There’s a world full of chosen ones. Everywhere there are people prepared to hear the Gospel. We are sent to tell them, as Philip was sent to open his mouth. A man was changed. Focus on these important things and God will care for you. (Acts 8:26-36; Psalm 111:2)
Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller
7:00 PM on 11/16/2022
P. Schaller –
Wow! The high school. Great job. Yeah, really great job. What was the little tune that he just sang? What was it
again? The words? Blessed be the name, right? Can you sing it right now with me, a little bit
(Singing). Alright. Would you stand with me for a moment. Sing it again. Let’s go. (Singing). Turn
to your neighbor and say those words to your neighbor. Alright. You may be seated.
Alright. So, this pulpit. Is this okay? I want to push it forward. Okay. That’s good. Okay.
Turn to Psalm 111. P. Pete said – thank you for your prayers. We feel honored as we go somewhere in the
world and we are able to represent Christ and represent what the Holy Spirit is saying to us and
what he’s leading us in as a Body. I kind of want to tell a story tonight and use a text of
Scripture because we were in the other side of the world.
How many time zones are there in the world? It’s like a little geography lesson. These are time
zones. How many in the whole world? How many time zones to get half way across the world?
Twelve. There’s 24. We went 11 time zones, so we were next to China. One time zone away
from going half way around the world. When you think of the world and you think of people
and all of the challenges that we as people have and how many religions and how much
unbelief there is in the world, you really wonder, what is God’s plan? How does it work? What
is he doing? And after all, this is Greater Grace World Outreach. That’s a big thing to carry in our
hearts: the care, the mission, the vision for going into the world with the Gospel. It has
happened and it is happening. I want to talk about it tonight a little bit and relate it to you in
your life because you are at the center of it.
It’s amazing when Christ is with us, we feel we are at the center. Really. People are gravitated –
they say if I go to New York City, maybe I can be in the center of everything. If I go to London,
maybe I can be in the center or I don’t want to be in the center. I want to disappear in the
desert or go to the mountains in Montana. I don’t want to be in the center of anything. But
when you are Spirit filled and Christ is in your heart and you begin to think with God, God has
something for you and that is not natural. It is extraordinary. It is special. It is sacred. It is his
Look at Psalm 111:2. We could stop there. The works of the Lord. Always whenever I begin my
meditation with God, I think of God two ways, as the Creator. I don’t want to rush over that.
The works of the Lord are great. Gravity. The weight of things. The atmosphere. Bugs and
plants. Honey. Fish and birds. Living things in the forest, in the ground, in the sea. God holding
When an atheist makes an argument against God, it’s kind of strange. His platform is God as he
argues against God for it is God that gave him a brain, gave him the ability to reason, gave him
feeling and passion. He is the work of God but he denies God with the platform of his existence
that God has given to him. The works of God as the Creator. They are great. You can meditate on that a long time. I think when you go out in the forest or you look up at the sky at night, you
think of the Creator.
And then the works of the Lord are greater because he is our Savior. What can wash away my
sin? The hymn says. Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? What can
guide my life? What could satisfy me? What could fill my heart? Christ. The works of the Lord
Vs. 2. We are seeking them. I was with my wife the other day and I go, where are my car keys?
Where are my car keys? She said, they’re in your hand! I once was looking for my phone with
the flashlight on my phone! Where is my phone? Where is my phone? It is so easy to be living in
this world and not seek anything regarding God. But we seek the work of God.
Vs. 2. I could be blind. I could miss it. But we just came back from the other side of the world.
We were there four days only. It took a day to go and a day to come back. Six days. Four days
on the ground with the most amazing group of people that have such a great history that I want
to outline for you here in a minute. I want to show you something.
Turn with me to Ecclesiastes 7:13 is another one. That’s a whole message in itself. Vs. 13. It’s like the
other side of that sentence is who can make crooked what he has made straight. Ecclesiastes is
kind of a mirror image. If you know chemistry a little bit, you have a molecule and the mirror
image of it like if you put it in a mirror, the opposite of it the right and left hand, the left hand
and the right hand are like a mirror image of each other. God’s work is, God is speaking to us
about how things that are crooked cannot be made straight.
On the other hand, things that are straight that are made by God cannot be made crooked. An
example is Adam, the first one who is crooked cannot be made straight unless Christ who is
straight is made crooked so he can take a crooked man and make him straight, if you can follow
that. I’m confused myself! No, I got it.
Now, the last part. Acts 8, please. This is the main message. It’s interesting because P. Matt
Gehret, we didn’t talk about it but it’s the same portion I want to share here too tonight. This is
Acts 8:26. The outline of the message the whole world and I always remember P. Tree and I
talking. P. Tree was a missionary in the Philippines and he came for Convention and was out
reaching homeless people. People having struggles with addictions. He did a great job.
I talked to him one day casually at one of our conferences and he said, I go, what would you do
if you had a half a day of time free? What would you do with the time? He said, I’d take a stack
of National Geographic magazines and sit in a room by myself with a cup of coffee, and I’d go
through those magazines and think about reaching people in the world. How to reach them
with the gospel. Reaching people in the whole world. What an amazing thing that is.
So, we have that and #2, there are people in the world that are chosen by God. God’s hand is
on them. God is speaking to them. He is the Creator. He is the Savior. We don’t know who they
are but they are in the world amongst us. They are in White Marsh and Pikesville. They’re in
Philadelphia and Frederick. They are all over the world. They are in every time zone, every
country, every language group, every people group. There are people that are chosen by God.
#3. They are prepared by God. They are prepared by God in pre-salvation preparation. So, we’ll
start reading here from vs. 26. Philip was in a time of revival. Philip was in the center of God’s
work. He was in Samaria where there was a revival and God told him to go south. Vs. 27-28.
Many times, when you go to another place, have it in mind that there may be somebody that is
really prepared by God to hear you. You know, when we lived in Finland during the time of the
Soviet Union, the Soviet Union had 15 republics and they were different countries: Uzbekistan
and Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan and Russia and Ukraine and
Latvia and Estonia and Lithuania and so on. Moldovia. We knew this and we were praying that
Communism would end, that the country would open up, the Iron Curtain would change. P.
Mati and a group of people were into this from the 70’s.
When we were going there on a regular basis, the Iron Curtain came down and he encouraged
a group of us to move to Hungary and we did. In Budapest, we were preaching and seeing God
do this work and then under P. Mati’s encouragement and the team, we rented a jet airplane
from Aeroflot for one week and we could give the pilots our plan, when we wanted to go. We
would go for one or two days, land in that country and preach with the hope that some day we
would have churches in those places. And so, we did that. The cost was low. It was $1,500 for
the whole week and we had 30 people on the plane. There were Russian, Finnish, Swedish,
French, Hungarian, Americans on the plane. We would get off the plane and be in the city and
we would do evangelism and we did this. We just saw this same kind of thing happen that we
Vs. 29. The stories are many of where these people came from in these Greater Grace churches
in these different cities. In a ten year period of time, we planted churches in 24 different Soviet
cities because the people that by faith they just said high priority. High priority is what God
wants to do in sending people and having a home base with Dr. Stevens and the faithful people
here. And the teaching and hearing the message from the pulpit here that prepared our hearts
and gave us a message to share wherever we went in those years of 1990 through to the
We met people that say they hear. They hear the Spirit speaking to them. Even people we
didn’t know at all that we met the first time that they are listening to us through the Russian
translation of P. Teplov. It’s very touching to see that what happens when somebody becomes
Vs. 30. It’s a divine appointment. Philip is told to go south. Then he does and there is a chariot.
The Spirit says get up on the chariot. Go near the chariot. Join yourself to the chariot. Then he
heard this man as he’s traveling back to Ethiopia. He hears him reading Isaiah. It’s some kind of
divine appointment. Some kind of a put together between a man that is called, chosen and he is
being prepared by God to hear a message from Philip. So, this is what happened. Why is this
written here but for us to understand that evangelism is really something from God. To be able
to go and share or be prepared in your heart to open your mouth and to just connect. This is an
extraordinary story about this.
It’s so funny – not funny, but fascinating – P. Gromov was an engineer from Azerbaijan from
Russia, and he cared about the deaf and blind people and how he could help deaf and blind
people by technology. Then there was an emptiness in his heart. He was prepared by God and
when he met P. Mati on an airplane flight one time and he asked, he wanted a contact. P. Mati
said, anything I can do for you? He said I would like to have a Bible. I asked him later, why
would you want to have a Bible? He said because I was a translator in Egypt in the military and I
had a library. When it was time to go back to the Soviet Union, the government said we’ve got
to check all your books to make sure you bring back books – the result was you could take
everything back except the Bible. So, that’s why he wanted one.
Fast forward. P. Gromov, chosen, prepared. P. Mati baptized him in the Caspian Sea. P. Emil,
medical doctor in Kyrgyzstan. Again, prepared by God. P. Gromov became the pastor in
Ashkhabad, Turkmenistan. Then he went to another country to be a missionary there with the
team. Annalie and Aija and group of people to minister and I remember a story. They wanted to
preach the gospel somewhere and they were denied by the authorities.
So, they went to a milk factory. In the milk factory they had some meeting and many people
listening to the gospel. They just never stopped moving, being on the move and sharing.
Knocking on doors not house to house but going here, meeting that official. Quietly talking to a
prison warden at a prison or knocking on a door at a school or university. There are people that
are chosen that are being prepared by God and God answering this. Because we are what are
we, 30 years down the road from this start of this work that happened in this part of the world.
Then, vs. 30-31. #4 is sent. Philip is sent. He’s not just choosing his own. He is sent. It’s not that
he’s ordering his own footsteps. He is sent. God is with Philip and now the man said, how can I
understand unless somebody teach me? Sent. Sacred.
The rap sessions in Russia back in those years, we go to 3:00 in the morning. They would be a
100 people packed in a room. P. Steve Duff did a great job. The Spirit used him to speak in St.
Petersburg for a long period of time and the Spirit moving to build up the Russians in the faith.
We have seen it in the Ukraine. Years with a lot of openness and a lot of hunger. The amazing
marvel of it is that these people remain. I can’t believe it but they remain decade after decade.
In Kyrgyzstan, Polish people came. They got our email. We invited people in Europe to come to
this conference in Kyrgyzstan and God had put it on hearts. Let’s see. Finnish people. Polish
people. People from Turkey they came. I’m sorry if I left anybody – people from Azerbaijan.
People from Uzbekistan came. People from Russia came. In Moscow, P. Teplov, they made a
last minute decision. I think 19 people from Moscow came and we had a Eurocon in Kyrgyzstan
so to speak. P. Pete and Pasha will share. I don’t know if you have some video. The picture will
not be on the internet. It speaks to my heart.
Whether this is P. Scibelli in Africa or P. Stan Collins in Latin America or Mike Plunkett and the
work or whatever names you want – the names aren’t – the laborers are nothing. We that
plant, we that sow, we are nothing. But it is God, it is God that does this. And I know you know
Look at vs. 32. I think if there was ever a part of the Bible that I would like to read and
understand it would be that one in Isaiah 53. What does this mean? It’s at the very heart of our
Christian message. At the very heart of the greatest religion in all the world is this one. Jesus
Christ the lamb of God that takes away our sin. Christ crucified and raised from the dead.
There’s no message like it. the Jewish people gave us the Scripture. They gave us the Messiah,
the answer to every problem in the world. The answer to our despair. The answer to our
tendency to turn inward. Remember that.
You have a tendency to turn inward and get deep in yourself and kind of disappear in some kind
of cosmic, abstract, subjective way of life. But Philip is not in that. Philip is ministering. Philip is
quoting the Scripture, explaining Scripture. Philip is teaching the Bible. He’s leading somebody
to Christ. Philip is investing in a soul. Philip is not turning inward and disappearing in himself. He
is learning Christ. He is learning how to speak, learning how to listen, learning how to relate,
learning how to minister. And many of you have that capacity and please develop it. Learn how
to minister to other people, and it is fun when somebody is prepared by God.
Look at vs. 33-34. What a good question. Is this about Isaiah or is it some other man? It’s
another one, not Isaiah. He is speaking of Christ. He is speaking of the Messiah. Home run.
Philip opened his mouth in vs. 35. #5. He is sent and Philip understands and he is – what’s the
word there – he opened his mouth. We can put here opened his mouth. Let me say a couple
things about that. I don’t know how much this has happened to you in your life, but when God
is with you in a conversation, when Christ is there being made known, when Christ speaks to a
heart and they are listening intently, I know the look on somebody’s face. It’s like when they
are waking up. They are realizing what you are saying is true.
I had a KGB agent, honestly, back in the beginning of the 90’s. This office used to shut down
religions groups. This woman was a captain and she came to one of our meetings. I saw her
kind of collapsing in her face, in her life, in her heart. I saw in the meeting. She wanted to talk to me afterwards. I listened to her and she said, you know, we would take people like you to jail.
We persecuted Christians. We confiscated Bibles. I could see in this whole thing maybe you are
right and we are wrong. Maybe you are right. I’m afraid that you are right. I’m afraid that this is
true. This is what I saw in her. We talked and I had pity on her. We spent some time to help her.
I hope she found Christ. I do no know but she was very much touched. It was happening in her.
So, this is where Philip is speaking and he opens his mouth and he’s talking about Jesus Christ.
The eunuch is getting it. it’s happening. He’s getting it in his heart.
Vs. 36. As they were traveling together in the chariot. I don’t know how many minutes it takes. I
don’t know how many hours or days or months or weeks. I don’t know how God’s work is but
as they were going on their way, you can be sure that this Ethiopian eunuch had something
happening in his life that was very important to him. It was very important. He was convicted of
his sin. He had a need for Christ. It was very important to him. It would not leave him. He would
stay up at night.
I had a guy in Russia years ago. He came to the Thursday night meeting. It was on fire. It was so
anointed, the service. I remember that period of time. I was there two days, that Thursday and
Friday. And he told me – I told the story many times but I want to make it clear. He was there.
And he came back Friday night. He said, do you know why I’m here? I couldn’t sleep last night. I
ate out of the refrigerator. I would go to sleep – I couldn’t because of the meeting. Because of
the meeting, I could not sleep. I couldn’t sleep. So, would go to the refrigerator and eat
something and go back to bed. And I couldn’t sleep. It was so amazing. The meeting was so
amazing. This is what he said. I had to come back tonight and my wife said, stop eating out of
the refrigerator! You’re eating all of our food. Stop eating! He goes, I’m back because Jesus is so
real to me. Wow!
Read the next verse. Vs. 36. Where did he even get the idea? Vs. 37. We had an Islamic brother
in Turkey. His name is Ilhan. And his mother, she’s a Muslim. He put in the car a tape or a
movie. What was the name of it? It was a movie about Jesus. I forget the name of it? The life of
Christ or something. At the beginning of the trip, they traveled eight hours through Turkey. The
mother was listening. He said I played the tape the whole eight hours. I said, mom, who is
Jesus, at the beginning of the trip. She said he is the prophet, prophet Jesus. That’s who Jesus
is. He’s a prophet. Eight hours later I said, mom, who is Jesus? She said he’s the Son of God. He
is the Son of God. Wow! I think it was more than words.
Look at vs. 38. He commanded. He commanded. This is the work of God. You have authority. He
commanded the chariot to stand still. There is God’s work. He’s going to be baptized. He
commanded the chariot to stand still. I stop. The authority of God. It’s a time of salvation. It’s a
time to turn. It’s a time to believe. It happens all over the world and I believe every day there
are people that come to Christ and it’s very, very important. We must have our focus on this.
Have it in the backdrop of your life. You have a professional job. Have this at the backdrop of your life.
You have a family. Have this at the backdrop of your whole life and I. Yes, it’s in our
heart. Worship God. Jesus will say it. he will say to you, care about the gospel. Do you care
about others? Do you care about the world? Do you care about the work that I am doing
because I’m doing it.
You know, years ago, a Finnish woman gave me a donation. Gave us, Greater Grace, $40,000.
She said I want to help with having some church built wherever you want. I don’t really
remember how the whole thing went. It was some years ago, more than 10 or 15. We had it in
our mind. I had counsel. We had a talk. We prayed about it. It went to Kyrgyzstan to help them.
So, they bought a little plot of land. A little wooden house with a German shepherd in it on a
chain guarding the property which was empty except for that little house. One brother, Nurlan,
had been thrown out of his home because he turned to Christ. His family said you can’t – his
father was angry with him cause they were Muslim.
So Nurlan slept in that little house and he guarded the property with the German shepherd which became his friend. Nurlan learned English. Nurlan is a gifted brother. Nurlan found Christ. Nurlan is a precious saint of God. He’s a
pastor in St. Petersburg, Russia today, married and has a child. Beautiful story. Another one.
Another one. Another one.
We bought the land and we couldn’t build anything on it. We didn’t have any money. Then
some money came and P. Emil with a vision and what an amazing job. Right now, a large church
is there built step by step over a ten year period of time. The German shepherd is gone to his
long home whether that is. That church building is a testimony of God and his work. The work
of God is sought out. It’s sought out. You have to look for it. It’s actually everywhere. It’s sought
out by those that have pleasure therein. We enjoy the stories. And then the house being filled
and people coming and believing a hearing wherever.
Vs. 38-39. The Greek word here is the same for Rapture. Caught away. Harpazo. Snatched away.
Philip is snatched away from it. He’s gone on to another place. He probably didn’t see him go.
He just disappeared. He was snatched away. What did the eunuch do? The eunuch was in the
hand of God and he went on his way rejoicing. You know, every country needs youth ministry.
Every country needs young adult ministry. Every country needs a pulpit. Every country needs
pastors. Every country needs missions. Every country needs the desire to see God’s work on
many levels and there are many levels to it.
Tonight, in the rap, P. Pete and Pasha will share some more about this. There’s some pictures
and so on. I just want to share it with you and encourage you and say there is no limit. I want to
add another little note and that is how when the Jews came out of Egypt, they were more
concerned with their children than going into the Promised Land. They were more concerned
with their difficulties than going into the Promised Land. They were more concerned about
their own things than going into the Promised Land. And the Lord said then because of that, you have not set me before your face, then you will die in the wilderness, but your children will
go in. They will go in. I will do it. I will bring in the next generation, but I will not have this
generation go in and see my work. They will not see it.
We are those that are caring about seeing God in our prayer, seeing God in our worship and in
our obedience. In my list here, this is the last two. Obedience. And then #8 is joy. That’s the
message for tonight. Thank you, Jesus. Lord, how did Dr. Stevens believe that we could ever go
into all the world? How could he do that? Most of us pastors care about the immediate life, the
immediate problems, the immediate challenges. We cannot see to the next town or the next
city or next state or country. We are occupied in our lives with our lives.
How did he see it? And the Holy Spirit will say he read my Bible. He read this book. He lifted up
his eyes. He believed God. He lived by faith. He went and he told us to go. And we did and we
come back saying the German shepherd dog is gone and a big building is there filled with
people in a faraway country saying Jesus Christ is the Lord. Their families are blessed. Their
country. the vision for it. the work of God. The answered prayer, and the continuation of what
we believe. And may we do it until Jesus comes back, amen. May we do it and not stop and find
the great blessing. God will take care of you. God will take care of you and your family. God will.
God will take care of you.
I got to say this not to promote ourselves, but my wife and I went to Hungary in 1990. One year
later, we decided okay. She can stay in America and our children and she will raise the children
and I will come and go from Hungary and however we do it. we did it year by year and there
were people that didn’t like it. But Dr. Stevens said he believed and he believed we were in
God’s will. So, we did it. Thirteen years later, things changed and Dr. Stevens asked if we could
come back and be here and stay here and help him in Baltimore and we did.
We could say, where is our family? By God’s grace the family, the family that you cherish and
love with all your heart is in the hand of God. What you and I need to do is to be occupied with
the things that are of the utmost importance whatever that means. I know there can be a
balance to what I am saying maybe somehow, but it’s not bad hearing what I have to say. I have
no idea how it happened with our children: Bethany and Amy and Justin and Kyle. I have no
idea. And our grandchildren. I have no idea how all that happens. It’s way above and beyond us
and it’s not to make any other point then that if you and I will focus on the important thing,
God will take care of your life.
You and I can focus on what he wants us to do in our life.
Church life is part of your life. Make it a priority. Make your church important to you in your
heart. Just be patient. Live by faith and don’t back off. Be a worshipper. God will lead you and
guide you and take care of you. God will take care of your family. God will take care of your life
and your work. Maybe we have one more day to live. Maybe one more decade. God knows but
it’s in his hands. Trust him and follow him in his will. Amen. Pray with me please.
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.