Have you ever led someone to Jesus? Lose your life at the Cross and it can happen. You come to care for soul and you sow the Gospel in hearts like seeds in fallow ground,
Job 28:1, 23, 28; Mark 2:2; Hosea 10:12

Speaker: Thomas Schaller
Sermon: 12599
7:00 PM on 10/18/2023

P. Schaller –

Yes, praise the Lord! Praise God! Thank you, P. Manny, and the group. Wow. Great. Worshipping God. Wow.
Joy. A merry heart does good like? Medicine. Okay. Vitamins. Blood pressure medication. Huh?
Merry heart. Joy. Joy. Wow.

I remember my granddaughter, Mika, was a teenager and went to Hungary for our Eurocon. At
night, you know how it is at Eurocon and the young people go out to the Turkish restaurant.
She had an encounter with the group she was in and with some young guy at the restaurant.
And she said to me the next day, Pappy, it really happened. It really happened. And he said he’s
coming to the Eurocon. It was so good. We had such a conversation, and it was so good and
then that young man came to the meeting, and he became a believer. So, I met young people
that are kind of surprised that that happens. Like all of us, we kind of are. That people find
Christ and they become believers. And so, that will be our theme tonight in a couple little
pieces, and this is the introductory part.

Have you ever led somebody to Christ? Do you want to turn to your neighbor and answer that
question to them. How many of you could say you have? Just raise your hand. You have led
somebody to Christ. Did it happen – did they know what they were doing? Maybe, maybe not.
Did you also see growth? Did you see anything happen in their lives? Maybe, maybe not. Why
are you, why do we care about this subject? Why is it important to us? Isn’t that a good
question. Why?

Paul said to the Thessalonians, you are my joy, my crown of rejoicing. He said you are my joy. In
life, there are a lot of people that pursue many things, but helping people find God is not one of
them. We are good at a lot of things like finding treasure in the ocean. Looking at the solar
system by sophisticated telescopes. Have you ever been out deep sea fishing? And all the
technology that is involved in finding fish. We can find fish. We can find whales. Find stars. Find
money. Find success. But can we find people that are lost and hurting and there are so many.
Isn’t it true? Yeah. Okay.

So, the Scripture I want you to look at, I think there’s many parts to this. Turn to Job 28. It’s
great to turn to this text. We had a new man come to our service. It’s Travis. Right there in the
back. You want to just raise your hand, Travis? There he is. He came Sunday first time. Yeah.
First time that guy. Yeah. It’s a joy to think that people are searching and seeking, and God is
calling them and speaking to their hearts. In this chapter, it’s a very unique chapter. Maybe you
know it or read it many times. It’s one of those kind that provokes your thinking.
Job 28:1, they find it. You go in the ground, and you look for gold. You look for a trail of the
metal. A vein. Vs. 2. Then it speaks about birds and how they find their way and all these kinds
of mysteries in nature. And then it says, where do you find wisdom? Where can you find it?
Wisdom. What’s the price of it.

Look at chapter 28:23. Wisdom and understanding. God knows it. God can give it to us. How
can you find it? People are digging and looking and exploring, but how can they find the most
precious, the most valuable things in life. Imagine we can find a lot of things in the world, but
can we find the joy of seeing, of knowing Jesus, #1. The joy of knowing Jesus. Unto you who
believe – how does it go? He is more precious than gold that perishes. That God and the
knowledge of God, Jeremiah 9:23, where it says, “let not the mighty man rejoice in his might or the
rich man in his riches, but let him that glory, glory in this that he knows me and understands
me.”

Do you know him? I believe you do. Do you understand him? You have to work at it. You have
to keep at it. You have to keep at it. You keep searching. You have to walk in it. It will come to
you. You will understand it. You will find it. I found it. I found it. I found Jesus. I found Jesus. I
found him. I found him. I know who he is. I have his joy. His Spirit. The clarity of his heart. His
mind. His thoughts in the Word. We find it. It’s like I don’t think we should just be thinking that
automatically or, you know, leading people to Christ maybe it happens, maybe it doesn’t. I think
you pursue in a godly way and be aware of the fact that people need help. Where do you go
when you die? That’s a common sentence we say around here. Where do you go when you die.
You might want to change it and say, is life good to you? How is it going?

I have a diagram. Very unusual. I want to share it with you. If I could get the iPad up here and
share something with you. Let’s see. Job 28:28. This is another piece from C. S. Lewis’ book. The
title of the chapter, “Christianity: Is it Hard or Easy?” He made a very interesting observation.
He said many people when they are taught about Christianity, this is what they hear. That there
are bad things in my life. This block is my natural life. I’ll just write it this way. My natural life.
My desires. My ambitions. My appetites. My life. It’s my life. Wow. What an amazing thing that
is. This is my life.

So, there are bad things and I feel like I should get rid of them. And then I hear about loving
people, forgiving people and so on, and there are good things that I feel I should embrace.
Good that I embrace or practice. Then the idea is this: if I manage the good and I kind of get rid
of the bad and then I kind of embrace the good, then the rest of my life is mine. This is my life. I
did what God wanted me to do. I got rid of the bad and then I embrace the good, and then I
have my life to live. Then he said that is a miserable model in his own words. Actually, I have
the paragraph there in that folder. Thank you. I don’t know if you – I know you can follow this.
Listen: “As long as we are thinking that way, one or other or two results is likely to follow. Either
we give up trying to be good or else we become very unhappy.”

Two things: We keep at this model, and we are kind of controlling our life and we might just say
I give up. I don’t care about it. We continue our life that way. Or we obey the model and we
become unhappy. “Make no mistake, if you are really going to try to meet all the demands made on the natural self, it will not have enough left over to live on.” That means this part here,
left over to live on.

There won’t be enough. “The more you obey your conscience, the more
your conscience will demand of you. Your natural self which is thus being starved and
hampered and worried at every turn will get angrier and angrier. In the end, you will either give
up trying to be good, or else become one of those people who as they say live for others but
always in a discontented, grumbling way. Always wondering why the others do not notice more
and more what a martyr I am. And once you have become that, you will become a far greater
pest than anyone who has to live with you than you would have been if you remained frankly
selfish.”

What’s the answer to this? How do you have joy? Not by that. That’s not what we do. We don’t
do this. We’re not getting rid of the bad, kind of embracing the good so that I can live my life.
But instead, we lose our life. We take the natural man in the words of God, and we lose our life.
The whole thing. Everything at the cross.

What happens? He fills us with his Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is love and joy and peace. And
your self-life is kind of swallowed up. You’re not controlling it. You’re not living for it. Like I’m
living for the weekend. But I’d like to be good and then I get rid of my bad, but then I would
manage it so I could live my life my way. There’s no joy in that. There’s no message in that. But
this is our message. It’s the depth of love and joy in our hearts so we can help others. Now, the
text I want to use here – well, I think I’ll stop right there and have you think about it for a
minute. Okay. So, thank you, Jesus. (Prayer).

All right. You may be seated. Do you think that if you got a job at Johns Hopkins and you
worked there that God could put you there? If you had a job at a school that God put you there
as a teacher. Do you believe that? How about you’re not married. God put you there. That’s
God. That’s God’s will. Do you think so?

Let’s read it. 1 Corinthians 7:20, why would he do this? Because he is our heavenly Father. If you have a
broken heart or a broken relationship or broken something. Something broken. It might be God
is in it. We realize too in our jobs I really believe this. It’s chapter 7:20. And he’s talking about
our status in society. Are you called being a servant? Don’t care about it. You are a slave? Then
that’s fine. You’re a slave. But if you may be free, use it. If you can get out of your slavery and
be a free man, then use it. But if you are in bondage like in the system in society, then that’s
what you have. That’s where you are in society. What do you have inside in our character, in
our nature. That new nature is the reality of Christ in us. Christ is in us.

Then it says, vs. 22. You are the Lord’s free man. You might be owned by somebody like in the
ancient world. By the way, slavery was illegal in Europe in the 9 th century. Isn’t that amazing?
Cause it was Christian and Christians knew. I mean that’s a whole other message, but I want
you to see this here for a minute. Okay. Now, why do I say this? Because if your job, you are in contact with ten people or thirty or a hundred or even a thousand or thousands, could it be
that the Lord has put you there to be aware of the fact that people have needs, that people
have struggles and problems in life.

Look at Mark 2 with me here. Mark 2, the man who was paralyzed and Jesus was in Capernaum,
and many were gathered there, vs. 2. There was no room. Not even around the door way. Vs. 3.
He was paralyzed. Any number of infections or diseases that paralyze people. Maybe broken
neck or something broken. Broken back. Any number of reasons he was paralyzed. They
lowered him down on the bed in front of Jesus. Vs. 5. Bringing people to Christ. Isn’t that
amazing? Looking for people. Being aware of their trouble.

I read this story in China. “A missionary physician in one of China’s hospitals cured a man of
cataracts. A few weeks later, 48 blind men came to the doctor from one of China’s wilderness
areas. They were holding on to a rope guided by the man who had been cured. He had led them
this way to the hospital walking in chain 250 miles to the hospital. The multitudes may appear
indifferent to their condition but let not this discourage us for many are fumbling blindly for the
light. It is our happy mission to seek them tenderly and tirelessly.”

Maybe just two things very simply. Let’s go to Hosea 10 and read. That’s one more text. I have a
lot of little various portions here, but we’re not long but I want you to see this. You know this
verse I think pretty well. You’ve heard it. vs. 12. So, there’s your self-life. Be a righteous person.
This is the first part is you are healthy. You have found this life from Jesus in your life. The Spirit
filling you. The words. The wisdom. The way of life we have.

The way of life that we have together. The love that we have together. So, we do this. Vs. 12. We could really put those two words here. You are living righteous, and you are reaping mercy. I’ll add this word “joy.”
Stability, joy, depth of understanding. Confidence, clarity of thought. Very beautiful way of
living the way you live in Christ. This is really important.

Vs. 12. Now, fallow ground is like a meadow or a field that is hard. Not broken up. It’s not been
used. It’s fallow ground. It’s not been plowed. It hasn’t been seeded or planted. It’s just like a
meadow or field. There’s a tree here or there. There’s grasses. There’s ground there but it
hasn’t been prepared. It’s not prepared. It is not prepared. And I think that many people are
like this. They are people with fallow ground. They are people that just go through life, and
nothing is planted there. Nothing. Nothing is planted in their hearts. Nothing is planted in their
lives from God. There is planting of wickedness or bad habits or sinful thoughts and those kind
of things, but this is not changed. There’s no real fruit there. It’s just life lived on the natural
plain.

And he says break it up. Break it up. I feel that’s what happens when we come to church. We
hear something that breaks up those thoughts. Breaks up the heart. Open the heart. Opens my
heart to God. When our heart is open to God, he puts a seed in there. It’s called good soil.

Jesus told a parable about this fallow ground, didn’t he? He told a parable in Luke 8 where he
said it was – Luke 8 is the parable of the sower. You have the rocky soil, the shallow ground, the
stoney ground, the thorny ground and so on. Then there was the good soil. The good soil like
maybe you’ve done gardening, and you have to dig in the yard, and you dig up a bed to plant.
And you have to work it. You have to dig it up. You have to work it.

This is like soul winning. Soul winning isn’t like just one encounter with somebody. I thank God
we do that. We hand out tracts. I read about a man who was at the airport. He had an hour and
twenty minutes, and he wondered what to do with his time. He had some tracts and some
business cards. He said he gave it to people sitting in the airport. He said if you are interested in
knowing more about this, I will be sitting over there. And within like 20 minutes, there were
four people standing up wanting to talk to him. And they just wanted to talk to him. If you want
to know more about God, I’ll be sitting over there. However it went but that’s the idea.

There are people that would like to meet you. And they may be at Hopkins or at the school or
at the police department or at a business meeting or a coffee shop. There are people that
would like to have a talk. One of the things that we do is we address the fallow ground. Like you
just can’t throw seed on that ground and expect it to grow. And that’s why in some cases like in
your neighborhood, you have long range plan. A year or two years out and you just think in my
neighborhood, I would like to break up the fallow ground. And just be friendly. Have a little talk.
Give little gifts. Offer your services. And so on like we do as Christians.

Because we have this searching. I’m tracking the fish in the ocean. I’m searching. I’m really at it.
I don’t know that we win souls just by not caring. I think it happens because there is something
– basically, it is that I remember I was lost without Christ. I was without Jesus. I was not
forgiven of my sin. I was on my way to, you know, someday dying and I had no answer. I
needed somebody to help me. I had many questions.

Let’s write down a couple things here about the fallow ground. The fallow ground is basically
what you hear on the news. What people have in their hearts. There are ideas. Evolution is one
of them. You may be an evolutionist as a believer, but actually as you grow in your faith, you
start to realize it’s very simple. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And
one day out of the dust he made a mature man and took out of his side a mature woman. And
we have man and woman. The Bible says so.

That might be hard for people who are saturated in the modern view of life, but then you ask
the question to the atheist which is another fallow ground idea. I could say to them 96%
percent of the world’s population believes in God. Why are you smarter than all of those other
people? You are very few in number. Why are you believing that? Explain it to me? Why do you believe there is no God? Do you have a personal problem about it? Do you have a wound in
your life? Are you angry with God about something? Why?
What am I doing? I wouldn’t be, I’m being – if it is possible and I can pursue somebody in a
relationship and be breaking up the fallow ground, then maybe in time they will be listening to
me. And I have a lot of knowledge and information and you do, too as we are growing in our
faith. Break up the fallow ground.

Here’s another one. The self-psycho problems, psychological problems that people have. Me,
myself, and I. I’m so troubled. I am depressed or jealous or hateful or envious. Okay. This is
fallow ground. Yes, I understand that. I have been that way, too. But I got to tell you something.
There is a way out. There is an answer for you. There is something entirely new. Something you
don’t produce by yourself. Something given to you by God. It’s called the new birth. It’s by
regeneration. It’s by Christ being formed in you. It’s by the Holy Spirit filling you.

And they are listening and I’m talking about this because it’s on my heart that the real purpose
of the church is to win people to Christ. It’s to lead them. And for us to be like patient like a
fisherman has to be patient. And a man mining for gold. Imagine the hardship that miners went
through in the 19 th century as they were looking for their fortune and what they sacrificed. I
think in three months’ time when the California gold rush happened in 1849, they kept it a
secret for one year. When it broke open, 300,000 Americans moved to California within a year’s
time. I think it was three-month’s time. Why? They wanted gold.

Well, we want soul. We would like them at the hospital. We would like them on the street. We
like them in our lives. They will be our joy. When the fallow ground is broken up, and it might
take time, but it’s broken up and then it says in the last part of the verse, vs. 12, “for it is time
to seek the Lord till he come and rain righteousness upon you.”

So, the ground is prepared. The ground is prepared because they know you. Now, many of the
Chinese believers I’ve been told, and living in Budapest we found this out. There were about
30,000 Chinese that moved to Budapest in those years we were living there. The Chinese would
hear us. They didn’t believe in God. They would wonder about it. They would wonder if there’s
God or not. They didn’t believe in God. It took one year. Two years. Five years.

And in our churches in China I’ve been told that when somebody makes the decision, it might
have taken a couple years. They will come down front and the church will get around them and
they will have a celebration and welcome them into the family of God. There’s a lot of joy. They
are so happy. That person took them time to become a believer. It wasn’t easy. It was a
struggle. But God did it. And God is doing that in China and around the world, and we are part
of this. We are training people to be thinking like this.

Because Jesus said in Luke 19:10, that the Son of Man came to seek. To seek. I wonder really
what that means. To seek. Jesus, tell me about that. You were seeking. Yes, I was seeking. I
knew. Yes, they were prepared. Yes, I was seeking Zaccheus. The woman at the well. Yes. The
Apostle Paul. I appeared to him, right? Isn’t it amazing? I am seeking. I feel just as a result of
your love, your maturity, your wisdom, your availability to God and your awareness of it, that
you and I are also seekers, and we are talkers. And we are counselors, and we are leading them.
We say read this in the Bible. Have an index card and read this in your Bible. And come and
believe in Jesus. It’s Jesus that saves you. It’s Jesus that answers your prayer.

One time I read in China that there was a man who had a nail in his sandal. He wanted to put
something in there cause the nail was bothering his foot, of course. So, he found this piece of
paper folded up and he put it in his sandal. He walked on it for three months I think. Then one
day he took it out and he read it. It was a tract. The testimony – I think Watchman Nee told the
story – the testimony is that he walked on that piece of paper, right? And then, it went into his
heart, and he believed. And this is what we are doing on the earth. We are aware of it. You
never know what will happen and how people will think about what you say to them. We are
kind, quiet, wise, talkative. We share the message.

One time I was on an airplane next to a orthodox Jew, Jewish man. I respected him. He had a
big beard. He was gray and old. And beautiful guy and then I said, what is your favorite psalm?
And we talked. I read the psalms, also. We talked like this. Just little by little and then I did not
evangelize him. I just listened to him and talking. And then it was time to go. He said I might be
of the seed of David like his line, his genealogy. He might be related to King David. I go, wow!
That’s amazing. You could be related to King David. He was very happy about that, you know.
He opened his heart.

Then I said do you know that Jesus of Nazareth was of the seed of David? And he goes, no. I
didn’t know that. I go, yeah. He was. And that was the end. But you know, my point is I
remember the story. I remember what I said to him. I remember it made an impact on him. I
prayed for him today. You never know. We are seeking, aren’t we? We are like just there like
looking for people. And then of course, if they can come to the church and grow in the faith and
also make big decisions. Jesus is in us so we can make those decisions. Repent of our sin.
And I want to say one last thing about that one thing.

That is if you keep listening and living in faith, bad habits go away. They do. Bad habits will go away. Be patient. God will take them away. God will take them away. God will help you. You will have joy in your heart and in your
life. And a sense of the new way. And then you will say it really is true. It really is amazing. I am
growing. It does work. I’m not as upset as I used to be. I’m not in control of my life as I used to
be. I’m not analyzing myself like I used to. I have found a new way. There is love and joy and
freedom and I want to share it with others. What a motivation.

And when Jesus came of course he was so concerned about each of us. And he made it happen.
He died for us, was raised from the dead, and then he sent us into the world. He sent us. And
we have this history here of 50 years. We are in so many parts of the world, and we are saying
it is true. Pappy, Pappy, it is amazing. Pappy, he’s here at the church tonight. It was such an
amazing talk. I said to Mika, how long did you talk? She said hours. He was so interested. He
was asking questions. I think he was from Turkey.

I don’t remember. He was from another country. This was in Hungary. And that was so cool. Amen. Would you pray with me, please. By the way, Saturday morning we always meet at 10:00, 9:30 or 10:00 for the fellowship to go
out to the Amish Market. We go to Sam’s Club parking lot. We go door to door in different
neighborhoods. We do visits. We hand out tracts. P. Suhas and Anna go to Towson, and they
share. Pappy, Pappy, it is true. It works. It is. He’s here tonight. Wow! Amazing. Would you pray
with me, okay.

 

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