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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Michael Youssef » Michael Youssef - Why Does God Allow Evil? - Part 3

Michael Youssef - Why Does God Allow Evil? - Part 3

Michael Youssef - Why Does God Allow Evil? - Part 3
Michael Youssef - Why Does God Allow Evil? - Part 3

The question that a lot of people are asking is this, "What is the origin of evil? Where'd it come from"? And that's the question I'm gonna try to answer in this last of three messages on the problem of evil and the manifestation of that evil. From these Scripture, both Old and New Testament, we know several facts about evil and the evil one. His name was Lucifer, from which we get the word "lucify," meaning the light bearer or the shining one. He was among the highest ranking in the angelic hierarchy, in the angelic beings. God is the one who gave him lots of power and lots of authority. The only thing that God did not delegate to Lucifer is his own throne. No one can sit on the throne of God except God himself.

You see, God created Lucifer as one of his principal servants, angelic being. Lucifer was the seal of perfection. He was not perfect but the seal of perfection. He was filled with wisdom and beauty, and what I'm gonna tell you is very important. Don't switch off because this is really the core issue here. I'm gonna come to it.

You see, Lucifer, being a created being, he's not perfect, not perfect as God is perfect. He reflected the perfection of God. He was not the source of light. He reflected the light of God. He was a mirror, not the source of light. Light never originated with him. Light originated only in God. He merely reflected that light. He was over some of the angelic being, had authority over. He was a senior angel, if you like. He was right up there with Michael and Gabriel. He was among the highest level in the heavenly hierarchy. He was privileged to voice praise to God. He was privileged to voice and bring worship to God. He was privileged to look upon the glory of God, something Moses could not do.

Now tack this information under the belt in your brain, in your mind, okay, because I'm gonna come back to it because it really is a foundational information. Tack it away. It's gonna help you to understand why he is the most dangerous adversary that a believer has. I wanna explain this to you from a human perspective. I want you to imagine a person who's number two in the CIA, and that number-two guy in the CIA defects to the enemy. Think about this. He defects to the enemy's camp. He knows all of the protocol. He knows the secret codes. He knows all of the old contacts.

Now do you understand why the Apostle Paul could say in 2 Corinthians 11:13-14, he could say, "For such are false apostles"? He's talking about false preachers. He said, "For such are false apostles, deceitful workman". They're working in the church. They're workman. He said, "Deceitful workman, they are masquerading as an apostles of Christ". "And no wonder," he said, "for Satan himself masquerade as an angel of light". Satan knows exactly how to appear as an angel of light. That's why he's taken too many pulpits in America today.

If you have not read my book, "Know Your Real Enemy," I recommend you to read it. It will help you. But I want you to remember this. Satan, who is the source of evil, was created by God. Don't forget that. He was created by God just like Adam and Eve were created by God, and God created Satan, or Lucifer at the time, to worship the creator. He created him to praise the creator. He created him to adore the creator, but there's more. God delegated to him some executive authorities. He assigned some of the angelic beings to him to be under his authority, to serve God's purpose throughout the universe. One-third of the angelic beings were under his authority. You say, "How many are these"? We don't know. Even when kids talk about zillions, zillions wouldn't even do a justice to it.

In Ephesians 6:12 it tells us that there are numerous ranks and classes and grades of these angelic beings. Again, in human terms, Lucifer was a top executive assistant to God, if you like. He was acting as an intermediary. He was a middle man, if you like. He would gather worship and bring it to the throne of God. Being a middle man is never easy. Being a middle man is probably the hardest job in the whole world. It requires humility. It requires supernatural maturity. It requires supernatural loyalty, why? Because the closer you get to the top, the more ambitious you and want to take over the top job. But in this case the gulf between the creator and the creature is unbridgeable.

The gap between the creator and the creature is impassible, and yet Isaiah 14:13-14 tells us that that's exactly what happened. Lucifer, pride entered into his heart, pride and arrogance. He wanted to unseat God and take his place on his throne. Five times in those two verses, five times he said, "I will, I will, I will, I will, I will". "I will ascend". "I'll exalt myself". "I'll sit on top". "I will ascend to the highest". "I will be like the Most High God". What happened to Lucifer? Jesus, who coexisted with the Father before all worlds in the Godhead, one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Jesus, for whom and through whom the world was created, he said in Luke chapter 10, verse 18, "I saw Satan when he was thrown out of heaven". "I saw Satan fall from heaven like a lightning," he said.

Now back to the question. Did God know from the beginning that pride is gonna capture Lucifer's heart? God is omniscient, meaning that he knows everything ahead of time. Now I'm gonna ask you a second question. If God knew that Satan, or Lucifer, was gonna rebel against him and fall, could he have stopped him? Amazing. Because God is omnipotent, meaning that he can do anything. Ah, now I know the third question that's in the mind of many of you 'cause I know. I asked it myself at some time. If God knew that Lucifer was gonna rebel, if God could've stopped him, why didn't he? On the face of it, had God stopped Lucifer from rebelling against him he could saved a whole lot of trouble, not just for us but also for God as well, right? Because that rebellion cost him the blood of his Son, Jesus, on the cross. So what is the answer?

The closest that answer that we can come to in this life until we go to heaven and see it clearly, whether it's angelic beings or human beings, the closest is that God placed an element of free will within his created beings. Otherwise we'll become mechanical machines. We'll become robots, or we'd become puppets on strings, or we'd become computer. Just what puts in comes out. But listen to me. God wanted his created beings to freely love him. He wanted his created beings to choose to love him. God respected his created beings enough to place that element of free will inside of them. Scripture presents the sovereignty of God above all and the free will of man together. The Bible wants us to hold both in tension, and the reason people fall in an error is when they elevate one above the other, and they get into trouble, and they fall into heresies. We must have the humility to accept this.

Here's a fact. Lucifer's sin of rebelling against God, of pride in his heart, is reproduced on a regular basis, not only in history but today. It was reproduced when Adam and Eve listened to Satan's smooth talking that brought doubt to their mind about the authenticity of the word of God. It was reproduced when Israel arrived into the Promised Land. After all that God did for them, plagues over Egypt, protection of them, crossing the Red Sea, all of the stuff that God did for them, the moment they get into the Promised Land and they get blessed, they turn their backs on God. It was reproduced again by those proud Pharisees who refused to believe that Jesus is the Messiah that they've been waiting for. It is reproduced every single day when we see pastor after pastor after pastor deciding to buy into the doubt about the inspiration and the infallibility of the Word of God. It is reproduced every single day. It is reproduced again and again when people seat themselves on the judge's bench and want to judge God instead of submitting to him as the most perfect judge of all.

That evil that originated with Lucifer is being repeated every single day among many a professing Christian, how? By thinking more highly of themselves than they ought. Listen to Revelation 12:9, "The great dragon was hurled down, that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him". This is one-third of the angelic beings. How is he deceiving the whole world? Listen to me. First of all, he deceives himself. You see, he lied so much that he believes his own lie. And, secondly, he deceives by never coming clean. Now that's why Paul said of his devices we're not ignorant. Sadly, many Christians are ignorant of Satan's devices.

That's the sad part. If Satan would come out in the open and tell you that he's here to deceive you, none of us, as believers, will ever fall in temptation, if he came out and upfront and he says, "I am Satan". And, by the way, he doesn't have those horns and pitchfork and all that stuff. Man, he is the guy that walk out of the "GQ" front page. He's smooth-talking, miserable operator. He's subtle. He's conniving. He's maneuvering. He's manipulative. He appeals to our lower nature, and, above all, he appeals to our pride. Ah, that's his most favorite door. Think of the person who says, "I cannot believe in a loving God who allows evil and suffering and pain in the world".

What is happening with that person? Satan has really worked him over just like he did it when he came to the garden. He did not come out of nowhere to say, "Don't believe God. Don't trust his word. Don't take him at his word". Eve would have kicked him out, seriously, for she fellowshipped with God. She knew God. She knew what God said. In fact, when he tried to misquote God, she corrected him. She said, "No, no, no. He said, 'Of all the trees you can eat except for this one.'"

So this cunning creature began to choose his words very carefully after he gained their trust. I'm going to come to that in a minute. "Did God really say that? Did you really hear God correctly? Did you really understand exactly what he meant by not eating of this garden"? I mean, just incredible. "Did God really meant what you think he meant? Did God really say what you think he said he said"? You see, his conniving, smooth talking made it possible for Eve to debate the truth of God's Word in her head. Be very careful debating the truth of God's Word in your head.

Now let me tell you, why is that? In Genesis chapter 3, verse 1, it says, "The serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals". You know what this is saying? It's saying that Satan really appear to be trustworthy. See, he just didn't come out of the blue and start talking to her. He's been there for a while. They began to trust him. Today there are deceivers who would say, "Oh, let's not just talk about inspiration of the Scripture. Let's talk about equality. Let's not talk about these doctrinal foundations that you heard about long time ago in your old church. Let's rethink church, rethink church, rethink Christianity. Let's talk about discrimination. Let's talk about free choice whether to kill a baby or not".

What is Satan doing, beloved? Listen to me. What is Satan doing? He's getting us to exchange divine knowledge with human reasoning. He's getting us to exchange obedience to the Word of God for independence. He is getting us to exchange trusting in the authenticity of the Word of God for being accepted by people outside of the church. After all, you can't fill a big arena if you speak the truth bluntly. Satan's deception always appear to have human logic. Listen to me. What I'm going to tell you is really of uttermost important.

So don't miss it because if Satan manages to get you to debate biblical truth in your head, he knows he's about two-thirds of the way in, and here's the truth. Eve was cooked before she looked at that fruit. If he gets you to debate the right and the wrong, emotional entanglement with somebody else outside of marriage, one husband, one wife, if he gets you to debate the truth about monogamous marriage, he's two-thirds of the way there. If he gets you to debate in your head the wrong and the right use of the gift of sexuality that God gave us outside of a monogamous marriage, he's two-thirds of the way there. The moment he gets you to debate in your head the fairness of biblical marriage, he's two-thirds of the way there, why? Because these issues, beloved friends, have been settled in the Word of God long ago, and they don't need to be debated. They don't need to be debated.

This is the origin of evil, and the evil one will present it in such deceptive way that people begin to question and doubt and debate the Word of God in their heads. There's something else, a problem that many believers have. You know that God has forgiven you, that all of your sins, past, present, and future, are under the blood, but you're not able to forgive yourself. Do you know what that is? That's pride. It really is, and it comes from the evil one. If God forgave you, who are you not to forgive yourself? That is the thing that he tries over and over and over to get you to debate things in your head, debate the truth, and he gets people so thoroughly confused.

I've met people, they've become so thoroughly confused, "Reverend Smell Fungus said that," and, "Reverend Super Duck said that," and, "Reverend..." You get so confused you throw your hands up in the air and say, "Well, I don't know what the truth is anymore". That's what he wants. How do you defeat him? How does a believer keeps the enemy not only from attacking but keep him on the run? It really very simple. The answer is found in the infallible, inspired Word of God, not from me, and it's in James chapter 4, verse 7, "Submit yourself to God, and the devil will flee from you". Because of sentence construction, not only are those two things dependent on each other, they're connected with each other, but they're dependent on each other.

Successful resistance emanates from successful submission. What will make that old serpent of old run from you is complete trust in the goodness of God and his Word, is a complete trust in the plan of God for your life even in the tough times, even in the difficult times, even when you have question marks in your head but you trust the Word of God.
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