There’s an arrogance about world-confident Christians. A whole world of service that should be happening through the church to help people, to heal people. Let’s not be captured by the age of distraction. (1 Corinthians 15:33; 1 Corinthians 5:1-6)

Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11540
7:30 PM on 9/12/2018


P. Pavel

Hi everybody. We are extremely excited and blessed that it’s happening. 20 years in Siberia and now we escaped! Now we believe God is leading us to spend some time here. We don’t know how much time. Thank you everyone praying for us and encouraging us and being part of our lives. Part of us being here is helping to build a better connection with our church and the church here. We love you.

P. Schaller

P. Pavel and I, maybe 1992 or 1991, he came to Budapest to study in our Bible college from Russia and we had met him years earlier under the Soviet days when the freedom came and he moved to Budapest. I said let’s make some videos in Russian and teach the book of Ephesians. He and I met every week and he translated it. It was he and I in an empty room. I was teaching Ephesians and he translated. We did it for at least one year and another year in the book of Hebrews. Those cassette tapes have been used in Russia. He’s an amazing guy. We rented a house in Budapest for Russian guys to live in. We bought coal to heat the house. They burned it all up in one month. No more coal. They were freezing. He never forgets it. They were freezing that winter in Budapest. We have many of these stories precious to us because they are rooted in our faith.

I have a simple message tonight. We’ve had very good messages here by God’s grace. Tonight it’s going to be a different story!

1 Cor. 15, It will be good. Short though I think. 1 Cor 15:33, that’s the message tonight. First point, do you believe the people who are with you in your life influence your life? Do you believe good people have a good influence on your life? Do you believe what you talk about with people has an influence that the content of what you say and think and what your values are have an effect on you? Can you give some examples of that? It seems to me Paul was glad he and Silas they were in Philippi in the jail and decided to sing and rejoice and turn it on. Live in faith. That the Spirit anointed them and visited them. It seems when Jesus was here on the earth, he chose 12 men. He and those 12 men had a good influence on each other. He was not wandering like we said the other night. He had a purpose. He was going somewhere and the Spirit of God was on his life.

Don Tree form Philadelphia. Raise your hand for a second. He’s right over here. He drives down for the service from Philadelphia. I am interested in this theme because I think we underestimate the value that we have on this fellowship with our family members when we are gathered and have words of communion like we shared a week ago. There are words of communication like my phone number, the knowledge of science or history, details about life and then those words of communion. Words of life.

Php. 2, words of the Spirit. Words of definition. Words of devotion. Words of faith. Faith.

I remember Ed Canino in 1980 in Lenox and he had a missionary mind and talked to me in the mission’s office in Lenox and said I have a dream we could have a ship and do missions in the Caribbean. We talked to Dr. Stevens and had a prayer chain and a prayer room and brought it before God in prayer. He found a ship in Norway 300 ton ferry and he said in his heart let’s go. Let’s buy it. Let’s bring it across the Atlantic Ocean. Anyone on that maiden voyage? One survivor here! Swedish, Finish and American crew members and some never on a ship before. In the ship log this Swedish captain who brought the ship over, he said he never saw this before but stormy seas and…he had a pole and storm so great he hit his face in the pole and Eve was swept overboard. They ran and told the captain and had to turn the ship around. To find a man lost at sea is virtually impossible. The captain said he never saw anything about it. Everything was like a flat sea and there was Eve bobbing up and down. He said when I saw the back of the shipping going off, I knew it was over but God was there and saved his life. God is in the prayer room and hears prayers. Words spoken from God. His promises don’t fall to the ground. We have words not just of communication but communion. Let’s buy a ship and bring it over. We used La Gracia in the Caribbean.

Do you believe the people of faith have a good influence on you? People believing God and talking about him and praying to him have a good influence on us. I think it keeps me away from drinking and wandering and women and confusion. Keep me away from emptiness and leads and guides me in righteousness. It leads and guides us in righteousnesses. Where else do we see it? Moses is with God and Joshua is close to Moses. He wants all the influence from Moses he can get. Give me some of that faith, that vision. Who I hang out with can influence my life. Who is discipling me.

We had 65 visitors in two months in the summer. One Sunday morning, we had 20 visitors for the first time. I went to the Google review of GGWO and it says 4.8 stars! Almost 5! Why? Good things happen with God’s people. God’s people have good influence with other people. Some are far away in heart and mind and we are living and leading and guiding them in the faith.

There is good top soil in our lives. The compost pile. The dead things in the earth, the bacteria, the rotting vegetables and animal material. The top soil of my life and yours is not to be despised. Our trials and our failures. God used Peter’s sin to humble him and lead him in true spirituality. Peter when converted strengthen the brethren. You strengthen the people who come. You meet them and encourage them in the faith. Good influence. That’s the first point. Say to your neighbor, do you have good influence? I want answers and I want them now! If we can be around a Nehemiah, an Ezra, a Jeremiah. If we can be around David, an apostle Paul or Timothy. In a good place, it will influence our vocabulary, our reading material, our quietness, our focus, our digestion of truth and concentration on it. I love that concentration theme. Concentrating and reiterating and focusing and the Spirit teaching us. Have a private quiet time. Have a time when you can concentrate with all your heart and mind on reading.

I once asked P. Tree if he had a block of time, what he would do with it. He said I’d sit in a room with a pile of National Geographic magazines and my Bible. I’d look at the people far away, the tribal people that they would get the gospel. I’d think of people far away. I’d have a vision for the people of the world who have not heard and don’t know about God’s grace and love. Wow, Pastor Tree. That’s a missionary heart and vision.

That’s like bringing La Gracia over to Baltimore. That’s like looking at teens in Baltimore city and saying this can happen. Inside the Holy Spirit is leading us in our hearts and we are encouraging each other in our faith. Who do I hang out with at work?

1 Cor 15:33, be not deceived means I could be wrong. I could be wrong. I’m pretty strong. I’m spiritual. I got a lot of convictions in me. I got a lot going for me. When I’m with you, I feel like a lion. I feel strong and built up but then God would say don’t be deceived. Don’t think you can handle everything. Don’t think you are beyond temptation. Don’t think you couldn’t be influenced adversely or misled.

One of our people in Finland where this young girl not married and worked at a lawyer’s office. On Friday, after work they would go out for Happy Hour or to a bar and have a few drinks and they would ask her come and be with us. She was very tempted. Evil communications corrupt good manners. I don’t know what they are going to be talking about. What is in the heart? What is their motive? I don’t think it refers only to that scenario but influences that happen among us that we need to be aware of. I could be vulnerable and adversely affected and led into something not prepared for it. I don’t have the weapons that are needed that might be coming my way by one person or a group of people or someone I love and respect.

vs. 34. Awake to R, and sin not. For some have not the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame. The Corinthians didn’t believe in the resurrection of the dead. Paul is saying, really? I can’t believe that. If Christ is not raised from the dead, there is no resurrection from the dead, he is saying earlier in the chapter. The false teaching is affecting the church.

1 Cor. 5:1, so this is in the church. Some man is living with his father’s wife and Paul is saying I heard about this. Don’t you know that this could affect you? This is letting your guard down. This is misunderstanding what the church is. This is inappropriate but some of you are puffed up in vs. 2. You should be saddened about this. Don’t misunderstand me. Sometimes a single woman gets pregnant and everyone is rejoicing about it. I am too in the sense that a child will come into the world. At the same time I mourn. I’m saddened by it. It shouldn’t be. I’m not saying this to condemn. If there is something wrong that I should think this is wrong but everybody or a large number of people may be saying it is okay or right and such things. We could have differences of opinions or convictions about things. Paul is saying wait a minute. This is wrong. It’s wrong. This should not be.

vs. 2. There is this confidence, worldliness. “Narrow minded, judgmental Christians in this church.” vs. 2-3. He judged already. He made a judgment in his heart already. He already understood God’s mind on this thing. Baltimore churches often are politically driven and sensitive. I meet someone on the street and they say you are Christian, what do you think of Donald Trump? Hold it. I’m not on the street for that reason. I’m talking about Jesus Christ. That’s not on my agenda. That’s not my mission. What do you think of and they go off on their opinion. Wait a minute. I don’t believe that is right for us as believers. That whoever the president is, we are to pray for him and feel in our heart this is a hard job. This is nearly impossible. Whoever the president is. We should be humble and broken before God and caring about the important things. What is the Spirit doing in the city of Baltimore to save the people on the street and the drug addicts dying and the young kids need help and a mentor. There is a whole world of service must be happening through the ministry of Christ through the church, not racism and politics. If something is wrong, I agree but wait a minute. I have an opinion about it in my heart. We are to be very sensitive to God and his mind and his way. Okay. People affect us. The spiritually- minded people lead us in faith so we have a La Gracia church or a new church in Miami or a new wave of Bible college students. Too much arrogance in the church in general with carnality.

vs. 4-5 that’s pretty severe. He is not welcomed there. The balance is we invest in people and teach them and lead them. We’d have to have a serious talk with this man. If he’s not going to agree and have the right attitude in his heart regarding our words of wisdom, he could influence others.

vs. 6. We have brothers making pizza down here at the end, at the Convention tent years ago. They had pizza dough in the refrigerator and they put too much leaven in it and the dough was coming through the rubber gasket in the frig. They opened the door, and the whole thing was filled with pizza dough.

How much leaven? How much sin and carnality and arrogance and wrong evaluation of things? It can affect us in a large way. I have been with the brothers and sisters and someone living with another person out of marriage. They think it’s the way it is. We don’t do that. We have people that the Holy Spirit shows them. We are not preaching on it on a regular basis but the Holy Spirit teaches people. They come to us and say they want to get married. Sometimes marriage in the office and go to the peace maker. What is it called? Justice of the peace! And they get married. God does these things. I am saying there is the outside approach of the problem but we love to see the grace of God move long after we get on track and focused on truth and enjoy it on the inside. These convictions form and we are different from the world. We influence each other in a godly way. Beautiful things happen amongst us. We find friends forever. We are friends forever.

We are not afraid to help each other, correcting each other, Gal 6:1 in the spirit of meekness. Listen, I understand what you are saying but let’s check ourselves on that. I include myself on it. Let’s walk carefully, circumspectly before God. Because this might not be right. It may be everyone is doing it. But it may not be right. Getting married is a good example. Get married and get blessed. Make a commitment and get God’s blessing. You go to the church and say we are doing this before God. I like to think we are as different as the Amish are from the rest of society. They are different. I don’t know if they are saved or if they are legalistic. I don’t know much about their spiritual life. I use it as an illustration. I’m not afraid to be different. The difference between me and the world is spiritual. The more we can know him and follow him, the better the influence affects us and affects our sisters and brothers. It’s our way of living and thinking. You and I can compromise in this world we are living in and we don’t realize.

1 Cor 15:33, be not deceived. Do not be deceived. This leaven can affect you and I. Something needs to be done about it. I’m not afraid of it. I don’t worry about it. There is a fellowship at the office. There is a fellowship in your life. Relationship with the world in general. At the movies and influences that happen in this world.

This is the age of distraction. But I chose the age of concentration. We have found the world of divine concentration that has such an effect on our conviction and what we believe. This is our communion and our purpose.


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