Michael Youssef - Michael Youssef's Testimony
Lorna Dueck: Dr. Michael Youssef was a young scholar when he left Egypt on his way to Australia, then to America, and he has since traveled around the world, teaching the Bible more than 32 times around the world. And Dr. Youssef, we are so delighted you're at "100 Huntley Street" with us.
Dr. Michael Youssef: Lorna, I couldn't tell you how excited I've been since I heard y'all gonna be here and have this renewal of incredible friendship with "100 Huntley Street" and with the Mainse Family.
Lorna Dueck: Okay, let's pick up the renewal right there, because your life has traveled in so many directions, but it all begins in the Christian family for you when your father met David Mainse's father. Tell us about this.
Dr. Michael Youssef: That was back in the early 1900s. And when my father was led to the Lord by a colleague of Mr. Mainse, by the name of Black, and both of them were really preaching. One followed the other, and he was led to the Lord by them and that mission, and he became an elder in their church, the first holiness church that was founded in Egypt. And he was active to the day he died. In fact, in the early days, he used to travel to the villages, because he had his own business. So, he would shut on Sundays so he was available to be there, to travel and help with Mr. Mainse, Sr., and they had a great relationship. And I remember in 1980 when I started coming on "100 Huntley Street" in Toronto, and David and I would share these stories and we had some mutual friends in Canada who were Egyptians. And they will fill in the gaps, because I couldn't remember everything, and I was young at the time.
Lorna Dueck: Well, what a wonderful relationship you have with this ministry that goes way back.
Dr. Michael Youssef: Absolutely.
Lorna Dueck: And we're picking up on your book, "God, Help Me Rebuild My Broken World". And this is our offer this month, but tell me why you're passionate about helping people rebuild the broken places in their life.
Dr. Michael Youssef: Well, I've been broken so many times and I thank God. I always tell people, I said, "It is the time of my brokenness that I can discern". If I put it on a graph, and it would show that all those times when I was broken before God, those are the times of my great spiritual growth, the growth spurts on the spiritual level. At the times when I'm on the mountaintop and experiencing a mountaintop experience, they were okay and I liked them. I prefer them, but really, we don't grow much through those. And so, I have spoken often from my own experience, and therefore I can help people when they are experiencing brokenness in their life. It's a very dear to my heart to be able to minister to somebody who's broken.
Lorna Dueck: It all begins for you through the gateway, the portal of Jesus Christ. Why?
Dr. Michael Youssef: Well, because he's the one who saved me. I was a rebellious young man in a Christian family, and that was absolutely a most horrific thing to a godly family well-known in the city. But I rebelled, and part of my rebellion was, you know, I heard about how my mother risked her life, and so she wouldn't go through with the abortion that she was planning, by the pastor in that same church that this man also knew David Mainse, Sr. But he had a Word from the Lord and my mother obeyed it and didn't go through. Her health was really very poor, but God spared her for 16 years until she saw me come to Christ. And so, the very fact that God saved me in such a wonderful way from my, you know, rebellion. And my rebellion was because I said, "I don't wanna go to the ministry. I want to be successful like my brothers," who are all bankers and economists and doing very well, so I wanna be like that. I didn't wanna go to the ministry at the time. And so, I thought if I rebelled, God will not use me. But he brought me to himself in a wonderful way. And to me, Christ is everything, and here, I've been walking with him now for 52 years. And I was in London just recently and a group of pastors, very wonderful pastors in London who took me out to lunch and we began to talk, and then they asked me the question, "Why are you standing so strong on biblical authority when so many people, even within the evangelical church, are departing from biblical authority, compromising"? And I said, "Two things. Number one, I will never betray Jesus who saved me. And the second thing is that I live for one thing, and that is the audience of One, which I'm gonna have". And what will I say to him? Regardless of what success and regardless of what all the other stuff that is happening, and I'm only a cog in the wheel really, I want to look at Jesus in the eye on that day of the audience of One, and I said, "I was faithful to your Word and I preach your gospel".
Lorna Dueck: And here we have you challenging us this month to read the book of Nehemiah. Ancient book in the Old Testament. Let's start with two things. First of all, why is the Bible still an authoritative source for all of our lives?
Dr. Michael Youssef: Well, the Bible testifies to itself, saying that this is the Word of God, that it's God-breathed. And who am I, who are anybody to say, "No, it's not. Well, it's not relevant. It's for another day"? And secondly, Jesus... and here, some people erroneously say, "Well, you know, I believe in Jesus, I love Jesus, but I don't believe all the Old Testament stuff," but he believed all the Old Testament. That was his Bible that he believed, that he taught, and he said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but not one iota subscript". That's really what the word in the Greek. "Not an iota subscript is gonna disappear from my Word". And so, it's his Word, it's his authoritative, we accept it as God-breathed. And as an old friend of mine used to say, you know, "When these 44 writers were writing the different books of the Bible, the Holy Spirit jumped in the ink".
Lorna Dueck: Let's go to the ink of Nehemiah. Set the stage for us. Why do you think it's important we grapple with Nehemiah?
Dr. Michael Youssef: I'll tell you why. I personally believe that we living in a time like that of pre-Nehemiah time. We living in a time like Jeremiah time. Now, Jeremiah was 70 years before Nehemiah, and Jeremiah was pleading with people and saying, "Repent. Turn to the Lord, because if you don't, terrorism is coming. Terrorism coming from the Babylonians". These are the terrorists of their day. And they wouldn't listen, they wouldn't repent, and the false preachers kept on preaching false gospel, a positive gospel, and they said, "No, no, no, no, these things will not happen". In the end, it happened. And Jeremiah did not say, "Well, I told you so," but he grieved. And if you look at our Western world today, whether it be in Canada, or Europe, anywhere in the West, we have rejected God. We have turned our back to God. We wanna do our thing. We wanna do what we think is right. And that is exactly what Israel did, the apple of his eye. And so, if he permitted terrorism to come to Israel, the old Israel, from the Babylonians, we're seeing it today. Terrorism is terrorizing Europe and terrorizing the West because we are beginning of it, experiencing it. But 70 years later, God remembered his promise to Jeremiah, and because of that, he raised Nehemiah who was in the palace. He was pampered. He had a great authority. People think cup-bearer meaning, you know, just a waiter, but this would be like a chief of staff to the prime minister. And so, God raises him up to go back and to bring healing, and to rebuild the broken walls of Jerusalem, and to rebuild all the infrastructure that was destroyed by the Babylonian terrorists. So, it really reveals God's faithfulness, and that's what I love about the book of Nehemiah. It's all about God's faithfulness. But how did one man, Nehemiah, go about fulfilling and showing the people the faithfulness of God?
Lorna Dueck: Okay, we're gonna tackle that one tomorrow with Dr. Michael Youssef.