Going to church is a healthy practice. It brings support and strength. It’s a place to go when you’re in trouble. (2 Kings 4:8-16; Ecclesiastes 7:2)
Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller
7:00 PM on 10/20/2021
P. Schaller –
I feel like this is
a night of rejoicing in the Spirit, just rejoicing all night. Just thinking of the amazing gift of grace
that we have through Christ and just to assemble and recognize him in each other and with us
and the benefits.
Do you think going to church helps your blood pressure? Huh? Does it? How else does it help?
My emotions, my mind, my engagement, my sense of purpose in life to be in the presence of
God and his people.
Turn to Mt. 10 for just a short word for us tonight, and a question. vs. 40. He’s speaking to the
disciples. He that receives you receives me. Wow. vs. 40. So, when we are on the earth and
God is with us this way, we really have an effect here and then vs. 41. Have you received a
messenger from God? How about when you were born again? You received the message. You
received the person talking to you, and you heard something more and you received a reward.
He that receives a prophet, receives a prophet’s reward. What is the prophet’s reward? What is
the reward that you get by receiving the message of the prophet? Good question, isn’t it? Have
you benefited by receiving the ministry?
Look at vs. 41b. Give me some names of righteous men in the Bible: Joseph, Caleb, Abraham,
Paul, Noah. Hey, if I receive Noah, I don’t need a life jacket. I’m in good shape. I receive Noah. I
get a reward. I get a reward. If I receive the ministry of the disciples in Jerusalem, I’m born
again, and I’m in the Body of Christ, I receive reward. What’s the reward? Maybe you’ll end up
getting courage. What man in the Bible is known for his courage but Elijah who faced off with
the false prophets and called fire down. He challenged them. If I receive Elijah, I receive Elijah’s
ministry. I always say Elijah 1 and 2 because I can’t say their names right in Hebrew or
however. He received two times the Spirit, didn’t he?
I don’t know exactly how it works, but I know I’m better off by being with you and being with
God’s people. I’m better off receiving a ministry that is on the earth amongst us that comes from
God. If I find it, I’m very interested. I’m very, very interested because I’m going to gain
something. I’m going to gain something that the world cannot give. God gives it.
God makes a man of God. God makes a woman of God. God makes a teenager of God. He
takes an elderly person and makes them a man of God, a woman of God. He gives them
something that they didn’t have but they received. They received it. God gave it to them.
How do you think the ministry grows and multiplies? It’s this way. It’s not us. It’s God that gives
to us. It’s God that gives to us and puts it in your heart. I remember many years ago when I was
listening to Dr. Stevens and I knew so little my first year or so, my heart started to, my heart was
moving. I started to believe.
I started to focus. I was receiving what God was giving. I started to
desire, the desire for the things of God. Where did I get it? I got it from the Lord. He gave it to
you. He gives it to you, and it works in your heart. Maybe you don’t talk about it, but you start
walking in it, walking by faith and you don’t know where it will bring you, but it’s a good thing.
You don’t know what it means exactly but it’s a good thing and you walk in it.
Go to the next part, vs. 41. Paul is a righteous man but look at his suffering. Yes, but he’s a
righteous man. Timothy looked at Paul and Paul said don’t be ashamed at my chain. Get over it.
God is with you Timothy, and life is bigger than a chain. A chain which he had because he was
arrested. He had literally a chain around his feet and wrists presumably. Don’t be ashamed of it.
You’re bigger than the chain. You’re bigger than the persecution. You’re bigger than the
problems. I am with you. God is with you. You receive a righteous man and you get a righteous
man’s reward. That’s pretty awesome.
I think you folks and myself, we’re looking for what God wants to give us in our life, and don’t
underestimate his grace. You might say you don’t know me. You don’t know my background. It
doesn’t matter. I don’t need to know it. I just know that God, you receive a righteous man, you get a righteous man’s reward. That’s what I know. You don’t know what God will do with you.
You don’t know how he will lead you. You don’t know how God will use you, but it’s a blessing.
Even if – it’s not a matter of being used. It’s just a matter of having an amazing amount of peace
in life. I’m not afraid. I’m not afraid. I’m not ashamed. I’m not ashamed. I don’t feel weak. I feel
some inner strength. I’m okay. I can overcome. I’m built up. When I fail, I get up again because
there’s no better life than to live the life of a righteous person. It’s the best thing going, and you
and I have it.
vs. 42. You could say in the context of what I was just saying, whatever you do. You do a small
thing, you are rewarded. Whatever you do. You forgive, you are rewarded. I’m going to close. I
have noticed in the ministry through years that Christians have a very hard time forgiving. They
do not forgive. They hold grudges. They quietly go along their way. They say their prayers but I
don’t believe God is in their prayers. I’m not God but I’m trying to say something. Jesus said you
leave your gift at the altar and go get right with your brother and then you come back and offer it
up. Why do I say it? Because that teaching is amongst the righteous. That’s from the Bible.
That’s what Jesus says. So beware. Be a very forgiving person. And control your tongue. And
do not accuse the brethren, and be built up in faith.
I don’t care about somebody’s criminal background. I don’t care about something happened in
somebody’s past. I don’t care. It’s none of my business. I know that God is a forgiving God, a
gracious God. I’m not harboring criminals in our church. We already know half of you are! You
continue to be, but it’s better you are here than out there. If you receive a righteous man, you
get a righteous man’s reward. Amazing! That’s not human beings talking. That’s God talking.
God said it. You’re a criminal. You come in here. You receive a righteous man, you get a
righteous man’s reward. What about that? That’s amazing.
Why am I saying this? Because going to church is one of the healthiest things you can do for
your life. Eating blueberries is the second thing! Going to church is the greatest thing you can do
for your health, your spiritual life, your psychological health, your spiritual health, your physical
health. You will live longer. You will be happier. You’ll have better friends. You’ll talk better.
You’ll listen better. Going to church is the greatest thing going on on this earth. It’s no wonder
the devil wants to keep it a secret, cause he’s afraid of it. If you are a righteous man and you
receive a righteous man’s reward, whoever you are, you receive a righteous man, you receive a
reward for that. Amen. Let’s get on with the service. Let’s take the offering and sing. Okay. You
may be seated.
One theologian, Anglican actually, “fluent in five languages, possessing an impressive resume,
his story isn’t one of privilege, but his view is that the church saved my life. He grew up in a
poor, Florida trailer park. His family went to church perhaps once a year, but his religious
background was in his words “southern alcoholic.” His father was either absent or abusive. He
had no close friends when he attended school. It was a torment. Barely into his teens, he began
to manage the stress with drugs and alcohol. But then, he visited a Presbyterian youth group to
impress a girl. It didn’t change everything overnight. He continued to have a rough life, including
a brush with homelessness, but he also had friends in churches who took care of him during
crises, helped him stay connected and showed him another way to live as he sees church
offered him above all social and relational capital that was in short supply in his fragmented
communities. The bonds I formed in church meant that when things got bad, there is was
something else to do besides the next bad thing. His case is not a dramatic one, but illustrates a
documented pattern in our society.
People find their social and personal lives improved. Sometimes their lives are even physically saved when they go to church often.” Good word. I’d like you to turn with me to a story in 2 Kings 4. This will be a meditative, short probably good message for us as we think about our world and the people that are around us and the needs
that they have for people like you. Yes, people like you. You that have the Spirit and walk in the
Spirit. People like you who have something to say. One time, somebody heard me just talking in
a kitchen and the man just looked at me twice. He said, where did you learn that? I said, I
learned it at church. Church? He said. What church? And I told him. Things you say, attitudes you have, your joy, your freedom, your love. This is all very much needed all around us.
The message of the world is more hate and victimhood.
That doesn’t help a kid at a Florida trailer park, at our local high school or on the street. Come with me to church. Come with me. Meet some of my friends. Come with me. I want to – come to my house. We can pray. I can
show you something. I can talk to you, you know. And so on. This is what I want to say tonight.
2 Kings 4:8-9. I wonder how many times he came to her house and ate bread. I wonder how
that worked. I like the whole idea of being open and inviting and being hospitable. Look at our
deck. It’s a hospitable presentation to the community. Come and be with us. These three on
three basketball tournaments we had in the summer. It’s hospitality. Come to a barbaque and a
cookout. In the end of October, our flea market out in the parking lot. And I heard that most of
the tables are bought up by people outside of our church, which means there will be really good
stuff! Really good stuff! It’s bad news for my wife because I’ve already packed out the garage.
Okay. With stuff I find on the side of the road! That’s one reason why I bought an old pickup
truck, just so I can drive around and pick up the stuff that people throw away and enjoy it!
Go to chapter 4:9. Wow. Are you a holy man of God? Are you a holy woman of God? Wow. If
you are, and you are. Somebody will see that. Somebody will see that. Wow. I think it happened
to me when I was a very little guy, maybe really small guy. I remember this man with a truck on
the road where we were living and I remember he didn’t say much. I don’t know. I really don’t
know but it struck me some how like that man there is something different about him.
Something. That’s beautiful. Anyway, I believe this happens to people.
Look at vs. 10. They got some furniture for him. They made a place for him. You have to make a
place in your heart for the things of God, for the man of God, for the church of God. You have to
make a place in your home. That’s your little place – this is where the map of the world is. This
is my little library. This is the stool and the table. This is a place where I can sit. This is where I
have my meditation. This is a place where I set it apart in my house. This is a place. God is
I have a place for a man of God in my house. I have a place in my heart for the
man of God. I listen to the messages. I relisten to the messages from Dr. Stevens, and I’m
amazed again and again. I’m not just saying that. I’m amazed. Many times I just go, wow! I
remember that. That is so good. I love that. That is so true. That is so wise. Thank you, Lord.
That is very precious. What do we mean? I know that we do this, but it means that there is something good coming.
There is something better. There is something good coming. There is a feast coming. That’s
what we are calling our Christmas series, the Christmas feast. The greatest Christmas feast in
the year. The Incarnation and the resurrection following and Easter. But imagine the feast. I
would go to the house of mourning, Ecclesiates 7:2, the house of mourning is better than the house of
Turn there with me just cause I think I can digress and get back to what I want to say without too
much problem here. It’s so precious verse for us. I think we can memorize it. vs. 2. What
happened when Samson went to the house of feasting? He was on the lap of Delilah. That’s the
house of feasting. It was party time, but then he lost his eyes. He lost his strength. He lost his
hair. He lost his anointing. He went to the house of feasting. I think the whole world was in the
house of feasting when Noah was building the ark. They were feasting, buying and selling and
getting married and having a feast and then the flood came. The house of feasting.
Beware of the house of feasting. It’s a place where Job’s sons were when the hurricane came
and Satan destroyed the house, remember? And they were killed. The house of feasting.
Sometimes you think everybody wants to go to the ball game. Everybody wants to go the
Ravens stadium. It’s a house of feasting. Everybody loves that. A game. A tournament. A party.
A wedding. Everybody loves it. But then, wait a minute. Could I go to the house of mourning. It’s
there on the wall. The cross.
The house of mourning and could that place be better than the house of feasting. Keep your eye on it. That house of mourning.When you say to God, I have sinned. You say to God, I am responsible. I own it. You say to
God, I am proud and arrogant. You say to God, I am unforgiving and bitter. You say to God, I
am undone. I am a sinful person. That’s a house of mourning.
But keep your eye on it because that’s what’s turned into a huge and amazing future, an
amazing blessing. The house of feasting at Pentecost. The house of feasting in the church. Do
you know why we come here? Cause we have joy. Where did the joy come from? From God.
How did you get to God? By the house of mourning. By saying I am a sinner and I need Jesus
Christ your Son, your only Son who can save me. The only Son who can fill me. Your Son who
can change my life and turn me from an alcoholic to a saint of God, from an empty person to
I honestly believe we leave many times here and we are filled with the Spirit. We drive home
and it’s better with our wife when we are filled with the Spirit. It’s better for our thought life when
we are filled with the Spirit. It’s better with our emotions and our attitude and our direction in life
when we are filled with the Spirit. I have ten things here that, “The Surprising Benefits of Going to Church.” Ten reasons why you should go. One of them, – it goes through the list. You can do your own research on it. I’m not
going to do it for you! One of them is church helps us better connect with our spouse. The
church allows us to feel reverence. Church gives us opportunities to give back. Wow. That’s a
good one. Give back. To serve. It helps us find the lesson in our trials. It teaches us forgiveness.
It fills our hearts with song. Church is where we find deeper meaning in life.
So this story goes this way. vs. 11-13. What’s to be done for you? I like that. When you have a
place in your life for God, God sooner or later will say to you, what can I do for you? What can I
give you? What prayers can I answer. What are you looking for? I believe that. God, I would like
you to heal me of my cancer. God, I would like you to help me raise my son. God, I don’t have
that many friends. I would like you to help me in that area of my life. I want to learn how to be
with people. I think being with people is important but I struggle with it. But I got a man of God in
my house. I made a room for him. There’s something going on in my life that is better for me. It’s
better for me than to live in my small world of fear and so on. I like this little phrase. Maybe
some of you preachers and Sunday school teachers can use it some time. It’s this little phrase.
vs. 13. Do you want me to speak to the king about you? Could I speak to the king about you? I
like this idea.
No, Elijah. You don’t have to talk to the king. He’s too small potatoes. That’s not
enough for me. You can talk to the king all day long. He couldn’t do a thing for me. What I need
is something from you. I need something from God. I need something that can’t happen by a
king or by money or anything else. I need God. I need God to do something for me.
What do you need? Didn’t Elijah say – cause it’s like a triangular communication. It’s like often –
Elijah is not talking directly with these people, but he’s the power behind it. And he says to
Gehazi, what is it? Let’s read it. vs. 14. okay. Real stuff. Real stuff. Okay. So, he told her in a
year from now you’ll have a son, and it happened. He said call her. vs. 15-16. Nine months.
“According to the time of life.” I think that’s the gestation period. You will embrace a son. vs. 16.
It was so unbelievable to her, she couldn’t believe it. Don’t lie to me.vs. 17.
This is where I want to end and say this to us tonight. I don’t know what God is doing in
your life tonight, but if you keep coming, if you keep at it, if you walk humbly, if you hear
something and apply it. You embrace it. You receive a righteous man. If you are in the Body of
Christ, it’s good for you. I do not know what it will mean for you individually or personally. I just
know it’s good for you. Something good is going to happen. Something good is going to happen.
There is something that is going to happen that you can’t explain it but God is good.
I think God could make some of us very blessed in many ways like spiritually blessed with gifts,
effective. I think God could bless us physically with physical life. I think God could bless us in ways that we do not know about. I just believe that, cause God said that we are to be submitted
one to another. I can’t submit to someone on a Zoom meeting. I mean I can.
I’m submitted to God but it’s not Body life. Zoom meeting’s are not Body life. Zoom meetings are flat like eating
cardboard for lunch. I look at a picture of a hamburger in a magazine and say, Oh, that is
delicious! But it does not satisfy me. It does not go in my belly. It does not meet my need. Face
to face. Greet one another by name and see each other face to face. Have fellowship with each
other with the gifts and all of the dynamics of a spiritual life in the presence of God where two or
three meet together in the Zoom meeting! There am I in your midst. No! It’s not there in the
Greek! It’s not there. Alright. Amen.
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.