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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Michael Youssef » Michael Youssef - True Liberty

Michael Youssef - True Liberty

Michael Youssef - True Liberty
TOPICS: Independence Day, Liberty, Freedom, America, USA

Thank you to all of our musicians, and our guest musicians. We thank you for a wonderful, wonderful hard work. Thank you so much, thank you. I love this service. I never miss it. Except for once. And especially today, when I welcome back to this pulpit a dear friend, a man that I admire and respect a great deal. On the one hand, Colonel Allen West does not really need an introduction. So I can stand here and I can tell you the fact that he only grew up a few miles from here. Atlanta is his home. I can tell you about his 22-year career in the army as a Lieutenant Colonel.

I can tell you about how he served this great nation in Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and in Afghanistan, how he commanded many battalions. I can tell you about the medals, great medals of honors that he had received, and so many to number. I can tell you about his serving the 22nd District of Florida in Congress. But I wanna do something different because I wanna tell you about the intelligence of the man. It's one thing to command battalions in the battle, and it's another thing to really command knowledge of who your real enemy is. And I'm gonna set this video, and then I want you to watch.

male: My question is mainly for the warriors. We were talkin' about how to identify the enemy. And last week, Helen Thomas, and her question was, "Why do they wanna do this"? And the answer was, you know, "Well, because there's this warped version of Islam that is motivating them". And her question, again, was, "Why? Why would they warp a religion"? What do you say to people who will jump through any mental hoops in order to make us the bad guy?

Lieutenant Colonel Allen West: Let me say this, and this, I don't care about bein' popular, whatever. The first thing you gotta do is you got to study and understand who you're up against. And you must realize that this is not a religion that you're fighting against. You're fighting against a theo-political belief system and construct. You're finding against somethin' that's been doing this thing since 622 AD, so 7th century, 1,388 years. You wanna dig up Charles Martel and ask him why he was fighting the Muslim army at the Battle of Tours in 732? You want to ask the Venetian fleet at Lepanto why they were fighting a Muslim fleet in 1571? You wanna ask the Christian, I mean, the Germanic and the Austrian knights why they were fighting at the Gates of Vienna in 1683? You wanna ask people what happened at Constantinople and why today it's called Istanbul? Because they lost that fight in 1453. You need to get into the Quran. You need to understand their precepts. You need to read the Sura. You need to read the Hadith, and then you can really understand, this is not a perversion. They are doin' exactly what this book says.

Dr. Youssef: Colonel West.

Lieutenant Colonel Allen West: Wow, thank you. Thanks a lot. It is such a pleasure and an honor to be back in my home city, but I wanna talk to you all today about somethin' that's so important, somethin' I think that defines us, but yet, we still do not understand really what this word means, and that's true liberty, our blessed assurance. That's what we have, not just as Christians, but also as Americans.

Let me read for you this quote: "The world has never had a good definition of the word 'liberty,' and the American people just now are much in want of one. We all declare for liberty, but in using the same word, we do not all mean the same thing. With some, the word 'liberty' may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself and the product of his labor. While with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men and the product of other men's labor. Here are two not only different, but incompatible things called by the same name, liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by their respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names: one liberty, and the other tyranny".

President Abraham Lincoln at the Sanitary Fair, Baltimore, Maryland, April 18, 1864. "'There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty that makes human nature rise above itself in acts of bravery and heroism,' the first secretary of treasury of the United States of America, one of the cowriters of the United States Constitution, Alexander Hamilton". See, the thing that we have to understand, and this says it right here in the Bible in 2 Corinthians chapter 3, and verse 17: "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty".

Why is that verse is so important? Why is that such a fundamental verse for us as Christians, and also for us as Americans? It's very simple. Because that verse started a series of events. That verse comes from an incredible event that happened many millennia ago because God understood one thing, that salvation is an individual responsibility. True liberty and freedom for your inner soul is an individual responsibility. And he knew that he had to reconcile, that he had to redeem man unto him, but it wasn't about goin' to some priest and having them slay a bunch of lambs, and you stand around an altar, and they burn 'em, and you sing some incantations. It was about sending the true Lamb of God.

And when the true Lamb of God took that action on Calvary, that was about what Alexander Hamilton talked about, bravery and heroism, when that night before, when he said, "It is not my will, but your will be done," what he had to suffer so that we can be here. That is the true liberty that we have within ourselves. That is the true liberty that God unleashed for us because we have a permissive will, but God wanted us to show true liberty in a perfect will, his desire, what he would have for us in our lives. And that is why Jesus Christ came. That is why Jesus Christ went to Calvary. That is why he shed his blood. That is why the Holy Spirit came to live and reside in each and every one of us, so that we can have that true inner liberty, that true inner freedom.

And it says later on in 2 Corinthians chapter 4, starting at verse 16: "Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, a light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, and while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal". And verse 1 of chapter 5: "For we know that if this earthly tent," this body that we have, "which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens".

That's the blessed assurance that you have when you understand true individual freedom and liberty through the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But God wasn't done. God understood this, that "even if I have introduced this individual freedom, this spiritual freedom, this individual liberty into the world, much the same as you can have a beautiful plant, and if you don't put that plant in the right type of soil, if you don't nurture that plant", and I've killed a lot of plants, don't worry. What happens to that plant? So God understood that "even though I have created this for man, I have created this relationship for man to have with me, I've gotta make sure that the environment is right for that to grow and to prosper," right, Pastor?

And so a string of events occurred that brought us to what we're about to celebrate with our independence. How many people here have ever heard of a man that was born back in, I think, 1483 in Germany? His name was Martin Luther, and Martin Luther created an incredible revolution. Martin Luther understood that your salvation was an individual thing. But what Martin Luther was facing against was a church that had this called "indulgences". Imagine this, imagine if when you came into the Church of the Apostles, there was a list of services out there, and I'm not talkin' about services that you have here, services, as in fees.

"If you want Pastor Youssef to pray for you to get a job, it's this much. If you want Pastor Youssef to pray over your kids growin' up, it's this much". That's what they had back then. It was a thing called "indulgences". And Martin Luther finally said, "Enough of this". Why should we, if we are spiritually free, have to go to Pastor Youssef, to write Pastor Youssef a check to go pray to the Lord for our salvation, which has already been won because we have true liberty? So on October the 31 of 1517, this simple Germanic monk walked up to the church doors in Wittenberg. He took out a nail. He took out a document that had 95 talking points, called, "The 95 Theses," and he nailed it to that church. Just the same as our Savior was nailed to a tree so that we could have individual spiritual liberty.

He nailed that to that door so that he would start a revolution that got people to understand that your salvation is yours. It is yours to have. It is yours to claim. You don't need to go to Pastor Youssef. You don't need to go to a pope. You don't need to go to a bishop. You don't need to go to a minister. That's your blessed assurance. And we can sit here today because in October the 31 of 1517, Martin Luther began a thing called, "The Protestant Reformation," which said that "man in and of himself is free to worship the Lord. He is free to have a relationship with the Lord. He has a liberty that was already won on Calvary". And then, all of a sudden, this Book became one of the most popular books printed by the Gutenberg press because it opened it up for all of us to be able to commune with the Lord.

Now, it wasn't easy. I mean, Pastor, you know. There were wars that were fought because this was a challenge of the status quo. And can you understand that? A challenge of the status quo to say that "we have an individual liberty, an individual freedom, a spiritual freedom that is not just for our eternal life, but it is also for you here in God's kingdom on earth". Because what God understood was this incredible blessing of salvation had to have fertile ground. It had to have the right environment. It had to have the right atmosphere to be able to grow, to be able to prosper. Because if not, man would seek his way to be able to once again, as Abraham Lincoln said, "How some men see what they can do with other men," which is not liberty, which is a fight that we're having here in the United States of America right now.

Years later, at a faraway place, 13 simple single little colonies. Thomas Jefferson was given a chore, to write a Declaration of Independence, a Declaration of Independence for a nation that would be unheard of in the world at that time, a nation that said that individuals were free, a nation that said that the freedom of the individual and their liberties did not come from man, but they came from a Creator. A nation that understood that what happened on Calvary many years ago would be the manifestation of this country that we would create, a nation that would fulfill that vision, that dream of Martin Luther when he nailed those 95 Theses that said, "You don't have to go to anyone to pay them to intercede for you".

When John Locke said that "there is no such thing as divine rights theory, there is natural rights theory, and that government is of the people," that's what you are living in today. That's what we celebrate today. That's what we are going to remember. I don't wanna hear people say, "Happy 4th of July". 'Cause when you say, "Happy 4th of July," no one knows truly what it means. No one understands why this country was created, and therefore, you have people to come along, and they try to redefine what liberty and freedom and rights are.

See, we have that inherent freedom. We have that blessed assurance. That was taken care of by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But what we must to come to understand, and if that we do not have a righteous governance that allows that individual freedom, that true liberty, that blessed assurance to thrive, then it'll get replaced by something completely different. We sing, "God Bless America". We don't sing, "Government Bless America". That's a very important distinction 'cause God has a really big G. Government got a really little G, okay? What I need you to walk out of here today, 56 men believed in a higher power, a higher calling, 56 men that understood what true liberty is and where true liberty came from. They understood their blessed assurance.

Fifty-six men, who, in signing their names, signed their death warrant. Fifty-six men that ensured that you live in a nation where your first liberty is the freedom of religion and the free exercise thereof. Do not let anyone tell you that you don't have it. They ensured that what Christ did on Calvary became a manifestation here in these United States of America. There is no other nation on this earth that says your inalienable rights come from God. There is no other nation in the world that talks about your spiritual liberty, your individual freedom, the fact that you have that connection to the Lord.

That's what Martin Luther wanted to ensure that we had. Your salvation is your individual gift from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This incredible earthly liberty that we have is your individual responsibility to keep and pass on from generation to generation so that 200 years from now, our descendants will still read the Declaration of Independence and they will still praise our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ because they understand our true liberty, and they understand that blessed assurance. God bless you all, and thank you.
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