Ravi Zacharias went to be with Jesus this week. We consider his life of faith as a man who ministered with delight. We mark men like him who live uprightly. Some of us are so much in bondage, as this man was as a 17 year old. But John 14:19 touched him and he came alive. We can do the same. We do not have to be defined by the virus of our days. We can live in Him. (Psalm 37; John 14:19; 2 Peter 2:19)

Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller, 
Sermon 11889
7:00 PM on 5/20/2020

P. Schaller –

Good evening sisters and brothers. Praise God! Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord! Praise you, Lord! Thank
you, God for our assembly tonight. Thank you for our parking lot. Thank you for every believer
who came out and watching online. We salute you. We praise God. Yesterday, my neighbor
who I haven’t seen for many weeks was at his shed. I called out to him. Hey, Brent! He came
over to me and we did a fist bump and he said I’m starving for human contact. I said I am also.
We talked for a few minutes and he hasn’t been out of his house much during these weeks. I
would like to say that we rejoice tonight because we can gather at our church and have human
contact. We can greet each other of course and assemble in the faith with a lot of joy and
thanksgiving in our hearts.

I want to speak on Psalm 37 but before I do, or by way of introduction, I want to make reference to Ravi Zacharias who is one of our heroes in the faith. He went home to be with the Lord I believe yesterday. He has an amazing testimony as an Indian born 17-year-old sceptic, very discouraged with thoughts of suicide. He heard a Bible
verse, John 14:19. This is at the Last Supper. “Because I live, you shall live also.” When he heard
that verse, it didn’t leave him. It went into his heart. “Because I live, you live also.” That is what
has happened to us. We have seen this testimony resonating around the world and this
summer in August as we plan.

As you know things change and we are in a kind of unstable period. But that is also good for us, and hopefully this summer in August we’ll have our Convention here, perhaps here in this parking lot. We are planning that. People will be walking around saying, “because he lives, I live also.” What do you mean? We mean in 2 Peter 2 this
verse which I would love for you to memorize, a segment of the verse. Vs. 19. You see Ravi
Zacharias was in a kind of bondage, a bondage of unbelief. Tonight, after the service in the
chapel, we’ll have our rap session on Apologetics, Defending the faith with Philippe Serraji,
myself, and two others. You are welcome to come in and be part of that. There are many
people in bondage. They go in and out of bondage.

There are different kinds. Bondage of unbelief, the bondage of fear, the bondage of guilt, the bondage of being alone and afraid. The bondage of bad habits and addictions. I was thinking today of some people their life may be
defined by the era of the coronavirus. You might say, before corona I was 50 pounds lighter.
Before corona, I was having a great time. After, something happened. I developed some bad
habits, bad attitude. I fell into bondage. I was overcome. For whom a man is overcome the
same is brought into bondage. When Jesus came into this world, the thing we loved about him
and we love about him when we see him in this world, he’s not afraid to confront any bondage.
There were demons and they did not intimidate him.

Even the religious people who were very intimidating washing pots and pans and hands and looking at the external. There was a bondage of the fear of the ocean or the lake, a fear of drowning, a fear of the wind. There are
many fears. A father fearing the loss of his son. The Syrophoenician coming to Jesus because of
her demon possessed child. There are so many things that overcome us. I think Ravi Zacharias
as a young man when he found Christ and these great words, “because I live you live also.” And
when you live, you live through me. You are not in bondage. John. 8:32 “you shall know the truth
and the truth will set you free.”

When he was in 1984 after he became a believer and started to
preach and teach and was a missionary, Billy Graham discovered him, and gave him a platform and that set up Ravi Zacharias for his worldwide ministry: 48 years of ministry, 25 books,
shaking the world, a school of apologetics and evangelism and establishing people in the faith
and helping many sceptics find Christ. Halleluiah! Halleluiah! Halleluiah! But what was behind
him? What was in his life? Psalm 37. I was saying to P. Steve here on the platform tonight, what
a privilege and honor to be here and honor God with our time and energy and interest and
focus. There might be some people that might say after corona or before corona and say
something about church service. Before I went; after I don’t go.

Before I thought this way; after I changed, and I thought this way. I want to say to you and I; we are in a time where we have found the deepest water, the deepest relationship, the deepest and most important thing in
life. We have found God and it’s through God that we have become the way we are. It’s
through God we drive our car to a parking lot. It’s through God we have a victory and a smile
and a sense of freedom and joy in our spirit and an authority in life. Ravi Zacharias could have
died without being known by the world, but something happened. Psalm 37:1 There are
evildoers in the world. We are not worried about them. There’s another Joseph Stalin and Adolf
Hitler. There’s another this one and that one. They are present with us. They are in this world
but are you worried about them? We have found a fountain of life, a ministry, a way of
touching people. We have a found a mystery.

We have found the living God. We have found it. Vs. 1-3. Have you been fed? Have you been feeding on the lamb? Have you been fed by your life of faith? Have you been fed by the filling of the Spirit? Have you been fed. Vs. 4? Delight yourself in God. Be God conscious. When Ravi Zacharias would be in a debate or contest with
an unbeliever, you could sense his spirit was not one of contention but ministry. He wasn’t
angry or hateful. He had a tender spirit and a tender ministry to people that disagreed, because
he was delighting in God who has saved us and given us a spirit of love, a spirit of truth, a spirit
where we are not in any bondage, where we can rejoice and love God with all our hearts. It says
about George Mueller that he would not preach until his heart was happy in the grace of God.

John Roybrook would not write while his feelings were low but would go away to a place and
wait on God until his spirit led him. Joseph Haydn in his music they said, “why is your music so
cheerful?” “When I think upon God, my heart is so full of joy that the notes dance and leap as it
were from my pen, and since God has given me a cheerful heart, it will be part in me that I
serve him with a cheerful spirit.” Delight in God and he gives you the desires of your heart. Vs.
5, 7-8, 11. I remember in the gospels when Jesus said, what evil have I done? Who have I hurt? I
only proclaimed the message. You heard me in the temple day and night. Why didn’t you arrest
me then? Why are you arresting me now?

The world is so confused. The world is so troubled. We must forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing. We have found we are not in bondage to anything or anybody. Lastly here, we think of Ravi Zacharias and men and women of God like him. Vs. 23. I don’t know how to say it, but God is with you. God is with you. Your
steps are ordered. He delights in the way that you take. When he watches you walk, he is so
rejoicing in how you walk. When he watches you forgive, he is so delighted. When he sees your
come to him in faith, he is so delighted in your way. When you give attention to your heart in
truth, he is so delighted to set us free. He is so delighted in ministering to you. He is delighting
in your way. Vs. 24. We will fall, stumble, go down, bounce back up.

Fall, lay own for a minute, recover, and get up. It’s too good. God is too good. It’s great to be free. It’s good to have this
life, this truth in us. Down, down, down you go like Jonah in the whale. Down, down, down into
the sea he goes. Down, down, and then God speaks to the fish and up, up, up he comes. Vs. 24-
27. Let’s pause for a moment. Depart from evil. They say that the pornography websites are 4
times visited more frequently now than before corona. It leads you to wonder what other vices
we fall into as human beings. Maybe into some unbelief or some fear or fall into a bad habit or
something that is wrong, and I’m overcome. I’m in bondage to that. Depart from me. Proverbs 5 it
says about this woman. “The lips of a strange woman drop as honeycomb and her mouth is
smoother than oil” (Proverbs 5:3).

You think of the authority of a woman over a man. You might say no a man has authority over a woman. This says, no. This is powerful. Her voice, her words, her seduction and how that goes and what happened. Then it says, “but her end is bitter than wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death and her steps take hold on
hell.” (Proverbs 5:4-5). That’s where it goes. Psalm 37:27-31. I think if you were to interview Ravi
Zacharias tonight if that was possible, he could say I can’t believe it. I lived an extraordinary life.
How did that happen? Why did I have all the days of my life the sense of God blessing me? We
could say because Jesus said, “because I live, you shall live also.” Because Jesus said, I will set
you free and you will not be in any bondage to any man.

You won’t be in bondage like the world is. Vs. 35, 37. Have you seen the wicked in great power? Great empires like Nebuchadnezzar. I have seen the wicked in great power like Pharaoh of Egypt. I have seen the wicked in great
power like the Third Reich in Germany. Hitler said the Third Reich would last one thousand
years, but it lasted fourteen. I saw them with the 4-billion-man army in Germany. Vs. 35-36. He
was gone. The Reich was gone. The power was gone. The lust thereof was gone. The world it
was gone and there were graves and tombs and destruction and burned out cities and it
destroyed a country and economy, a whole generation wiped out. We are celebrating tonight
our faith and saying, would you please mark the perfect man? Would you please mark
somebody like Ravi Zacharias?

Would you take note of the men and women of God? They may be fewer in number, but they are a mighty people. They are the ones that inhabit heaven. And you and I are one of them by his grace. We have been raised with Christ, seated with Christ, anointed by Christ, dwell with Christ, speak the word of Christ, believe in the Father of Christ.
Christ has shown us the Father. Mark him it says in vs. 37. Ravi, are you afraid of death?
“Though I go through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me
and thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” When do they comfort you? Long ago when I was a
young man. And then again, and again and now at the end.

Aren’t you afraid? No, I’m not in bondage. I’m not in bondage to death. I do not have those fears. I’m not afraid. Yes, we are human and yes, we have those things. I’m not denying that reality but there is a higher reality
and that is what Jesus Christ came into the world to give us. What we have and what we
declared tonight to everyone listening. Before it is too late in your life because you don’t know
what a day will bring forth. You do not know – it says Proverbs 29:1. Tomorrow could be death. But
“death where is your sting?” “Grave, where is your victory?” What is it? There is no man Lord.
Remember John 8. Where are your condemners? There’s no man Lord. You are looking into the
face of the Savior and he says, neither do I condemn you.

Every day Jesus could look into your face and say, neither do I condemn you. Go, and sin no more. Mark that person. They have found grace. Mark that person. They have found God. Mark that person. They have found
quietness. Mark that person. They have found boldness. Mark that person they have found a
new kind of faith. They have found Jesus Christ. To those listening, please come to Jesus by
faith tonight. Say to Christ, Jesus Christ I come to you by faith. I need you. Save me and deal
with me. Love me. Forgive me. Encourage, me. Speak to me. Help me that I might go to bed
with perfect peace at night. I might wake up and have my troubles and so on, but I might have a
deeper sense of peace that passes understanding. In Jesus’ name we say these things.

Amen.

 

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