God meets Abraham and eats with him. He tells Abraham the truth about Sarah and her miracle pregnancy, about Sodom and its sin. God must honor His righteousness and the righteousness He gives to us. He heard Abraham’s prayer and rescued Lot. Genesis 18:1-17
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
7:00 PM on 8/19/2020
P. Schaller –
It’s great to be singing, praising, listening, quiet. It’s great to be in the house of God. Wow! The Scripture says
my house shall be called a house of prayer for all people. That’s our theme tonight. Prayer. We
are facing many challenges in our nation. Also Franklin Graham called for prayer in Washington,
D.C. in September. You’ll hear about that. The church, the Body of Christ being the salt and light
in the world that we have in our hearts the righteousness of God. One of the things about
righteousness is it’s when we taste it, we find it, we are alive because of righteousness. We love
it. What’s right. What’s true. You know get through the layers and find out what it is and love
righteousness. This is why we assemble because we are in the light and we want the
righteousness of God in our lives.
This is food for us. We have it. We live in it. We love it. We also recognize bad people. Could you say this with me. We also recognize bad people. When we say “bad,” do it like a sheep would say it. Baahhd people! Are there bad people? We’re all bad. It’s like it’s called discernment to recognize something that is not true. That’s a lie. To see the
character of a thing to recognize what it is. It’s important in life. Here I do not have an example
of a bad person. I do not have. He’s here for another reason. Just to get your attention. I’m
serious. I’m feeling it in my heart. I just love – my wife said to me on Friday I can’t wait for
church on Sunday. I go wow! That’s amazing. Are you just saying that? I don’t know if you feel
it. I feel it. It’s a centerpiece for life. We love righteousness. We seek truth. We benefit from it.
We grow in it. We change in our life in the Lord. That will be our theme tonight.
I asked P. Pete to come up because I feel we are at a place in this period when our nursery can be open, and
our junior church, and we get back to where we were before in serving and ministering in that
capacity. Just to say it to the folks online and everyone here. We are looking for the workers.
We are looking for the people who are going to help us. Pray about it and think about it. Come
forward and help us out. A lot of families want to come and want their kids to be taught. We
are of that view. Come on. Let’s go. We’re thankful for that in God’s leading and God’s way.
I think whenever you get to a place in life where it’s difficult or you don’t know how to
do it, or we are scared or unsure, a great way to proceed is do things by faith. I have in my heart
that kids need to be in Sunday School. They need to hear the Word just like you and I need the
Word. I’m done canceling things. I’d like to have Sunday School on Wednesday night for
children and nursery. We can offer both Sunday morning and Wednesday night. I can’t do it
with the staff I have. We’re asking you to take a step of faith. I believe it’s the right thing to do.
Let’s get the show on the road. We’ve been good. I want to have Sunday School. Amen!
P. Schaller –
I remember years ago Dr. Stevens said this statement. I was a young guy in the
church listening. He said God has to obey two things. So when he said that, he got my attention
completely. God has to honor two things: his own righteousness and the righteousness he gives
to people, which is his own righteousness, but it’s yours. He has to honor the righteousness that
he gave you. This is the key to our new life in a practical way. Because when Jesus died, we know there
was a transfer. He took our sin and we took his righteousness. We have power. We have
fellowship, communion, connection with God. Recently I have been getting up and getting on
my knees. Getting up in the morning or getting up in the night and getting on my knees and just
being quiet and listening. Of course, there is all kinds of noise that can happen but then there is
the listening and the love God has for you and me. He loves us. He loves us so much he gave us
This is the Holy Spirit in us and with the Holy Spirit in us we don’t know how
to pray in Rom.8. We don’t know what to pray for but the Spirit in us knows and he prays. The
Spirit makes intercession for us with groanings that cannot be intelligibly understood because it
is spiritual. We could say it is love. It is faith. It is patience. It is righteous. Isaiah 58, I remember this
story. We were in Hungary in the 1990’s and we had a revival going on. This is maybe 1994. We
went in 1990 and we had a real work of God happening. People were coming from the
countryside. They were coming from the big city of Budapest with two million people. They
were crossing town and coming by bus and tram. People were listening and salvation and
changes in people’s lives.
We were renting a hall, a theater for $3,000 a month which is a lot of
money for a lot of people with low income, but it was happening, and God was doing some
great things. Then in September, we rented the room which was also a lot of money. I said why
can’t we buy a building here? And our team the way we work like a team, a staff, a group and
we had the Bible college students, and we went outside one night from our Bible college class
and we made a circle and said a prayer that in within one year we would have a building, Lord.
A big building. A building that would work well for us. That was in September. In May, we
bought a building, a large building. It was more square footage than this property. Square
footage. It was vertical. This is horizontal. Anyway, prayer. Answered prayer. You are righteous.
God respects you. You are righteous.
You have his ear, Psalm 5. You have authority with God. You are a child of God. You are a righteous person. When we sin, we confess and what happens? He forgives. He cannot remember it anymore. It’s over. It’s gone. I sin again and again and again. What happens? I am righteous by God’s grace. He declares me righteous for
salvation and his Holy Spirit will never leave me. I just need to agree with him. I say, I have
sinned. I agree with him. It says if we confess our sin, he is faithful and just to cleanse us from
all unrighteousness. So there is a moment I am cleansed from all unrighteousness. Someone
might say that’s a formula for sinning and fellowshiping with God and sinning and
fellowshiping with God. The answer is, yes it is. But can you think of a better way to deal with
a sinner? Can you think of a better way than to give grace to that person and say I forgive you?
Can you think of a better way than to give your only begotten Son so that is possible and now
God is pleased by your faith? Can you think of a better way? Legalistic people don’t like that
message. It gives people too much liberty and freedom. Well, if you don’t know that kind of
liberty than you won’t know the God of all grace. The God that says that’s the way I roll. The
way I roll is by grace and by love and my goodness can change someone’s heart in Romans 2:5.
The goodness of God leads me to repentance. When you sin, you don’t enjoy it when you know
righteousness. When I know righteousness, I want to stay there. I want to grow in it. I want to
feed on it. I love it. It is holy. It is holy.
This is the Christian’s secret because the world doesn’t understand us. They think we are trying to be good. We’re just trying to be good and earn our way to heaven and try to be good because of pride or religious pride. They don’t understand us. I’m afraid many Christians don’t understand what Christianity really is because its mind
blowing. It’s incredible. When the Almighty God says I’ll never leave your or forsake you and
you live in a cesspool, a swamp , a sewer and God is saying, “when you make your bed in hell, I
am there. My right hand will lead you.” (Psalm 139) . Amazing. Who is God? Who is like God?
Isaiah 44 says. God says who is like me? I know not any. God sarcastically says. There isn’t any
like me. There is nobody like me. I am God. We have an amazing salvation that is imparted to us
and an amazing gift and for us to walk in that gift and recognize it and enjoy it is at the heart of
our spiritual battle in this world.
The devil doesn’t want you to be a Christian. If you are a Christian, he doesn’t want you to find this out. If you find this out, he doesn’t want you to continue in it. If you continue in it, he doesn’t want you to talk about it. If you talk about it, he wants to kill you, get rid of you because it’s absolutely amazing what it is, and he can never
copy it. He can send you to Las Vegas – and our group went and had an amazing time. They did.
The had an amazing time. The devil didn’t send them. God sent them. I’m saying, the devil can
send someone into a whore house. The devil can send someone into a drug place. The devil can
give you a pile of money and make you very famous but can’t give you the righteousness of
God. When you get the righteousness of God you go, woe! What is that? I’m pursuing it.
Remember we shared the verse, “prepare to meet thy God. You have not returned to me.” You
have not returned to me he said.
Prepare to meet thy God. This is our prayer in our country. 1 Kings 18:22-61, those verses are when Solomon is praying for the nation and he’s lifting up God in his prayer. This is the first thing in our prayer is to know who God is. The other day we talked about God exploding our boxes. How we have these boxes and when God shows up, they are blown away. He is bigger than that structure. He is bigger than the framework of our morality.
He is deeper. The moral man says, don’t commit adultery. The spiritual man says don’t even
look at a woman to lust after her. You can look at her for her beauty and appreciation in
holiness and godliness, of course. We look at everything like that. Where does this come from?
Our new heart. Our new spirit. The righteousness of God. Righteousness delivers us from death
in Proverbs 10:2. Righteousness heals a nation. Abraham was told – this is a great story in Genesis 18 –
where Abraham meets God. I’m wondering if I should go to the text.
Abraham meets God and he’s at the text. It’s a beautiful picture of us the church, fellowshipping and eating with God. Abraham got three. There was God and two angels. Do you know the story? God and two
angels met Abraham. I think we better go there. I know you love to come to church and read a
Bible text and so do I. I love it just to stay in the text. Join Bible college this semester. One of the
courses is Homiletics. That’s on preaching. It’s for men and women. It will be a great class this
semester. All the classes being offered I’m very excited about. Whenever God is speaking to
people, it’s a great time. Genesis 18:1 That word is Yahweh. God appeared to him in human form.
This is Jesus Christ and what is called a Christophany. It’s when Christ in human form meets
someone in the Old Testament. Why? Because he knew he was meeting God and he bowed
himself down in front of the tent. Vs. 2-3 That’s what it means.
Stay with me. Lord, stay with me. This is like us in America. We are in America. We all know what is happening out there in our country in different ways. We don’t really know what is happening, but here in front of the
tent, we bow down and say, Lord, stay with me. I love you. I’m righteous like you are. Stay with
me. I got your character. Stay with me. I have the Spirit of God. That’s across the country with
born again believers assembling. Vs. 4. Notice the story. Vs. 4-5. Do you know what Abraham
said to God? Let’s eat together. Let’s have communion. Let’s have some food. Let’s have
fellowship. Behold I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice, open the door and I’ll
come in and eat, dine with you. That’s in your heart. It’s in your heart when you go to bed at
night. I know it is. It is in your heart when you get up in the morning.
I know it is. It’s in your heart when we assemble like we do now on a Wed. night. It’s in our heart when we see and
think about what is happening in this world. There are two pictures here. One is 18 and one picture is 19. Does anyone know what Genesis 19 is about? Sodom and Gomorrah. What is going
on? There is a comparison with Abraham being with God and Lot being in Sodom and
Gomorrah. There is a comparison. If you compare the two chapters, you have what is
happening in this room tonight. God, stay with me. Eat with me. As the story continues, it’s a
beautiful story. The Lord says to Abraham, you’re going to have a son. Inside the tent is Sarah.
She hears it and she laughs. It’s like us. When God says something to us, I have my outside ears
and then my inside heart. I could laugh. When I hear God say you have eternal life, I could say,
yes, but. You are delivered from your trouble.
I am here. I am God. I can do all things. Yes, but. In the tent is unbelief. In the tent is maybe even something worse. Yeah, I’ve heard that before. This is our life now. In the story of Abraham, it’s happening. God is loving Abraham. Abraham is loving God and it’s happening. When it’s happening, God can go to those places. Why did Sarah
laugh? Abraham, you are her husband. Why did Sarah laugh? Sarah said, I didn’t laugh. God
said, yes, you did. That’s important in righteousness that the truth would be in my heart and
the righteousness of God would be in my spirit…We are in and out of believing. That’s the good
thing about the story. We are kind of believing God and then not believing. God doesn’t give up
on us. He stays and he’s fellowshipping. It’s time to go destroy Sodom and Gomorrah and the
two angels are going to go. God says can I do this without telling my friend Abraham? God loves
you and he is in fellowship with God.
When he gives you favor and fills you with the Holy Spirit, the whole thing is over…Abraham is my friend. I have to tell him what I am doing. I want him to be in on the secret and know what I am doing. It’s beautiful. Abraham has this part. It goes beautifully. God, don’t get angry at me, but can I ask you a question? Yes, what is it? There it is.
That’s what we are talking about. Prayer. Prayer. What is on your heart. I’m going to destroy
Sodom and Gomorrah. And Abraham is there, I understand this, but maybe there is something
more. God is paying attention to him. God is hearing him. Abraham said if there are 50
righteous would you save it? Yes. Forty? Thirty? Twenty? Ten? He goes please don’t get
impatient with me. Let me go to 10 and Abraham could be thinking surely there is 10. Yes, I
would for 10. This is what I wanted to say tonight. I think there is a little more in it. Genesis 18:9-10
you are going to have a seed again like you did before menopause happened.
That’s going to return to you. Here she is 99 years old. That will return to you because I am God. That’s
beautiful. You’ll be a young woman again. I am God. Why wouldn’t she laugh at that? Of course
she would and so would you and I. There are things God wants to say to us that are shocking. There is part of us that would be cynical or unbelieving. God is able to go there also. He’s able
to point that out like we said a few minutes ago. Fellowship with God has to break up and stir
us up to the point of unbelief. God is going to say things and provoke us even in unbelief. I like
this crazy, radical style of living that I lived my whole Christian life. Think of this part. I’m
thinking of the young guys and young ladies, and our future as a ministry.
You are looking at a guy who has grown up in this ministry with a kind of youthful, radical attitude of getting out of
the box and believing God for whatever God wants to say, whatever God wants to do, whoever
God is. If God made whales. Let me tell you about a whale for a minute. A heart of a blue whale
is the size of a Volkswagen car. The arteries that come out of that heart are so big a human
being could crawl through the artery. Do you know it is as wide as this room, longer than this
room. It’s the largest living mammal on the planet. God made it. What does God say? Your little
things. Your little boxes. Your little things. You are way too concerned about the things. You get
upset when the coffee spills. You get upset with a phone call. You get upset with a broken
heart. I understand we are human beings.
The Bible says rejoice always and again I say rejoice. The Bible says be thankful in everything. I tell you if you are thankful in everything, this is the will of God in Christ Jesus. We have this. Sarah in the tent thing. That’s also there. Vs. 16. I want Ishmael to be my son to live before you. No, I don’t want that. Ishmael is not the son that way.
No, you can’t do it. No, it’s not going to happen. I love that. No, not Ishmael. Not going to
happen. I’ve seen people say I want to serve God and God in the Spirit says no, I don’t want
your service. Joshua 24:19, there are too many people who go into the service of God by their
natural. They say I want to serve God and God says no. I don’t want your natural life. No, it’s got
to be me. I am God I want to do a great thing on the earth. I want to raise the dead. I want to
send my Son Christ to a virgin and be born in Bethlehem. I want Pentecost to come. I want
something to happen in the United States of America.
It’s not too late. I want something to happen. We say no, can’t we be good Christians? Can’t we be nice people? Can’t we get along? God is maybe saying in that context, no, I need a revival. I want people praying. I need the Spirit to move. I need people praying. I want God Almighty to show up and do the work because I will
destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. I’m sending my two angels there. Vs. 25. The angels went to
Sodom and go to bring judgment. That’s those two pictures in our mind. There is a judgment on
the wickedness and evil and unrighteousness. You better hate iniquity. If you don’t hate
iniquity, you don’t have a shot of what we are talking about. There are people may be there or
listening to me, but you don’t hate iniquity. You can’t hate it but if you meet God and his
righteousness, now you start to hate it. I hate lying in Psalm 101. I hate deception.
Read Zechariah 13, I was pierced in the house of my friends the prophet says about Christ. I was pierced in the
house of my friends. Wow. What do you mean? In Israel they pierced me in the house of my
friends. In Jerusalem, I was pierced in my hands and feet. My friends pierced me. That’s the
world. Do you want to have an agreement with Ahab? Have some agreement with Ahab.
Jehoshaphat has an agreement with Ahab and the prophet said, how can you be a friend to
someone that hates God? I don’t mean that we have friends at work and families and so on but
go to the point. You can’t be a friend of the world and love God at the same time. The world is
wicked and evil, John. 2:24. I know what is in it. I do not trust man. When we realize we are in a world where righteousness is the issue, not popularity or money.
The love of money is the root of all evil. Many people are pierced through with many sorrows because of money. Money money, money. Do we hear it enough? There are a lot of people who don’t have enough and
that’s all that’s on their mind. To have food and raiment to be content. Godliness with
contentment is great gain. Follow righteousness it says. That’s it. I guess. One or two more. Vs.
20-22. I’m reading the wrong chapter! Did I change my message in the midst of it! Vs. 11-12.,
Genesis 18:12-15. Lord, tell me I laughed. I don’t want you to be a nice guy. I need you to be God.
Tell me I laughed. Tell me the truth. You laughed. No I didn’t. Yes, you did. That’s what I need.
That’s what our kids need. That’s what teens need. They need corrected and guided. That’s
what adults need. This lying and lying is unrighteous.
It’s the plague. It’s a curse. It’s sin. It’s the problem with people. He got it and so do we. I want to go back to it. I want God to be in my life. I want God to speak and love me and show me. I want God to lead me. All these things going on in our lives. It’s nothing. You have to set your affection on things above. Sit with God and
fellowship with God and God will answer your prayer and lead and guide you in life. It’s not
when things are good on the outside or when things are good on the inside. The good on the
outside has nothing to do with who I am on the inside is a result of righteousness imparted to
us from God. The gift of God, the Spirit of God. Hannah couldn’t have a child. She cried and she
was provoked by the other woman in the house. The woman severely provoked here. Made her
sad. Mocked her. You can’t have any children. I have so many. You are barren. You are cursed
and Hannah is so burdened by it. I thought about it.
People are so burdened by what the world is saying or what the people are saying, and they interpret their life through that. That’s not God. That’s not what we learned. God does not do that. God doesn’t bury the weak. God
doesn’t put people down. God is not self-righteous. God is not judging people and putting them
down. God is not some dictator and manipulating and controlling like the woman in the
household. Hanna got the blessing. She got broken. She was praying so fervently that Eli
thought she was drunk. Eli the priest got it wrong. He got it wrong. There can be people after
God so much we could think they are crazy. They aren’t crazy. They are so much after God.
They find him. If you seek me with all your heart you will find me in Jeremiah 29:32. If you seek me
you will find me Ishmael 55:6. If you ask it will be given. If you knock it will be open. If you seek, you
will be find. We have been having early morning prayers through the summer.
Norm Myers and P. Gary and P. Renaldo. Many were gathering. I think those prayers gave us June Alive, July
Alive. I think those prayers affect our Bible school. Those prayers affect our church. I believe
those prayers change things. I believe in prayer. I might not be there in the morning, but I can
be at my home. I can be at prayer at night. I had some people go to Texas and came back with
Jason Moore. Many of them came back to me, I’m going to Texas. I was on the phone with
someone last night. I’m moving to Texas. I’m going to Texas. What are you, for cowboy boots?
Cowboy hat? Conservative politics? Why are you going to Texas? The weather? Pastor Christ
Moore? Why are you going to Texas? Because of the housing? Why are you going? Because of
the desert and the sunshine and the ocean? Why are you going to Texas? Because you had a
good cup of coffee. Why are you going? All those reasons.
Same reason why they go to Florida and every other place, Michigan or Minnesota or whatever. It’s a job, a girlfriend, the weather, the climate, the horse farm. I go for my relatives or whatever it is. You know what? Prayer, the
kind of prayer when God says I told you and you say no you didn’t, and he goes, yes I did. You
laughed. No, I didn’t laugh. Yes, you did. Yes, you did. You know what happened to me in life?
I’m going along but I’m enjoying it so put up with me! I was in Bible college and in those years
there were guys that wanted to go to California. P. Stevens asked me in the parking lot up in
Maine in the church in South Berwick, Maine. I met him in the parking lot, and he said did you
hear he said in a rap session I was going to lead the team to Finland, but he never told me.
That’s the way we roll outside the box and the box exploding all the time. He goes, what do you
think? I go, okay. Okay. I guess so. Sure. I’ll pray about it.
Thank you for the honor. That’s amazing. My buddies that went to California disappeared off the map because the weather is so nice. The surf is high. The surfboards are awesome. I’m joking. Do you know what I’m trying
to say? Why does everyone feel called to go to Florida and very few to upper Michigan? How
come people want to go to California but not go to the artic? The artic. The artic in northern
Europe. I have nothing to boast in. It was a miracle of God I got to go. The hard times can be
good for you. The hard times when you don’t know anything, and you are in your heart
laughing about the whole thing in unbelief. God says why are you laughing? I sent you here. I’m
not laughing. Yes, you are. Yes, you are. If you are going to be with me, I am going to speak to
you where you are living. I am going to speak to you deep inside. By the way, that person you
are not forgiving, why don’t you forgive them?
I forgave them. No, you didn’t. No, you didn’t You have a voodoo doll tucked underneath your bed! No, you didn’t. By the way, you are stealing some money on the side. No, I don’t. Yes, you are. I know you are. That’s the kind of
God we got because he loves righteousness. When he loves it and we love it, he honors us. We
got power with him. What do you got to say? I’m going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah and
Abraham said I have something to say about it. I got something to say about it. I got something
going on in me. I want this thing to be changed. I want this to be changed in Jesus’ name. Isn’t
Amen. Pray with me.
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.