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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Michael Youssef » Michael Youssef - It Is Never Too Late - Part 2

Michael Youssef - It Is Never Too Late - Part 2

Michael Youssef - It Is Never Too Late - Part 2

Security. Everyone is looking for security. The problem arises when our need for security, whatever it may be, turn into a life of worry and anxiety and fear about these securities. When the securities we seek turns into a fearful obsession, that is where we need to stop and take account of our lives. Please think with me, okay? All of this concern about our security, whether it be physical or health or financial, all of these have to do with this life, right? And yet, there are believers in the church of Jesus Christ who have that same worry and anxiety and doubt, and they take it into their eternal security.

We began a series from 2 Peter. I'm calling it deliberately, "It Is Never Too Late". As long as you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, no matter where you are, you can never say to yourself, "Well, it's too late for me". I wanna give you five reasons as to why believers tend to doubt their eternal security in Christ. The first group of people, they were people who grew up in a church or the type of Christianity is what I call performance Christianity. If they perform, they feel saved. When they're not performing, they feel not saved. If they blow it, feel that God turned his back on them, God is no longer loving them, they're not sure if they are saved.

They were never taught that when they repented of their sins and received Jesus Christ as their only Savior and Lord that their names are written in the Book of Life, not with a pencil, but by the blood of Jesus Christ himself, that it is permanently there. The second group of folks tend to doubt their eternal security in Christ because they cannot remember the exact day or the exact hour or the exact moment they have given their life to Christ, and so they're unsure of their salvation. It doesn't matter. The issue is not whether you prayed the prayer, or signed the decision card, or whether you've done this or done that. The issue is, are you walking with Christ now?

The third group are constantly feeling the battling of the flesh. You know what I'm talking about? Because they're constantly feeling the battling of the flesh inside of them and unable to stand up and have victory over temptations. They're up sometimes, they're down other times. They cannot be sure if they've become a new creation in Christ and they begin to doubt their eternal security. I wanna submit to you, listen to me carefully please, as long as you feel the power of the flesh warring against your spirit, as long as you abhor sin and the power of sin in your life, these are indications that you are saved, not the other way around.

Then there's still other group who doubt the assurance of their eternal security in Christ when they cannot see the hand of God working in their life, particularly in the times of trials, in the times of difficulties, in the times when they're really facing some horrendous circumstances in their life. Even those trials, even those tough and difficult situations, they are a clear indication that you are eternally loved by the Lord. Here's how Paul puts it in Romans 5:3, 4, and 5. Let me read it to you. "We also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; and perseverance proves characters; and proven character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us". And then of course, in the times when God shows up and answers our prayer and delivers us from whatever circumstances we're in, we can rejoice on our eternal security in him.

But there's a final group, final group, those who lack the assurance of eternal security because they are not walking in obedience with the Lord. Let me repeat this. There are those who feel that they do not have this eternal security of their salvation because they're not walking in obedience. They are willfully and deliberately take the grace of God for granted. That's what the Bible calls the sin of presumption, and a lot of evangelical pastors preaching that. It's called hyper grace. Take the grace for granted. Walk in the flesh all you want. But Paul says in Galatians 5:16, he said, "Those who walk in the flesh fulfill its desire".

Now, these folks don't understand that walking in obedience and the assurance of eternal security go hand in hand. And here in 2 Peter chapter 1, verses 5 to 11, he is telling us that this blessed assurance, that this eternal security in Christ helps us to build an edifice of faith in every one of our lives. Verse 5, "For this very reason". What reason is that? What reason is that? The assurance of our eternal security in Christ. For that reason, the fact that we are assured eternally that we can rest on the work of Christ in us, for that reason, we build this seven-story edifice in our lives, a story of faith in our lives. That building represents our growing in Christ, our growing in obedience to Christ, growing in walking with Christ, our maturing in Christ, growing into the likeness of Christ.

Now, before I get to that building, I know those of you who are builders, you know this, that you know that a strong building, an enduring building, a permanent building, an eternal building have to have an absolutely, positively strong, immovable foundation. Faith in Christ, the gift of God that he's given us, that's the foundation. So, what is the first floor? Look at verse 5 again. He said the first floor is virtue. Here he said again, because of the blessings of the magnificent, precious promises that God has given us who believe, because we have received everything... how many? Everything pertaining to life and godliness. Therefore, we can start building this building with his power and strength, not on our own.

For this reason, we respond by making our first floor in the Christian life, which directly above the foundation, virtue. Virtue means moral excellence. What does moral excellence means? Listen to me very carefully please. It means that your yea be yea and your nay be nay. Moral excellence means that you are faithful to your spouse. Moral excellence means that you do not take your employer's time to do your own thing. It means that you do not dock your report to make yourself look good and get credit that doesn't belong to you. Moral excellence means, young students, that you are to obey your parents, whether you agree with them or not. The Bible said, "Obey your parents because that's right". It is right.

The second floor is knowledge. It does not mean just knowing things in your head. Many Christians get a lot of biblical facts in their head about Christian faith. They get a lot of head knowledge. Many use their Bible and get some information and facts, but here knowledge means learning and growing in relationships. Knowledge here is what you learn through practice. This is the same Peter who, in 1 Peter chapter 3, verse 7, said to husbands to live with their wives according to knowledge. It's the same word here. It means for the husband to live with his wife according to knowledge is to study her, and to know what turns her on, what turns her off, to know what causes her pain and what causes her joy.

And so, knowledge of God's Word is not merely head knowledge, but it is internalized knowledge and applied knowledge. Then there is the third floor in this godly life building, and it's self-control. You cannot grow into the full stature of Christ and you cannot grow into Christ-likeness without self-control. It will be like a building, seven story building that's lacking the third floor. It will cave on itself. Beloved, discipline in our prayer life, discipline in our spending unhurried time with God and intimacy with the Lord, discipline in getting into the Word of God and applying it in our lives, discipline in the use of our time, and discipline in the use of our money, and discipline in sacrificially giving to the work of God, discipline in curbing all of our appetites.

If this self-control is missing, the third floor of a seven story building is unstable. The fourth floor in this seven story building is perseverance. That's another word that we don't use very often, and yet that's one thing we need to teach our children and grandchildren, the word "perseverance," the experience of perseverance. You see, perseverance here means more than just passive patience. It is the joyful acceptance of tough situations. It is to be steady under pressure. It is to be courageous and accept whatever life throws at you. Listen, I know some of you going through a tough time. I know some of you going through some testing time, but I want you to remember this. God is standing with you. He is upholding you. His everlasting arms are underneath you. God's Spirit is comforting you because his name is Paraclete the Comforter.

Above all, remember that God will reward your perseverance. Beloved, Peter is saying perseverance or standing under pressure might not be popular, it might not be cool, but you do it because you know it pleases the Lord and it brings you blessing. The fifth floor in the seven story building is godliness. That means utter reverence for God. We lost reverence for authority. We lost reverence for those in authority because we have lost reverence for God. True spiritual worship of God, truly honoring and adoring the Lord in our lives and our practice, it means that you are so much in love with Jesus that you love him and that your love for him influences every decision and every aspect of my life.

In other words, when people look at you, they see the family resemblance. They recognize that you belong to your Father in heaven. In 1 Timothy chapter 4, Paul tells Timothy that he should make reverence for the Lord to be his highest priority, why? Because of its eternal value, its eternal value. Now I come to the sixth and the seventh floors in that seven story building. Together, the sixth and the seventh really should have kind of shared the penthouse somewhat, because the two are very similar. They really kinda go hand in hand, and they look alike, but they are different. They are different. That's why Peter separates them. These two, six and seven, look alike, but they're really not, they are difference.

I want you to hear me right on this one. Brotherly affection is what we exercise toward one another as believers, but divine love is what God produces in us to the point of willing to die for the brethren. Divine love is what God wants to produce between husbands and wives. Divine love is what God wants to create in us for believers to love each other, so much so that the whole world can see this type of love and they want to believe. So, the sixth and the seventh story in that penthouse were so important to Peter, I'm gonna show you why.

You see, nothing here by chance. They were so important to him that the move from the sixth to the seventh transformed his life, changed his life. Because Peter, as we have seen when I mentioned in the last message, he was filled with macho talk. He was filled with bravado. In the past, he was filled with self-adequacy. "Count on me. Nothing gonna happen to you. I, I, I, I, and me". But when the air turned blue at his denial of his beloved Jesus three times, he became a broken man and he wept.

But listen to me, being broken is not enough. I've seen a lot of people who are broken and they went back to their normal life. Being broken is not enough. Peter knows that experientially, because after his brokenness, and after his hot tears, and even after the resurrection, he took things into his hands and he said to the boys, the disciples, "I'm going fishing," and they followed him until Jesus confronted him. Read about this in the last two chapters in the Gospel of John, read about it. Jesus confronted him, and here's how he did it. "Mr. Adequate, Peter, do you agape me"? He said, "Lord, I love you with brotherly affection".

The Lord wanted to take Peter from the sixth to the seventh floor and he asked him again, "Peter, do you agape me"? "Lord, I love you with human affection". And so, Jesus does it a third time. "Peter, do you even love me with brotherly affection"? At this moment, Peter began to rise from the sixth floor to the seventh floor? And beloved, listen to me, this became the key for Peter's greatness. This became the key of Peter's fruitfulness. This has become the key to Peter's effectiveness. Far from wanting his children to live in doubt and joyless life about the gift of salvation, God wants us to delight ourselves. He wants us to have the joy of the confidence of that blessed assurance.

Verse 8, from that confidence and joy will come fruitfulness. It will come bearing fruit. I need you to ask yourself the question, "Am I fruitful in my Christian life? What fruit am I bearing"? Please, I tell you this for your own blessing and God's glory. Verses 10 and 11, he tells us about the benefits and the blessings of having the seven story buildings as our edifice of faith, each one of us. This is not for preachers, it's for every one of us. And it is this, that you will only become fruitful in your Christian life when you build that edifice on the permanent foundation of the righteousness of Jesus Christ. But that's not all.

When you build this building, as you build it, you will live, not that you're not gonna have problems, you're gonna have problems, problems are part of life, but you're gonna live above the problems, that you're gonna live victorious. Even when all the arrows are aiming at you, that you will live not in scarcity, but in abundance; that you will live not in confusion, but joy. You will live in confidence knowing that he who began a good work in you is able to bring it completion, amen? Amen, amen, give God glory. Give God glory.
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