there will be a falling away from the apostolic faith.
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