330 episodes

For twenty years Dr. Steve Schell’s 30-minute radio program, Life Lessons, was heard throughout the United States. Now, Pastor Steve’s thorough, well-studied sermons can be heard again. Committed to comprehensively teaching through entire books of the Bible, Pastor Steve pulls out the deep, eternal truths in each section of Scripture without skipping over the challenging passages. He applies what is learned clearly and practically so that listeners are inspired to not just be hearers of the Word, but doers.

You’ll greatly enjoy the depth of his teaching, the transparency of his stories and the humor of his preaching style as the Holy Spirit uses each sermon to transform your heart and mind. These sermons will help foster true discipleship for the committed Christian, both young and old.

Dr. Steve Schell served as a pastor for over 45 years and has spent a lifetime studying the Word of God. He has served as the chairman of Foursquare’s Doctrine Committee for 20 years and has written four books. He is now President of the non-profit organization Life Lessons Publishing and spends his time writing books for Bible study and discipleship.

Life Lessons with Dr. Steve Schell Steve Schell

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.9 • 51 Ratings

For twenty years Dr. Steve Schell’s 30-minute radio program, Life Lessons, was heard throughout the United States. Now, Pastor Steve’s thorough, well-studied sermons can be heard again. Committed to comprehensively teaching through entire books of the Bible, Pastor Steve pulls out the deep, eternal truths in each section of Scripture without skipping over the challenging passages. He applies what is learned clearly and practically so that listeners are inspired to not just be hearers of the Word, but doers.

You’ll greatly enjoy the depth of his teaching, the transparency of his stories and the humor of his preaching style as the Holy Spirit uses each sermon to transform your heart and mind. These sermons will help foster true discipleship for the committed Christian, both young and old.

Dr. Steve Schell served as a pastor for over 45 years and has spent a lifetime studying the Word of God. He has served as the chairman of Foursquare’s Doctrine Committee for 20 years and has written four books. He is now President of the non-profit organization Life Lessons Publishing and spends his time writing books for Bible study and discipleship.

    85 - Authority in Prayer

    85 - Authority in Prayer

    This chapter is a case study in bad human leadership. Luke describes Paul’s voyage to Rome in great detail, and by the time 276 people wade ashore on the island of Malta we’re left amazed that anyone survived the foolish decisions made by those who were supposed to protect them. Time after time the human leaders used their authority to benefit themselves and ignored their responsibility to care for those they led. The Roman governor (Festus) put Paul, the centurion and others in danger by sending them to Rome late in the year because he didn’t want to wait until spring to get rid of Paul. The captain of the ship didn’t want to move around the harbor if a storm arose, so he was willing to risk the lives of all on board to make a run for another harbor. The centurion in charge of Paul was a kind man, and the only person who made any good decisions, but on a crucial decision, he ignored God’s warning and followed the majority opinion. The sailors were willing to abandon ship and let hundreds of people drown to save their own lives. And the soldiers wanted to kill all their prisoners so they wouldn’t risk being punished if any escaped. Only Paul and God cared for the people on board. In the midst of a deadly typhoon Paul earnestly prayed that their lives would be spared, and God rescued every one. This chapter is also a case-study of what we can expect from God. We should notice as we read it what God did, and what He did not do. Bad leadership was able to put people in harm’s way. The cargo, which would have included as much as 30 tons of wheat, was lost. The ship itself, which may have been as much as 180 feet long, was lost. God provided a warning, but He did not prevent the physical and economic destruction caused by bad leaders. But notice: even in that desperate situation believers could intercede and ask God to give them the people. In God’s eyes they were the true treasure on that ship, not the wheat or the ship itself. Even if the ship must go down, God wants to save the people. They should be our focus as well.

    • 1 hr
    84 - Real Repentance

    84 - Real Repentance

    It’s easy to confuse the terms “works of the Law” with “works worthy of repentance.” We can take the truth that we are saved by faith and not by works to mean that our works don’t matter; in fact some people consider any attempt to produce good works to be dangerous because it might lead to self-righteousness. The result of this kind of thinking has been believers who are nearly devoid of good works. Some sincere, but confused, believers are careful not to do anything that might resemble a good work, and even scold others when they step out to do something for God. The result is a very low level of discipleship and a very poor reputation in the community.Today, as we listen to Paul explain his faith to King Agrippa, we hear him say something that might surprise us, especially coming from the apostle who taught fervently against works. Listen again to what he told Agrippa: “So, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly sight, but first [went] to [the Jews] in Damascus and Jerusalem and all the countryside of Judea, and [then] to the nations, [and] I announced to [them that they must] repent and turn [and call] upon God, practicing works worthy of repentance” (my translation). Paul assured the king that he had not disobeyed the commands Jesus gave him; in fact it was his obedience to those commands that got him in trouble. He said he first went to the Jews and preached the Gospel to them whether they lived in Damascus (Ac 9:19-25), Jerusalem (Ac 9:26-30; 22:17-21; Gal 1:18), or even out in the rural countryside of Judea. Then he went to the Gentiles (nations). And everywhere he went his message was the same: He told people to repent and turn to God “doing works worthy of repentance.”

    • 53 min
    83 - Spiritual Conversations - b

    83 - Spiritual Conversations - b

    It’s one thing to believe that God still speaks to us today, but it’s quite another to know how to listen to His voice. Many believers, many long-time believers, have never been around anyone who actually lived this way. They have no models to show them how or prove to them it works. Yes, they read about such things in the Bible, but outside of that the Christians they know seem to function just like non-Christians when it comes to making decisions, the only difference being that a Christian will use a different system of values to guide his or her choice. Whether someone is a Christian or a non-Christian, most people tend to make decisions by using their deductive reasoning. They evaluate the possibilities, and then choose the best, or maybe the safest, course of action. The Christian hopes the choice they make will please God, but God Himself has remained a passive observer in the process. There was no divine voice or spiritual revelation involved, just well-intended human reasoning. And that type of decision-making is not wrong; it’s just not enough. It’s always our desire to please Him that pleases Him. And frankly, there are a lot of day-to-day decisions which need to be made this way. We have been given a rational mind and are meant to use it. But as believers we’ve also been given the Spirit of God to dwell in us, and His presence is not just a biblical truth to affirm. He is a Person who has joined Himself to us. We don’t have a distant God we pray to. We have a living God who is near us every moment, and who wants to guide us through life. In a previous message we introduced the subject of “spiritual conversations.” We observed Jesus’ words to Paul about “kicking against the goads” (Ac 26:14), and said that such a statement revealed that God had begun a “conversation” with Paul long before Paul realized it. His spirit knew things his mind didn’t understand, and we noted that this type of spiritual deafness was not unique to Paul. We too can get stuck in the reasonings of our rational mind and not hear what the Spirit is saying to us. Our lesson today is meant to help us step out into our own “spiritual conversations” with God. In other words, to help someone who wants to hear God’s voice and see what the Spirit is doing, get started. Spiritual conversations (revisited)God has given us a mind and He wants us to use it, but He warns us not to “lean” on it (Pr 3:5). We’re also supposed to listen to Him with our spiritual “ears” and observe what He’s doing with our spiritual “eyes” (Mt 13:13). It’s normal and right to seek God’s will by testing a decision, using biblical criteria to determine which choice would be acceptable to Him. And this kind of biblical examination of our decisions is always appropriate. If a choice violates a biblical principle, it’s not from God. But this mental process of elimination is not the only way God wants to guide us. We must also spiritually listen for His voice, and that can be challenging because it requires faith. It means I have to acknowledge someone I can’t see with my eyes and obey a voice I didn’t hear with my ears. I have to allow a part of me to awaken which other people may mock.

    • 57 min
    82 - Spiritual Conversations - a

    82 - Spiritual Conversations - a

    We know a lot more about God than our minds are able or willing to understand. We’ve all had experiences that we know took place, but we can’t explain. There have been moments in our lives when we recognized that someone was present with us, even if we didn’t know His name. There have been times when an unseen hand came out of nowhere to protect us, or a voice interrupted our thoughts with information we needed to hear. Since we are spiritual beings living in a spiritual world, it shouldn’t surprise us when such things take place, but it usually does, because we live in a culture that has been trying to deny that anything spiritual exists, for the past 300 years. We’re repeatedly told that the universe arose out of nothing, that life is a meaningless accident, and that when we die our conscious minds cease to exist and our bodies decompose and return to the earth. And those voices are getting louder and more demanding. So people tend to hide their spiritual experiences, feeling confused or even embarrassed that they had them. They assume they must have imagined it, or what happened was merely a very unusual coincidence. Yet spiritual encounters can’t be explained away that easily, because deep down inside there’s a part of us that still remembers what happened.Paul shared his testimony with Agrippa in an effort to help this man listen to his own heart. The king was an expert in religious tradition, but at the same time tragically enslaved to the passions of his flesh. The man desperately needed Jesus, but his rational mind was in the way, so Paul shared his own personal story to try to help him listen to his spirit. On this occasion Paul described everything Jesus said to him during that encounter on the road to Damascus. He disclosed things that aren’t recorded anywhere else, and he did so for a reason. He was trying to awaken Agrippa’s spirit to remember things he had already heard. If we listen carefully he’ll awaken ours as well.

    • 53 min
    81 - Paul's Hope

    81 - Paul's Hope

    Standing in front of a Jewish king and queen, a Roman governor, and the prominent men of Caesarea, Paul said the reason he was on trial wasn’t because he had done anything wrong, it was because of his faith. In fact, the trial was really about God. Does He or does He not raise dead people to life? He said it was this hope of eternal life that motivated the patriarchs of Israel, and it was this hope that motivated Jews in every generation to serve God zealously, day and night. Yet strangely that hope is not always matched with faith. We can long for something we don’t really believe will happen. People can wrestle with the fact of their mortality, and passionately yearn to escape the grip of death, but when actually confronted with the question of whether or not they believe God will raise them from the dead, the truth is they don’t. Because if they did, then why would it be so hard to believe that He has already raised someone from the dead?Paul’s logic is flawless: if we really believe God can and will raise dead people to life then why would it be so shocking to hear someone say He’s already done it; that a man has already escaped the grave, forever? When Paul comes to the end of his testimony he makes this statement, “…I stand to this day testifying to small and great, stating nothing but what the prophets and Moses said was going to take place, that the Christ was to suffer, and that by reason of His resurrection from the dead He would be the first to proclaim light both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles” (Ac 26:22-23). When Paul spoke those words, the governor pronounced him crazy (v24), the king said he was almost persuaded (v28), and everybody got up and walked out.That’s how they responded then, but the question before us today is how will we respond. It’s not enough, says Paul, to believe there must be a God. Actually, it takes a strange form of faith to believe there isn’t one. It’s not enough to believe there must be a celestial land where human spirits go after they die. Nearly every culture on earth believes that. It’s nearly intolerable for humans to bury our loved ones with no hope of ever seeing them again, to assume that their existence has been snuffed out like a candle. As he stood in that courtroom Paul placed in front of them the issue that is at the heart of all biblical faith: that God will physically raise the dead to life, all of them, both the good and the bad. Some may say that’s crazy. Some may draw close but never commit. And some, like Paul, choose to believe, and that changes everything.

    • 49 min
    80 - The Gift of Truth

    80 - The Gift of Truth

    Character is who we are under pressure. It’s a part of us that we form one choice at a time. In effect, our personality becomes a collection of habits. When certain things happen we find ourselves responding the same way over and over again. And the older we get the deeper those patterns grow. We still have a free will and change is possible, but those habits grow so strong it’s as though they are now dragging us along through life. We are often unaware of how strong a habit has become until we face a crisis and need to act differently. If we actually try to change we quickly discover it’s not nearly as easy as we thought it would be. We’ve been making excuses for our behavior and giving ourselves permission to do certain things so often that we came to believe those excuses. Change can appear dangerous or even wrong. Many people try to compartmentalize their character. They think they can act one way in one area of their life, and another way in another area. But they’re fooling themselves. Habits are habits, and the patterns developed in one area are soon guiding the way we respond in another. In particular, the willingness to lie “when necessary” is a very difficult habit to break because in those situations there is always a price to pay for telling the truth. We probably learned to lie, if indeed we did, in order to avoid conflict. Our goal was to protect ourselves and preserve peace, not deceive someone. But once we let that habit in, it grew to have a far greater power over us than we expected. It began controlling us, rather than us controlling it. Festus realizes he is going to pay a heavy personal price if he gives Paul justice. His political future could be at stake. Little does he know, he will be dead within two years, so he doesn’t have a political future to protect. At that moment he was simply trying to avoid the kind of controversy Felix had experienced. He’d watched how much influence Israel’s religious leaders had in Rome, and he didn’t want to end up like Felix who barely escaped Nero’s wrath when he returned. So what must have been an old habit took over. He would try to appear impartial while trying to manipulate the situation with lies. 

    • 45 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
51 Ratings

51 Ratings

Gospel Tech ,

Lovely, consistent reminders of the Gospel

I continue to return to these messages for a grounded, Biblically solid, and humble reminder of the beauty and goodness of God and the gospel. In listening to Pastor Steve I am encouraged on in my own study and faith, I am reminded of Biblical truths that are critical to my daily walk, and I am encouraged by the clear and deliberate presentation of the gospel through exegetical teaching.

i should have taken the blue pill ,

You have no idea

Pastor Steve, I went to Northwest foursquare years ago and then moved. But you are still my pastor from 20yrs ago, to this day. I listen to most of your sermons and I can’t believe how much they speak directly to something I’m thinking or wondering about or dealing with even in the crazy times we are experiencing right now in 2023. Please don’t stop this podcast and it sure would be nice to hear what you have to say now that you’ve had some time to be retired, I’m sure you have many interesting thoughts about what we are going through and what we are looking to in the future. God bless you and your family.

Julie Longpre

Dano221 ,

Enjoy Dr. Steve but…

I have gleaned a lot from Dr. Steve Schell and attended many of his services. He is a good man and I learned a lot from him. However his position on how one is saved is concerning. In his excerpt on baptism it is clear he believes one cannot be saved simply by faith alone in Christ alone but must DO many other things such as, life commitment, surrender their lives, follow him, proof of a changed heart, etc… this is well intended,but nonetheless a works salvation doctrine.

While I agree these characteristics are what follows a person who has been saved, it is not these “proofs” that saves us. Only faith in Christ alone saves us. In other words,We were justified by believing the Gospel, not PROVING we believed it by the process of works.(evidence of a changed life). Justification is not a process, it is at the moment of faith in the Son of God. I do not agree mixing discipleship with justification. Both are important but MUST be kept separate. So the idea that one cannot simply receive (believe in) Jesus and be saved is quite contrary to over 100 verses in the Bible that say that’s the only way to get saved.

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