The Bible can get in our hearts and minds and in our mouths and actions. We need change and maturity in our way. Jesus has never left the battlefield. He’s there in our suffering. Don’t slide into false thinking, into a message that is evil. (2 Peter 3:17-18)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
7:00 PM on 4/14/2021
P. Schaller –
Before I start I want to say Carla and Roloff Foekens have been with us many years. How many know
them from the Netherlands? They have been running the food bank and have fed thousands of
people including myself. How about you? Raise your hand if you have had the benefit of? They
are moving back to the Netherlands in a couple weeks, and we want to say “goodbye” but it’s
not a permanent goodbye. We are in the family. We care about them and their future. We will
continue to keep them in our prayers. They will be serving God in their home country and we
are thankful for them. We had in our staff meeting a few words with them and we just love them
and are very thankful. Amen. Look around and see somebody we never talk about, we never
mention their name. Just look at them and shout out their name. Okay. Thank you. Turn with me
to our text, 2 Peter 3. 2 Peter 3 is regarding the end times, the ultimate transformation of heaven
and earth which we really are looking forward to. Sunday we preached on the Millennium and
the coming Kingdom and tonight I want to speak from my heart about people that increase in
God and grow in God. This is point #1.
Do people grow in God? Do we increase in godliness?
Do we have an increase in understanding? Do we change in this life? Is there peace like a
river? I used to live in Budapest and there is a river that cuts through the city. It’s called the
Danube. World War II, the Nazi’s and the Russians were fighting in the city. All the bridges were
destroyed but the river just kept going. Bombs. In my landlady’s backyard, they found three
undetonated Russian bombs from World War II. Oh yeah, life is interesting. Come on! So there’s
war but then there is peace like a river, and the river just doesn’t change in that sense by the
war. It is simply stable and there is peace like a river. Psalm 46, there is a river that makes glad the
city of God. That’s what’s happened in your life. If you are a follower of Christ, then God has
promised you peace. This Spirit of God. When he was resurrected, he came and he was saying
peace and peace to the disciples that were hiding and he is the Prince of Peace. I hope you
have that in your heart and life. It’s God’s will that you would have that and that would be the
voice of God speaking to you not to condemn you but to love you, to give grace to you, to
comfort you, to teach you.
There would be an increase in your heart and life in righteousness.
That’s the first point. Is that happening? Romans 5 speaks about it and says that we are not
ashamed. Even when our world collapses, we don’t. We’re not ashamed. Even when we face
challenges and struggles. We struggle, yes, we do. We hurt. Yes, we have pain. But there is a
day coming where we will be in a world and not have what we have in this world. In that world,
we won’t get tired. This world we get tired. That world we will not get confused. This world we
get confused. In that world, there won’t be any sorrow or tears. In this one we have. In that one,
there will not be unbelief. We will see Him face to face. In this one, we have faith, so enjoy the
ride. This is a privilege that we get to live in this world with God. Here’s a little lesson for –
Justin, my son over here, when he was 15 years old we lived together in Budapest. This is a
little lesson I taught him. He mentioned it to me. He was going to go home in June and he’d
been living in Hungary. Around January or so, he goes he’s excited about going home. Any
I’m going home. I’m excited about going home. I told him, I go, yes you can be
excited about what will be happening in June, but learn to live in the present. Learn to live in the
present. Why? Because God is in the present. What does that mean? God is here. That’s the
point. God is here. God is present. Yeah, but I’ll be able to eat at the Pizza Hut. I’ll get on my
bicycle. Yeah, I can play golf. Yes, that day may be coming. That may be coming. You don’t
know what tomorrow will bring. I’m not raining on your party. I’m just saying it’s very easy for
people to live in the future and miss the present. It says about Jacob when he fell asleep and
woke up, he said God is here and I didn’t know it. God is here. This is the blessing. Watch. Why
can’t I look forward? You can but in a guarded way because there is such a thing as a
disappointment. Disappointment is an appointment that is dissed.
The thing you expect doesn’t happen, or when it happens, it’s not what you thought I was. How many of these variations
where there is heartache in people and emptiness because they thought it would be better later.
The best way to live is walk with God now and by faith trust him and the Spirit lead you. Then
what happens is your character develops because you are trusting God in the present. You’re
saying I’m not looking at the future as much as I want to look by faith at what God is saying. I
want to measure my life by what he is saying. Isn’t that good. This is how you increase. Where
do we get this? In the Garden of Eden, it says Adam and Eve were in the garden and the voice
of God walked in the garden. What made the Garden of Eden the Garden of Eden? Was it the lushest plants, the beautiful gardens and walk ways? What made the Garden of Eden the
Garden of Eden? It was the voice of God that makes life what it is. It’s the voice of God that
makes the Garden of Eden the Garden of Eden.
That is what has happened in your life. When you heard the Gospel and you believed, and the Spirit taught you and you started to walk by faith in a God you cannot see and you don’t know what will happen in the future but you are –
actually, we do know a lot about that – but actually we learn to live in the present for God is the
God – what did Moses say? What is your name? And what did God say? Mose said, what is
your name? God said I AM. This is the present. I AM that I AM. Justin had a good spring. He did
get on a plane. He did come home. I’m sure it was great. But it’s young people, all of us, need to
learn that the best way is to know I have those desires and that’s something in my heart. I like
that. I want to do that but I can also step back and say your will be done. Your will be done.
They say the difference between heaven and hell is that hell is filled with people that have said
“my will be done.” And heaven is filled with people who have said, your will be done.” In The
Garden of Gethsemane. This is growth. I’m going to stop at that point and just say tonight in the
closing part of point one that simply I want you to believe that you can grow. And that God will
speak and he will liberate, encourage, and counsel you.
He will counsel you. He will teach you and you will change from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). That’s a beautiful thing but that’s not my primary message. Point #2, turn with me to 2 Pet. 3 and I want you to see – sorry I’m moving
around a little bit. I got to change that. Proverbs 11. I don’t want to go there without you reading
Proverbs 11:21. Maybe I could ask Avery to come up for a minute. Avery and I – this is an
illustration. Avery and I were friends. We can join hands and we are in agreement and we have
other hands. We join hands. What is the meaning of joining hands but agreeing. But in the
Proverb it says we are wicked. We are wicked but we are joining hands. You have a group of
wicked people joining hands. That’s the Proverb. That’s the meaning of the Proverb. Though we
are in agreement, and multiply us by thousands and maybe millions and we are in agreement.
We are solid and we are joining hands still and we are wicked but God sees it and he says it will
not go unpunished. Read the verse with me, 11:21. What is the meaning of joining hands from a
psychological point of view? It’s like I got somebody who agrees with me. But not just one. I
have a million people that agree with me. And we’re joining hands and I’m embolstered in it. I’m
encouraged in it. I got it. You see what I mean? I
‘m strong. We all agree. We all are empowered. Maybe even there is a lot of money involved. We have a lot of influence. We have a lot of money and we are joining hands. That is called a conspiracy of evil. It’s not uncommon. It’s very common in life, in history. Groups of people. I remember reading about John Wilkes Booth who
was from Belair, Maryland. He took a year off of acting just to meet at Mary Surratt’s house
down in Southern Maryland to conspire. It took one year of conspiring and planning and getting
the small group together to assassinate Lincoln, Andrew Johnson and Seward. Secretary of
State, Vice President and President. Three men were to be assasinated on the same night.
They planned it. It was a conspiracy. They held hands. They were wicked. They had evil in their
hearts, revenge, etc. Really happens. The Nazi’s in Germany. Many times. Groups. They are
holding hands. Social movements, holding hands. But God looks at the heart and the heart with
God there’s an increase with God.
Then there are a lot of people that don’t know what is going on and then there is the evil that is connected with each other and they are active in what they are doing. We saw that happen with Jesus Christ on the day of his trial and crucifixion. vs. 21. Even when they have huge numbers, the still will not get away with it. “But the seed of the
righteous shall be delivered.” The only reason why Christ wasn’t delivered was because it
wasn’t God’s will. He was to take away the sins of the world. Only reason. Christ would be
delivered because he’s a righteous man but the righteous man in the plan of God was to pay the
price so we would be saved. He would be killed and he would be our Savior. Read 2 Peter with
me, please. 2 Peter 3:17, he talked about the passing away of the heaven and earth by the heat,
the dissolving of the elements, the epistle about the falling away of the Church in the end times,
2 Peter 2. Seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. The Church falling away from apostolic
teaching, from understanding the doctrines of our faith, the reality of Christ, falling away from
objective truth and establishing their own world of reality.
Their perception of it. They are very much in error and we’ll see that in a minute. Go to vs. 17. This is how I feel it’s a critical time and our knowledge of the Bible is paying off. Our meetings that we have together we are benefiting.
We are increasing in the Lord. This isn’t a thing of pride. That’s not why I am saying it. It’s not
like we are any different than anybody but it is that God leads us so that we can hear his voice and live with a new heart and something else in our hearts than what the unsaved man has in
his heart. The unsaved man in many ways they are trapped. They might get a group of people
with them, and from their heart it goes like this. From the heart to the mouth. Heart to mouth to
action. There is a sequence. A conspiracy, let’s say they are not holding hands. They’re just in
their hearts they have some wicked, evil thought in their heart but they don’t say it. But then it
becomes – it’s in my heart. We’re going to kill Abraham Lincoln. We could use that as an
example. We’re going to kill Abraham Lincoln.
I met this man and we are in agreement. He understands it. He is angry about it. And it’s in my heart and now it’s in my mouth and his mouth and now we meet. When we meet, in essence we are planning action. So it goes heart, mouth,
action. And we start to actually plan to execute what is in our hearts. This is a simple little lesson
on what is happening today in our world. People have things in their hearts and they are talking
and meeting each other and they are holding hands. It’s happening. There’s a movement of
ungodliness in our society and it’s bolstered by the holding hands principle. Evil finding evil. This
is called conspiratorial evil. The Greek word is PONEROS. When it’s just in my heart I have
KAKOS. I have evil in my heart but I haven’t yet said it. I have evil in my heart and I might say it
a little bit but when I conspire and I am really working with it to reinforce what it is we are doing.
Like what happened in Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot was righteous.
The people of Sodom and Gomorrah went to his door and said where are the men that have come into see you? We want those men that we may know them. It’s a sexual suggestion. We want those men. Lot said no,
you can’t do that. Hospitality doesn’t allow that. Not in my house. That can’t happen. No, I will
give you my daughters. That’s another message. That’s incredible. I’ll give you my daughters.
Wow, thanks a lot, dad. Dad, thanks a lot. So, he said no and they push on the door. The angels
make them blind and then they keep at it pushing at the door. Avery, come over. Oh, he’s good.
He knows. You see, we are like feeding on this. This is a mentality and embracing it and we’re
pushing on the door. No matter what in this case, we’re not stopping. We’re pushing. Thanks a
lot. Go away! What do we see happening in history? We see the devil in heaven doing very
much like this with the angels. He went through heaven with his message. He was effective. In
principle, they held hands. Those angels that agreed with him they were cast out. There was a
third of them and that’s a lot. They’re cast out of heaven. When they come here, where did they
go? The garden.
Why? Cause God has done something in the garden. And the devil is an
enemy of God. The devil goes into the garden where Adam and Eve are. What does he do? The
same lie. The same lie goes to them and we have fallen and we live in this. But here is the
beautiful thing. Even though we have fallen and we are under a curse. Everyone of us could go
to hell for we are spirit. We will live somewhere. We will live somewhere forever because we are
not just flesh. We are spirit. Hell was made for the devil and his angels and unfortunately people
also but God is a fair God, wise God, righteous God. He does everything perfectly and he’s
speaking to the human race every day. Many times when we find ourselves in trouble – I want
to say, there are people that are caught holding hands and they are trapped. They’re trapped
there. They don’t know what to do. They don’t know how to get out of it. They ‘re trapped. I was
riding in my car yesterday and listening to a radio station. This woman – a talk show host with a
gentle voice and very compassionate in her personna.
Not a Christian program but soft music, relaxation music and then she is putting in a little counseling. This man had said I’m in love with this woman and I can’t get her out of my mind. She’s living with another guy and it breaks my
heart but I know she doesn’t really love the other guy. She really loves me. And I love her. Years
pass. It was like, oh my gosh, the man is in so much trouble in his soul. What a horrible life to
live. What a horrible life trapped. Trapped with my lust. Trapped with my desire. Trapped with
the lies. Trapped with I won’t have any life without this woman. This woman. Are you kidding
me? Your life is measured by a woman? Your life is measured by a job? My life is measured by
a flight home from Budapest? Your life is measured by a dog or a cat? Your life is measured by
a house? Your life is measured by a relationship with people? Cease from man whose breath is
in his nostrils, Is. 2:22. No! No! The voice of God. That’s how you live and that’s how you
increase. There is something else that happens because God is the God that sets you free. God
is the God that loves you.
You might say, Pastor Schaller, you’re way too spiritual. I don’t even –
don’t you know the guy loves the woman? I understand it. I’m a human being too, but the only
answer, honestly, the real answer is God. What about the filling of the Spirit? What about the
Word of Life? What about the cross? What about taking up the cross? Why don’t I bring my life
to the cross and find God? Isn’t God the Savior? Isn’t God the one that releases us from ourselves and our confusion? Doesn’t God give us another kind of unity? Alright. Wait a minute.
Turn to 2 Thessalonians We didn’t even finish that one, did we? 2 Peter 3:17. Led away with the error of
the wicked. Led away with the error of the wicked. The wicked and they’re holding hands.
There’s a movement. And there’s the error there. Can you see the error? Do you see the error?
I could fall into the error. I could grow into the error. I can understand the error. The error is in
my heart too. I am led away by the error of the wicked. I’m led away. A Christian. I’m led away
with the error of the wicked. And I fall from my own steadfastness. So, vs. 18. That’s what we
said was point #1. But grow.
Really? Grow. I think we are growing. I believe that. I think we are
growing. I think when we meet and the Lord visits us and we enjoy it. In a way, our hands are
joining with hands but actually it’s a little different. It’s our hearts are one with Christ. Then our
hearts go to our mouth and then our action and then we look around with each other kind of with
the same heart and the same mouth and the same action and we are on the same team. God is
speaking to the church by the Spirit. And he is saying things to us that resonate in our heart.
When we hear it from our Bible, we go, oh yeah! I was thinking the same thing the other day.
What is said in the Bible is really in our hearts and now in our mouths and in our action and we
are increasing with the increase of God. Growing in the grace and the knowledge of the Lord
Jesus Christ. It’s really in my hearts these days I’m amazed at our church. I am. I am so blessed
by the unity. We don’t have any agenda except the voice. Lord lead us so we can be free from
the foolishness that is in the world that seems to be increasing and moving and there’s an evil
that is happening and yet God is saying but you are not falling into their error and from your own
steadfastness, but you are growing in the grace.
Important word. God’s constant grace towards us. Common grace. Logistical grace. Saving grace. Dying grace. Growing grace. Have you felt the grace? Have you praised God just automatically when you are driving your car. Praise you Lord! Praise you Lord! Thank you. Have you wept? Maybe you’ve wept. You’re heart broken by
something. You are heart broken by life somehow. And the Lord is there with you. You may not
realize it but He’s teaching you and he wants you to live by faith and trust Him. I know it’s hard
but trust him. He is there. He is with you. He is the only one that really cares. How can two birds
fall out of a tree without God knowing? Doesn’t he number the hairs on our head? Doesn’t he
know the footsteps that we take in Psalm 139 and Matthew 12? yes, he does. vs. 18. What kind of
knowledge? Knowledge that works in life. Knowledge that, you know, that to counsel this man
and the woman on the radio told the man, you are chasing a dead – that thing’s over. You got to
go for a walk. These are my words. You got to shake it off. It’s in your head. Get out of there.
That was like, I’m thinking of – I was thinking really? It’s true. People are trapped. They are
trapped by themselves. They don’t have any way. Closing part. Jesus came and he bound the
strong man. The same devil that was in heaven that brought the angels, a third, that deceived
Adam and Eve.
That is in this world now, 2 Thessalonians 2. I don’t have time to go over it. I think that
will happen maybe on Sunday. But I want to teach you about what is happening in the world
today with 2 Thessalonians 2. “The mystery of iniquity does already work.” And there is delusion. God
turns these people over that are holding hands that are so puffed up about what they are
believing and what they are talking about and what they are acting out. He sends them strong
delusion and they suffer. They suffer. They lie down in sorrow. It’s Is. 50:11. I didn’t do it. You
didn’t do it. God did it. God is dealing with people. Why the suffering? Because he has lost
them. And sometimes it’s the suffering that brings you to God. When people get hurt, it’s like
why don’t you go down to Greater Grace and hear a message? Or why don’t you just be quiet
and trust God and pray to God. He’s your loving Father. You must be born again. Jesus bound
the strong man. Tied him up. Wrapped him in duct tape. Satan is bound in practice. That means
Jesus has given us the authority to go into the house and take the captives. We have authority.
We are able to go and invade that territory.
By the way, if you are a war person, a military person in the battlefield, there is somebody that has never left the battlefield. The battle has been raging. You think of a soldier. He’s on the field, and he’s weeks on the field or months on
the field or even years on the field. There’s one who has never left the field and that’s Jesus
Christ. He is with us. He’s in the field. And he is saying, we are fighting a good warfare. We are
on a mission. We have a message. We want to take children and lead them to Christ and teach
them with love. We don’t take them but we are ministering. We are going to the ghetto, the
trailer park. It’s not a ghetto. It’s a beautiful place. We go to the nursing home. We go to the
beltway. We go to residential areas. We go to parking lots. We’re just available. We are praying.
We are thinking. Is someone in trouble? We are on the radio. Is there somebody in trouble? Do you know we are in Cambodia and we are in China and we are in India and Nepal. Do you know
we are in Krygyzstan and Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan? Do
you know that there are Greater Grace people that are there that have been taken out of that
house and are set free?
And there is an increase given to us that are hearing and walking in a
Spirit-filled way and obeying and as we believe, God is giving an increase to us. But grow in the
grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. And to him be glory both now and forever.
I am very much touched by this thought tonight. I want to say it this way to finish. I’m hurt. I’m
sad about it. I’m sad about it. I’m sad there are believers that slide into this whole message that
is evil. That is wrong. It’s from wicked hearts. I don’t trust it. I don’t care how smooth it is, how
handsome it is, how good looking it is, how smart it is, how big tech it is. I don’t care how strong
it is. I don’t know how many people are in it. I don’t know how many people what they believe. I
do not care. I know it is evil. It is wicked. It is ungodly. It is not from God. It does not end well.
And that’s happening. I’m also caring much about people that don’t know anything. They are
trapped. I love it that you and I want to live on a rock higher than us with a mission that’s bigger
than us. This is a lot to digest but you can do it and we can grow in it and think about it.
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.