We are facing times when we could face reproach for bearing the name Christian. In bizarre times, we stand together with conviction and character. Let the church arise and speak truth. (1 Peter 4:4-14; Ephesians 3:14)
Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller
7:00 PM on 6/2/2021
P. Schaller –
Just stay standing for another minute or two, and let’s just have a good time in the Lord and praise him. What a
beautiful song, songs. Praise the Lord! Are we going to drink deeply from the well? How about
in the world? What are they going to drink from? Dirty water. The sewer or something. Or
Ecclesiastes is the book. You are Bible folks. By the way, Woot Horne is here tonight. Wow!
Woot Horne is in the house! He’s in the house! Woot Horne is here. We love you, Woot. And
Linda Sargeant too is here. Yeah, somewhere here. Praise the Lord! Here she is. We’ll have a
few words for Linda and Miriam Kahlenback also in a minute. Think about these two books.
Ecclesiastes. You can talk back to me. What is the main theme in Ecclesiastes? Vanity. What
does it mean? Vanity? Zero, nihilism, aimlessness, end game is a big puff of smoke. Nothing
there. Empty suit. Hollow. No poetry. No joy. No fun. No power. No courage. Just emptiness
there. Ecclesiastes. Working all day and ending up with very little. Building a sand castle on the
sea shore and in twelve hours it is gone.
Working hard and lying down in sorrow. Working at things but not making anything really work. Always being a dollar short and a minute late. Never winning. And if I win, I end up losing. Ecclesiastes. What is the world drinking from? The human heart without God, without God. Song of Solomon is the opposite, the book right after. What is
Song of Solomon about? Love! Love! Turn to your wife or your girlfriend and say, love. Love. It’s
about love. Romance. And that parallels the Christian life. That parallels the Christian life.
Feeling, passion, love, dedication, commitment, sacrifice. It’s worth it. It’s worth it. It’s worth it.
Remember the love letter that a man wrote to his girlfriend? I climb the highest mountain just to
look at your face. I cross the hottest desert just to hold your hand. I would cross the deepest
ocean just so I could whisper in your ear, “I love you.” Then he signs his name and P. S. I’ll see
you Saturday if it doesn’t rain! Huh! There’s a lot of baloney out there! Turn to your neighbor and
say, there’s a lot of baloney out there.
There’s a lot of emptiness out there. Not going to work. Listen. You are in the house of God. We’re going to drink from the Holy Spirit. We’re going to learn something from the Lord. Praise the Lord! I praise the Lord for this church. After church, a half an hour later, I think Sturge and maybe a guitar and some folks will be on the deck. The
weather is beautiful. We’re going to sing some songs together on the deck with lattes.
Whatever. And P. Scibelli will be there with a….macaroni latte. Okay. So anyway, hey! Praise
the Lord! God bless you. You may be seated. Was that particularly good (the song). How do you
rate that on a scale from 1 to 10? Do you want to put up your sign? Okay, 10, 5, two thumbs up.
It was really good. That was amazing. Are we ready? Alright. The family. Ephesians 3:20. Two
portions. That one. I had a sty in my left eye surgically removed today, so my eye is a little
swollen on the left and it goes away in a little while, a couple years from now! What else about
that. It’s not in pain. It looks like somebody punched me in a day or two.
Thank you for your – I just said that so I don’t have to be talking about it much. Ephesians 3:14. This is one of the texts. vs. 14-15. Whole family. How many families does God have? One whole family. Where are the
people that are in the family? In two areas. On the earth and in heaven. Two categories but they
are in the same family. Correct? I bow my knees and I have in my mind the whole family, those
that are in heaven. In heaven, what is the family doing up in heaven? Are they sinning and
repenting? What about the family on the earth? Yeah. We are sinning and repenting. We are
sinning and we fail, but we walk by faith and get up and keep going. We live by faith and some
of us, some believers have victory over a lot of sin. They have a power in their lives as all of us
are told that we have legally that we have because of sanctification. We may not be living in it,
but even if believers are stumbling along, they are in the family. They are on the earth. What
else about the family of God on the earth? We are groaning.
Romans 8. And Creation is groaning with us. What are we groaning for? We’re groaning for the coming kingdom. We want righteousness on the earth. Okay. We will look at some of these things. Go to the verse with
me. Ephesians 3:15. Let’s think about those that are in heaven. I have a note here. In heaven, they
are serving and rejoicing. There’s a lot of that in heaven. They are seeing God and honoring
God. It doesn’t seem as though they are living by faith anymore, but they are in the family. They
are perfected like Christ. They are like Christ tonight. They are anticipating, it looks like – and I
heard one Bible teacher say when you go to heaven, you have nothing to do with the earth. It’s
just a sinful place, the earth. It’s a demonic place. I don’t understand it though he’s a good Bible
teacher. I don’t agree with that. I don’t agree. I don’t understand that at all. The earth, this is
where Christ died, where the church is. That’s on the earth. Why wouldn’t my sisters and brothers in heaven rejoicing and singing and serving God and seeing God and are close to God
have the heart of God and be leaning on the bosom of God so to speak and be saying, God,
what are you doing with the earth?
And they know a lot about it. It says in Hebrews 12 there are
spectators watching us run a race. It looks like the believers that are in heaven, the church, the
family that is in heaven, that part of the family is watching us run the race. What are they seeing
us do? Live by faith. Glorify God in a fallen world and with a sin nature and overcoming our –
overcoming the three things we often – the world. We overcome the world. We are not bowing
down to the world. We are overcoming the world. Because the Word of God abides in us. Not all
of the church is. Not all of the church are overcomers. Not everybody. If the A.V. Department
could help me with a couple slides. I have the one where Hitler speaks about the Protestant
clergy in Germany. Hitler’s view of the Protestant clergy. This is a quote: “They are insignificant
and little people, submissive as dogs and they sweat with embarrassment when you talk to
Hitler. Evil man. Demonic. His view when he talked to them. I think there were 20,000 in
one meeting that Hitler required of them to assemble and they did. But he was never really
involved. He never really officially – they attacked the leadership of the church, anybody that
stood against him, but generally they didn’t stand against him. Why did they sweat like dogs?
Why are they insignificant, little people? Because I think that’s what we are when we just live
like day to day without the old pathway. Seek the old pathway. Walk therein. Jeremiah 6:16. The
family of God. What does it mean “family of God?” In heaven and the family of God on the
earth. These people too. Of course, if they are born again. I can understand being little,
insignificant, afraid of the power, afraid of the “wokism“, afraid of the threat of the big tech, afraid
of the culture, afraid of my neighbors, afraid of the police, afraid of the authorities.
I can understand that. I’m so happy you’re here tonight, because you can learn something. I’m going
to tell you what to do in a sense maybe indirectly, but I can’t tell you and I cannot deal with this
myself. I just don’t want to be that way. When we are in the presence of evil, the Lord is my
shepherd. How is it? He sets a table for me where? In the presence of Adolf Hitler and his
Gestapo gang of henchmen and tyrannical murderers and liars. He prepares a table for us in
the presence. Where’s the table? It’s at 6025 Moravia Park Drive. It’s in your house. It’s with
your Bible open. It’s in your reading. It’s in dealing with things in your heart cause we are in
important times and we are a family. What is a family mean? It means we have a father that
cares for us, a father that speaks to us. There’s a proverb. It says he that hears speaks
constantly. It’s in our Bible. I can’t remember the reference.
He that hears speaks constantly. Recently in the press, Governor of Flordia, DeSantis, he was threatened because they passed a law in Florida that men who are biological men cannot play in women’s sports. So guess what
the big – the big guys. Look it up later in the service. Don’t do it now but later in the night look it
up and check it out. But then the big, the giant, big organizations say then we will not have any
athletic events in your state. There will be no professional basketball, no professional sports. He
says fine. I’m going to do what’s right for the hundreds of thousands of girls that are in the state
of Florida. I stand with them with what is right. Yes! Come on! Come on! Come on! What’s going
on? What’s going on? There has to be a family. A family that is in heaven and is rooting us on,
leaning in and looking at the family that is on the earth and saying basically, we know you sin
but God is greater than your sin. We know you are afraid and sweat like dogs, but we know our
God gives greater grace to the humble. We know that you are confused at time, but we know
that you meditate day and night on the Word of God that is able to lead and guide you. We
know that you fall down, but we know that you are baptized into the Body.
We know that you are not perfect but we are watching your faith. You are overcoming the world by faith, and that God
is equipping you. And he’s preparing you so you can live and glorify – who gets the glory in this
whole thing? God does. God did it. God did it. Why didn’t a lot of people die of covid in the
church in Baltimore? God did it. God kept us from it, from the diseases of Egypt in Exodus 15:26.
Why do you have so much joy every day, day and night, day and night? God does that. Rejoice
in the Lord always. How about our weeping and our tears? Yes, we weep and we sorrow but not
as others who have no hope. Right? Okay. We are in the same family with the same kind of
communion, assurance, expectation, the same love from the same Father. We are accepted by
him and given provisions by him. We are members of the family and we are sisters and brothers
and know each other and practically help each other.
I liked what happened in our day school this year. How practical it was to help families by staying open and P. Barry and P. Bob Colban and P. Taggart and many others. As members of one family, we lay aside all dividing names. All dividing feelings, dividing ambitions and beliefs. We set some things aside cause we are in the
family. We have a kind of royal honor, respect. We are not gossiping. We are not attacking. We
are not tearing down. We are not dividing, but we are in the family. Our Father wants us to treat
one another with a lot of honor and respect for we are called by his name. It’s his name that’s on
the line. What’s on the line? The name of God. God does not live in sin. He is a holy God and
the family is a holy people, a peculiar people. That’s why we cannot embrace some of these
unrighteous and ungodly and perverted ideas. We are not embracing division and hatred. We
don’t embrace bullying people. Bullying them or we being bullied or being manipulated or
controlled. We’re not being threatened. We are at peace.
We are in the family of God. When somebody comes and sits with us, they can feel the peace and love that is in the family that is on the earth. This is maybe the closest that people will ever find themselves to God by being
with people that are in the family of God. The family and the love and the quietness and the long
enduring, long patience is beautiful. It’s precious. So let’s turn now to 1 Peter 4. This will be the
last segment of the message. vs. 7. Why did he say that? Because Christ was crucified and
raised. The tomb was empty. Pentecost came. Peter saw Pentecost come. He could say it’s the
end times. He’s correct. It’s 2,000 years. He didn’t know how long it would be. We are closer
than ever. One day closer. That day will happen. The end is at hand. It’s here. vs. 7. I want to
say that word means gravity, weightiness. Maybe we could say sometimes we would say
serious. Be therefore doctrinally sound. Have some gravity in your heart and life regarding God,
that we walk with God. We fear and respect him. We want to be humble and learn a new way,
not the way of the world that’s about me. It’s about the Holy Spirit showing us Jesus. Watching
unto prayer. We are watching unto prayer.
Franklin Graham I read tonight that he is going to do
a special thing in West Virginia in July. I think we could pray about maybe joining him down in
West Virginia whatever they are doing down there. He’s going round a bus around the country. I
don’t know exactly what they are doing but I like it that we would be – in this sense we have our
hearts, our concern for our country and we want to lead people to Christ cause if you don’t have
a family, you might be looking for one. So many people are without the family of God. We are
watching unto prayer. vs. 8. I feel that in our fellowship but it costs a price. There is a price you
pay to have fervent love. There’s casual love, just not bothering anybody and nobody bothering
you. And I love you and you love me. And we’re just kind of getting a long. That’s all. But when
there’s an offense, when there’s forgiveness, when someone borrows money and doesn’t pay it
back and it hurts you, when there is a broken friendship, you have to endeavor. You have to
work at it. You have to say forgive me. You come for help. You have to work on your marriage
maybe. Don’t just be casual. Say love will care.
I must care. I must do something. I must seek God. I want God to heal my marriage. I want God in my life. I need God to help me forgive. I need God. There has to be in the family that is in heaven, they would say forgive. Forgive.
Forgive. And we are on the earth saying it’s hard. It’s hard. It’s hard. And they would say, don’t
give me any of that! Forgive! Okay. And then it says in vs. 8. A lot of sins, a lot of offenses. Don’t
become a gossip. Those habits form. They start forming and you start talking and then you
enjoy it. Then you meet the other gossipers. Then the gossipers are finding the gossipers. Then
they have this little boiling pot of gossip going on and God is not in it. It’s not from God. It’s sin.
It’s sinful. It’s not from God. There’s not a blessing in gossip. It alienates. It’s unfair. It’s not right.
It’s slanderous. It’s judgmental. It’s not from God. It’s not in the family. It’s not a church family
that gossips. You can find churches that gossip, but no. No. We cannot be a gossiper. Do not
do that. Nothing but that which is edifying.
If it’s not edifying, don’t say it. Learn not to talk. Learn to be quiet. If you talk, edify. Learn to bring joy. When you approach a group of people or you are on the phone or whatever ways of communication, be an edifier. That’s the Holy Spirit and this is the family of God, a great family. vs. 9. Back in those days the inns were filthy and
dangerous. In the first century, you could go to an inn or stay in a tavern or something. They
were dangerous. There were thieves and maybe very dirty and so on. So the Christians would
take other Christians into their home and be hospitable. But not grudging. vs. 10. I love that.
Isn’t that good. Zane Turk has a gift, doesn’t he? And his sister has twice as many as he has!
And we have gifts. Ryan Greene over here. What an awesome man he is. He’s a great guy.
Many gifts are in the Body. Many people and many portions. Learn to use your gift. Enjoy your
gift. Learn to minister one to another. We are in the family as good stewards of the manifold, the
many expressions of the grace of God. Many expressions. Manifold. Many sides it means. Many
sides like in a diamond that is cut. Many angles and you can turn it.
That’s like grace. Grace this way for breakfast. I had breakfast. That was grace. Turn it this way. I drove my car. I got from
point A to point B. My wife cares about me still. Unbelievable. I love you. My friends and God
visited me in my spirit and built me up in my study as I had my books open and my heart was
moving within me. Grace! Then a brother prayed for me. Grace! A sister cares. Somebody visits
somebody and so on. Many expressions in the Body. This is the family. This is where we get
edified, not in a bar room. This is where we find our family fellowship, not out in the world. This
is where I find a man loving me, a woman loving me in purity and integrity and the character and
the expression. Vs. 11. And that’s why we are here tonight. I don’t just want to just hear
somebody’s opinion. We want the Word opened. When we have our little barbaques this
summer, we want to have some good fellowship. Spend some time alone with God. Get a word
in season and share it on the beach.
Get alone with God at night and when you come to the breakfast table, share a word at the breakfast table. Before you make the phone call, have a moment and say God, what should I say. When you are driving home, what should be the first words I say to my wife when I get home? Do I have a word? Maybe I don’t have anything but
maybe the Lord will help me in that minute and so on. I don’t want to sound mechanical. I just
want to say there is some faith in life and expectation and how much God will give to you and
pour it out on you and use you. vs. 11. The word “minister” means serve. Peter has two
categories: talking and serving. Talking and serving. Serving. Taking a minute. Maybe many of
you know how easy it is to be in a hurry. In a hurry and maybe the Lord has you sensitive that
day and you can hang for a minute and you can be sensitive to somebody. Maybe a young
person. How many young people have I walked passed quickly, quickly, quickly. Maybe
somebody is there, a young person just needs my time, just needs a minute.
That idea. We have a ministry. We do it with the ability that God gives. God and all things maybe glorified
through Jesus Christ. vs. 11-12. I want to finish my message but I want to say this at the end
here. Our country has changed. I remember how much I loved my country. I remember when I
was little, my mom told me I fell on the milk box. You know those little tin milk boxes. The milk
man would come and put the milk in the box. I cut my eye open across an eyebrow. And I have
some scar there. They gave me stitches. My memories of the porch, of the family, the dogs, the
cat, kittens, pony, the field, the store, the family, my sister here tonight. Boy scouts. High school.
Friends. Summer times. Baseball in the back. Guys in the back yard grabbing a turtle out of the
swamp. Going down to the local farm. Watching “Leave it to Beaver” and Father Knows Best.”
Learning about being honest, hard working and committed and having a good word, honoring
our military, honoring our government and everything.
And if I read the verse, “the fiery trial that would try you,” I could never imagine my government being against me. I could never imagine that. I never grew up like that. I could never imagine it. My government, the United States of
America, persecuting people like us. How could that be? Well, times have changed. We don’t
know what will happen. If it happens, you have already followed God in your life in the family.
Some of our brothers and sisters that are in heaven, the family that is in heaven, they have
been through it. They have said, man’s heart, minorities can rule. They can get control. It can
happen. There can be oppression. There can be trouble, manipulation, abuse and
imprisonment. It can happen. They say it in heaven. They know about it. We read about what
they said. We read about their lives. They are the saints of God that have gone before us. And
we are in the same family. They are in a different state but still we are connected in one whole
family. We are in the coloseum. We are in the field of battle. We are in the enemy territory. We
are here with something. I want to just say – when I thought about the message tonight, if you
boil it down I’d like to say please learn how to hear from God and get it right from God. Don’t
trust yourself. Be humble.
What happened to the Protestants that spoke with Adolf Hitler? What
were they listening to long before the meeting? What were they prepared for? Did they know
that Nazism is racist? Antisemitic? Did they know what was going on? Yes, they did. Yes, they
did. They’d have to be blind. Do we know what is happening? Yes, we do. Yes, we do. What are
we doing? We are in the family. Our heavenly Father says I will lead you. I will hide you in a
pavilion from the strife of tongues he said. He said, though you go through the valley of the
shadow of death, my rod and my staff will comfort you. Seek out the old pathways. Be serious
about me. Find me. Seek me. You will find me. You will find me in the Bible. You will find me in
the Body of Christ in the family. You will find me as you walk in the Spirit. When you fall,
confess, repent, and get up and keep going. Do not be alienated from the family. Do not be an
island by yourself. Do not be cut off and disappear. We are in an amazing time. He said it here. I want to end it. Do you rejoice in this possibility?
Do you rejoice in it? When I’m with you, I do. When I’m with my sisters and brothers in the United States of America, I do. When we are in the family, I do. We are a family of joy. Do we rejoice when Goliath is yelling and screaming down in
the valley? Yeah. Okay, God. Let’s go. We’re with you God. What’s going on? I don’t want to do
anything without you God. I’m not afraid. I’m not afraid. Jesus said “fear not” many times. Fear
not. Fear not, little flock. It’s the Father’s good pleasure to anoint you on that hour, in that day.
It’s his good pleasure to pour his Holy Spirit out on you at Pentecost. Will some lose their job?
They could but can you trust God? Will you lose a friend? Will you be insulted by people? Let’s
finish. Sorry, we’re not in a super hurry but – kind of before I started, I don’t want to go on and
on. I want to finish. Thanks. Just follow this with me. vs. 13. Can you somehow feel excited
about getting in trouble? Can you somehow get excited about someone in your neighborhood
doesn’t like you and they’re going to call you names. vs. 13.
We cannot do this justice. There’s a lot in this, but just to run ahead in vs. 14. It means insulted. If you be insulted for the name of Christ, happy are you. Let’s stop with that. What is an insult? What would it sound like? What
would the names be? The beginning of the Christians, you know how they insulted them? They
called them a name. You know what the name was? Christian. That was an insult. It was
derogatory. Let me tell you something about insults. They can turn around. The British made fun
of the Yankees in New York City during the Revolutionary War by making up a song called,
“Yankee Doodle Dandy.” It was a spoof on the Yankees. It was a joke. Yankee doodle dandy.
Do you know what the Yankees did? They started singing it. They used it. They go okay. Yep.
We are Yankees. We are Yankees and we will fight. And you call us Christians, we are
Christians. Yes, we are. How about up in Lenox, Massachusetts?
We were called Bible Speaks and then people were spoofing on it and calling us Beakers. Beakers. Now that’s like to me in my heart that’s an honor. I’m a Beaker. That means I’m serious about the Bible. I’m serious
about the faith. I lose my life. I could be a missionary in Hungary or Finland or Ghana or any
other place that I can go based on God and what God taught me in that wonderful Bible school.
Isn’t that good. Wait a second. Agrippa said to Paul, Paul you almost make me a Christian. How
did Agrippa get to learn the word? He knew that’s what these people are called. And you know,
when they insult you, it’s okay if you got the guts, the character. If you’re not ashamed, if you
have something in your heart from the Holy Spirit, if you have a walk of God it can be to my
honor. Yes, I am a Christian. And O King Agrippa, I wish you were and everybody in this room
hearing me was like me. Like me.
That’s awesome. You know what? Let’s talk back to the devil. Let’s just say, okay. Game on. Game on. That’s fine with me. How do you get here? How do you get to that place? It’s by abiding. Being faithful in the little thing and the kingdom of God is growing. And we have a message. We have a word in season. Are we kind? Yes. Are we
gentle? Yes. Are we loving? Yes, absolutely important. We are not like them. They are
demanding of this. They are bullying. They are demanding of it whether it is in the state of
Florida or some other. You will be insulted in your working place or ridiculed for your – what is it,
your Victorian ethic, your traditional set of values, your Bible thumping, your legalistic. Whatever
those insults may be, make it be for our honor. Because we are not like that. We know the
family we are part of. We are what you need. We are actually what you are looking for. Come to
the Gospel and God forgives you and loves you.
He died for you. He loves you more than you could ever imagine. So, that’s what I wanted to say tonight. Okay. Amen. Pray with me. There’s one more quote I wanted to put up, too. But just so you have some exposure to it, it’s a German
Pastor Niemoller. He was with Bonhoeffer. He was a Protestant pastor. He went to a camp and
survived the prison camp. “First they came for the socialist and I did not speak out – because I
was not a SOCIALIST. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out –
because I was not a TRADE UNIONIST. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out –
because I was not a JEW. Then they came for ME, and there was NO ONE LEFT to speak for
me (Pastor Martin Niemoller).”If there’s antisemitism in this country, speak out against it. If
there’s some girls in Florida or any part of the country that are being mistreated because of this
weird, bizarre way of thinking, then you speak out.
We push back in our hearts and minds and show up, you know. I’m not militant about it. I’m deeply spiritual about it. I want it in your heart that you got to get it. You and I have to have it in our heart. We don’t even have to discuss it
much. Just have a sense of righteousness in your heart. I have to live in what is right. I cannot
live in lies, Psalm 101. I cannot live in lies. I have to live in what is right. That ‘s God. That’s in
the family. That’s what we live in and we enjoy it and we want to reproduce it in our families and in generations and in our future and in our churches.
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.