Blind are leading the blind. The culture drags away the ignorant into trouble. These troubled times and things will get hot. You want your life to be more than boring? Give it to God. Let Him lead in unique and powerful things. (2 Thessalonians 2:7)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller, Tom Chung
Sermon # 11735
6:30 PM on 8/18/2019
So glad to be here tonight. Praise God. In the house of God and with God’s people. I’m going to share for a few minutes here a message. We have Camp Life this week. Maybe 100 or 200 or 300 up in PA and keep that in mind as we have our young people and teenagers and younger people at Camp Life. Their parents dropped them off and drove away very fast! Our staff, P. Love and Pete Westera and Jen lynch and a lot of counselors and workers that will minister. Young people need a ministry. They do. All of us do. We need a ministry.
I’d like you to turn to – have you remembered – do you remember the verse that says the blind lead the blind? Do you remember the verse? We want to slow that down. I know you know the verse. That’s one thing for tonight. I’m going to speak about that. Before I do because I don’t want to miss this point. People that have really messed up in life, cheated on their wife or fell into some bad addiction or suffered in their marriage, maybe stole money and they are a Christian. You might say Christians don’t do that. Yes, they do. Turn to your neighbor and say I think you’ve done that. You’re proof of that! That happens. What if I go to a church and that church has a message of Christ, a message of grace and freedom and liberty and Spirit filling. The listener who has messed up in his life is listening and saying yeah pastor, but that doesn’t apply to me. That’s for all these nice people but not me. This is beautiful. The Spirit can teach you that you are not your sin. It’s hard to believe it but it’s true. The Spirit can teach you that God is bigger than how much you have messed up in your life. He is amazing. That God is for the sinner. That God forgives the sinner and can’t remember it. Heb. 8:12 and 8:11. I remember your sin no more. You have to keep coming back to the church and listen to the word of God because God’s mind is not ours. Our ways are different, and our thoughts are different. We think of our sin and God thinks of his Son. We think of how I messed up my life and God thinks of what grace he has given you and what he has done for you and your potential and who you are and your identity. If you took all the Christians out there and messed up your lives and teach them grace, and they realize who God is, you got automatically a huge change. In history, you have a huge change in the world, in a church, huge change in a man’s life. What does that man need that messed up his life? He doesn’t need to be told how wrong he is and what a lousy Christian he is. He needs to understand who God is.
P. Scibelli said this morning two things needed in our lives that will change us, truth and the Spirit. The Holy Spirit and the Bible, the word. The word and the Spirit. If you think about it we need words. A lot of edifying words. We need words of life. Words that are from God’s heart. Words that can touch our hearts. God says I do not know you after the flesh. It’s a good exercise. You know that verse. We don’t know each other after the flesh. I don’t know who messed up in this room. Maybe you aren’t here. I think you are here every one of us somehow. Have you ever backslid? Don’t go into any detail but ask your neighbor, have you ever backslid? Maybe we hesitated admitting it but in principal all of us. If I sin a little or sin a lot, I understand I’ve done it all, James 2:10. I’m not in the church to know how good or how bad. I’m in the church to know Christ. The Bible says know no man after the flesh. I’m not in your business. I don’t care how bad you are, and I don’t know you have and don’t care to know about it. We are not here to think about it or know you that way. You are not that. You are a new creation and old things passed away.
The Christian world can be good at calculating who people are based on their behaviors and their history. We don’t keep a record of anyone’s history. We don’t even mentally think about it. When we minister in the Body as we do with each other and different pastors do, we are not aware of or thinking in terms of our flesh. We are thinking in terms of his grace. This grace is abounding towards us in Christ Jesus. This grace gives us a new identity. If you are here long enough, you’ll realize this church is not nosy. Our church is not generally nosy but beware there may be someone sitting next to you or behind you that is nosy. They want to know too much about your personal life. They want to know about you in the wrong way. That’s called the flesh. In Christ, we don’t know anyone after the flesh. We grow in his nature and character and grace. Human beings needs to learn to minister grace to each other. We need to learn you got a new name. What was Simon, Simon? What is his name? I call you Peter. What’s that all about? How about Saul? He starts to use his other name, Paul. Abraham. This is powerful. I like to be in a fellowship where you are not nosy and I’m not nosy and I don’t care to know you according to your flesh or your history. I want you to be here and feed off the Lamb and hearing the Spirit speak to your heart and guide you.
Next point, how many of you think we are living in the end days. How many really think we are living in the end times? How many think Jesus could come back in your lifetime? Here’s a short list. There is a falling away. These are the trends we see in the world. A falling away from the truth, widespread embracing of doctrinal error in the church. Recently a poll said people born after 1964, 47% of them believe homosexual relationships are okay. Evangelical church. Almost half of those people. That would have produced a gasp a few years ago. That’s a lot of people. What happened? Lev. 22:18 people don’t know the Bible. They may know the culture but not the Bible. Rom. 1 it is obvious if you know the Bible. If you don’t know the Bible, we go with the culture. The culture will tell me what is right and wrong like they always do. Wrong. Wrong. Everybody today would say slavery is wrong but in 1850 they didn’t say that. The country was divided. It was the Democrats that embraced slavery and Lincoln had the intelligence and sense and skill and answered prayer that came into our country to get rid of it. How do we get rid of it? In the culture they didn’t but in the understanding of love and the nature of human beings and civility. Don’t get me started on that one.
Someone said science, science at the door the other day. Science has been wrong. Don’t you know in history science has been wrong? Just because you say the word that automatically it’s correct. You don’t know that. They said the sun went around the earth. Wrong. That’s what they believed. Just because you say the word. Sorry. Let’s get going. Widespread embracing doctrinal error, moral decline, growing tolerance for all things evil, widespread outbreak of sexual sins and perversions, steady diminishing of religious freedom, global persecution of God’s people; Israel is a sore spot in the world, escalating conflicts in the Middle East, efforts to build the Jewish temple…. including Russia. The steady rise of globalism. Political and economic steps in the establishment of the United States of Europe…emerging of a cashless world….and much more. The technology of today is incredible with facial recognition, invading your privacy and so on which is a set up for a one world leader which will be the Antichrist. Are we living in dangerous times? Are we living in a time we need to be awake and care what is happening and not be deceived and misled? A relationship with the grace of God and Jesus Christ is critical for us.
I asked Dr. Chung to share. He’s here from Japan. He’ll do that for a few minutes, but I wanted to get this in before. He’ll do awesome and share with us from his heart about his work in Japan. 2 Thes. 2:7, the mystery of iniquity does already work. What is it? A good phrase. Mystery of iniquity. The idea is Lucifer is the archangel in heaven, wisest and most beautiful creature ever created. This creature is astoundingly above. Nobody is wiser or more beautiful. Nobody has the authority that Lucifer has in heaven. He knows God to some measure but not the measure he can trust God. You can’t explain it. It’s a mystery. Christ comes into the world and heals and loves and feeds the multitude. They cry out crucify, crucify. Why don’t you love him and believe in him? How come you can be so wrong? How can you be so wrong that the Christ, God incarnated, is murdered by us people. Judas Iscariot walks with him 3 years. Jesus raises the dead and casts out demons, feeds the multitude, walks on water and Judas is there, doyng! Doyng! You don’t get it? I’m out of here. Give me 30 pieces of silver and I’m out of here. That’s called mystery of iniquity. Beware because you and I have that capacity, Jer 17:9.
In this world the people that are the smartest, most organized, most capable can become very dangerously our persecutors. People that don’t understand us or blame us. We are the problem. We are the problem. That day will come. It has happened in varying degrees. That’s it. Vs. 7. That’s to be explained by the presence of the H.S is preventing the progression of the mystery of iniquity. It’s working in the world but slowed down by the H.S. We are in the presence of God and light is being ministered today in the world, probably a lot more than we realize. Probably thousands got saved today. People got healed today, born again today, entered the kingdom today, enlightened today, prayers answered today. It happened today, one day. God is working in an evil world. He is redeeming and saving and energizing and encouraging. He’s doing a great job. Let’s give God a hand. Yeah, God. Praise God. I really am curious about what I just said. I’d love to see what he did in one day. How many got out of jail and delivered from the devil and went to heaven today. He is working. For us on this earth watching what is happening in our world, it’s good for us to take a look and a second look and study it and think about it. I can be wrong. I hope you and I would have that understanding as people. I could be wrong. I could be wrong. I’m a pastor and I’m greatly responsible for things I say and live, but I include in my understanding that I can be wrong. When you think you stand, beware. You will fall. When you can say God help me. Who is sufficient for these things. You, Christ. I cannot do anything unless it is your Holy Spirit. I may not understand this book except by the H.S. and understand what is going on in this world without the Holy Spirit.
Vs. 8. Wicked is the antichrist. He will be revealed when we are taken away in the Rapture. By the way, if you took millions of people out of the world in a second – how many have credit card debt? It’s not right. You owe money on your house; you have credit card debt and you are gone. What will happen to the world’s economy when all that debt is there, and we are not there. Halleluiah! I’m going up tonight! It is catastrophic what can happen. If millions of people are gone out of the earth, there will be a measure of chaos undoubtedly. There will be someone putting pressure on the system, making it more global if not already. The point is that in vs. 8. That’s seven years later. Vs. 9. What does he have? He’s got power. Signs. Lying wonders. How about levitating, walking in the air, healing the sick, raising the dead. I don’t think Satan can raise the dead but can do lying wonders and powers and signs of magic and being deceiving in vs. 10. Why do these people get deceived? This is a little longer than I thought but it’s a weighty portion. Why are they deceived? They receive not the love of the truth. What’s the love of the truth? There is Jesus on the cross. He’s loving. He is loving. His arms are stretched out. I love you. The love of the truth. The truth. He loves. They don’t receive the love of the truth. They are too occupied. They are deceived. That verse the blind lead the blind. You might say I’m not blind. I would say be careful you are not blind. I’m saying to all of us. Be careful. We are impressionable by popular opinion by movies and TV and friends and places we work at our jobs. We are impressionable when we buy a car. We are impressionable people. We are easily led.
Spurgeon said there was a princess in England in the 19th century. She walked with a limp but a woman of notoriety and importance. The women of the day started to walk like that. It became fashionable. Somebody important walked this way then they started to walk that way. Does that sound familiar? Someone who looks this way and I start to look that way because I am somehow maybe this is the idea may be because I’m empty. I talk like others because I follow by the vacuity that is in my heart. I end up copying or conforming to the world I live in. Everybody says this so I say it. I think maybe in our country we are watching our country becoming a mess. What is going on? Some teenager commits suicide, so some other teenager does that. If someone is in the whole thing of the social media, forget about it. Stop it. Stop it. Can you stop it? I can’t stop it. I’m addicted to it. I want to know what is going on. Maybe you are blind being led by the blind and both falling in the ditch because are you serious? The only way to make it in the day we are living in is to be really serious about J.C. I think that is the thing that is needed. To be serious about it. To memorize it, to pray, to be dedicated, to be committed to God and his calling. I know it can be times for me and my makeup, boring. But I took my boring times and brought them before God. God I will sit here and learn to concentrate on you. I will learn to concentrate on what you’re saying. I’ll let you take care of my boring life. I think my boring life turned into exciting adventures. I’m only saying in principle.
I want to inspire young people and speak to them and say you got to sense it in your spirit and heart when something is wrong. You have to be able to say I’m not going to fight with it. It’s not my life. I have something else cooking in the cooker. I have something else going on with Jesus Christ. I wasn’t fighting with my sin or culture. I wasn’t fighting with the culture and what was going on. I wasn’t conformed to it either. We have something unique and special that people are hungry for. Do you have a message? A word? Something from the Spirit? Could you go back in your prayer closet and get one? We are starting out here. If you don’t have something to bring home to me, a godly joke, a good story, an interesting parable, something to edify and get me sharp and help me out as a backslidden believer then you are just like everybody else. This world we are not going to make it if we are like everybody else. We’ll be like everybody else, phony, laughter, artificial, sophisticated speeches and talks and entertainment and sex and people lie down in sorrow. They are hungry for Jesus Christ and don’t know it.
We have to be serious with J.C. to get what he is wanting to get what J.C. wants to give to us. I think we are. I think it’s an amazing thing. I have a feeling it’s going to get a little hot around here and I know what team I want to be on. I’m not on that team all the time the way I’d like to be. When the heat comes, I want to be there. I want to be there and know I got it and eating it and enjoying it and share it with my sisters and brothers. I expect my sisters and brothers to recognize it and enjoy it also. By that we will be different from the crazy world we live in.
To the teens, never think of taking your life. Label it as demonic. Come to us and we will encourage you and give you godly counsel. One day your life will take off and you’ll say that thought is as far away from me as possible.
I loved that song by Terry S. How did the first line go? She said there was a good day sometimes and sometimes a bad day and right now it’s a bad day. I’m listening and thinking that’s the wrong thing to say. But then she’s saying it through, and it ministered to me. It is true. It can be a bad day for any one of us, but if there is – we have a living God that cares for us. That’s what the song was.
Good evening. We are delighted to be with you back in Baltimore. My wife Natalia was here but is probably in the other room. She’s not only an amazing wife but an amazing mother. We bring a new addition to our family, Daniel. He’s such a precious gift from God. I’m so thankful to God for my wife and son.
As P. Schaller mentioned we were in Japan for 3 years. We are in transition coming back to the states. We are not questioning God as to why. We enjoyed our time in Japan and I’ll share a few things. We’ll be state side in California. If you know of Camp Pendleton a military base, we’ll be there. I’ll be at the navel hospital there for the next three years. We are excited about what God has in S. California. Japan was an amazing experience. We were able to evangelize to the Japanese. Just talk to them. What do you think about life and invite them in and share what we believed.
We just had a conference before we left. P. Jason Moore and Jason Benoit and P. Sejun and P. Steve Devries and a team from China and Korea. We had four Japanese salvations from that conference. We are also very much so grateful for this church, this ministry and still stay connected with the church online. It’s not the same seeing online but we were thankful to stay connected and see every message…amazing messages. We are very thankful to the sound and AV team. Thank you. It is great to be back. It’s not the same online. Just be able to rub shoulders with you and high five is much better.
John 14:6, I realize that probably the majority of you have this verse memorized. If you don’t, you should memorize it. That’s your homework assignment. Can I assign homework in church? I guess I did. This verse let’s read it.
When we are out in Japan or wherever you go, that is our focus. We remained focused on the fact that there is only one way and one truth and one life and that is through Jesus Christ. Amen. There is no other way. We remain focused on that principle when we go out and we can’t lose that focus. It’s nice to reconnect with the church and not that we would lose our focus, but we stay connected to maintain that focus. In athletics, the coach tells you keep your eye on the ball. This is keeping your eye on the ball. This is Jesus Christ who gives you the life you are longing for. If you think about the pathway to life and if there is a point A to point B, if your goal is to get to the good life or abundant life, whatever that means, how do you get there? I’ll share a few things how the Japanese think about this. They don’t think of eternal life but think about wanting a good life.
There’s three things they think about. It’s probably not the Japanese that think this way but a lot of Americans and people around the world. A formula in their mind of how they will get from A to B. Like your health. If I eat right and exercise and do the right things, I’ll maintain good health. That’s one idea of a formula. It’s not a bad formula. Or if I get good grades in school, I’ll get a good education that will get me a good job that will get me a lot of money which means I’ll have a good life. The next thing I’ve had patients in my office say I don’t understand how I got cancer. I have eaten the right things and done all the right things. How did I get this disease? I don’t understand.
Next is favor. People try to gain favor with God or gods. The Japanese and no offense to anybody in Japan or elsewhere, I’m just sharing what they believe. As far as earning favor, they will go up to a shrine. They want to cleanse themselves first so purify with water. They rinse their hands and mouth before they enter the gate where the shrine is. They want to have favor with the gods. When in the shrine, they will throw money into this area. They will bow twice, clap their hands twice, bow again and then pray. If there is a gong there, they will ring the gong. By clapping is waking up the gods so they will receive the money. The main thing is to get favor with the god.
And the next thing is fortune. It’s not formula or a funny favor, just pure good luck. I’ll find a good life just randomly. I’m hoping I get good luck. There are cylinder boxes and they shake the box and out comes a stick. That stick has a number on it. It corresponds to drawers. They pour out the drawer and out comes a fortune. They believe whatever that fortune is whatever good or back and some say it’s a good fortune and some say this is not what I thought. So they walk out of there down.
Let’s remember those things for a second. Formula, favor and fortune but as you know, there is no guarantee with any of those. I want to tell you just one thing. If any of you are math majors, there is a principle that between any two digits is infinity. Let me try to explain this. No matter how big or small the digit, between any two numbers is an infinite amount of points. Point 001 and between .001 and .002 is an infinite amount of points…it goes into an infinity. So bear with me for a second. If you think about your life being from a point A to a point B, the eternal meets you in the middle. God meant it that way for the infinite Christ to meet you in the middle of whatever path you are on. We read in Heb. 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever. Now, we were not to just go from point A to B with our own formula or good luck. Jesus meant to show us the way. He says I am the way and I equip you with the truth and I want to give you an abundant life. What does it mean? Some think abundant life is having a nice house or car or good job or marriage. That’s not what I think Jesus meant when he said to have an abundant life. He meant the life you live in me, Jesus. That’s the abundance. It’s the abundance of love like we heard this morning with P. Scibelli. God’s love never fails. His word never fails. It’s being able to have contentment in any circumstance. The power to forgive and be forgiven. Some have a hard time with either one of those. Maybe have a hard time forgiving themselves for what they’ve done. Maybe have had a backslidden life. How do you receive forgiveness? What about the power to love or be loved. The power to become the sons of God in Jn 1:12.
In one of the raps, a Japanese person asked how do you take care of the orphan spirit? Not human effort or reasoning or therapy that will heal that spirit. It has to be the eternal. It has to be Jesus Christ meeting you in the middle to take you to a life with him. That’s the only way you will get through it. Jesus meant to meet everybody in the middle of their path and show you the way, the truth and give you a life I have in me. There are people who have tremendous need for healing. They have been through failures. They have tremendous guilt and pain and wounded hearts. The only treatment for that is not human effort or strength. It’s Jesus Christ. He has to meet you and take you to the way. Whatever path you are on, just come to the open arms of Jesus Christ as we saw. P. Schaller just mentioned, and Jesus will receive you and take you. I want to share an example that illustrates my point.
At Walter Reed where I worked before we left Japan; I had an opportunity to work with wounded soldiers. Most of the time the patients are crying to me and me handing them the Kleenex box. I remember one instance it was me. It was a 20 some year-old African American soldier who lost three of his limbs, a triple amputee. We were discussing reconstructive surgery on one of his stumps. After we devised a plan for his surgery, I wanted to politely say and be respectful of him and maintain his dignity. I said, how do you cope with life? How do you maintain yourself giving the circumstances you are in? He said I get around pretty well. God spared my right arm. I work part time at a tire shop, and I change tires for a living. To God be the glory. Tears ran down my face. You are a testimony of Jesus in your life. I don’t know if I could do that, if I could have that as my attitude and perspective of life. I was so grateful for him sharing that.
I’m trying to get through that the abundant life is through Christ. If more people can come to that, it doesn’t matter if you are backslidden or failed or been an orphan or wounded. Whatever it is. Whatever point you are from A to B, God meant for you to meet Jesus Christ so he can show you the way and equip you with the truth. Don’t reject it like in 2 Thes 2:10.
Live the abundant life with him that he intended for you.
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