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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Michael Youssef » Michael Youssef - It Is Never Too Late - Part 3

Michael Youssef - It Is Never Too Late - Part 3

Michael Youssef - It Is Never Too Late - Part 3

Fake news. Have you heard of it? Yeah, it's the buzz word now. But it has the potential of a global disaster. The proliferation of the social media, of course, has something to do with that. In fact, I'm told that about 76% of adults in America get their news from the social media. Yet, the tragedy of all tragedies is that these fake news, these false news, are now preached from many a pulpit across America. No, I'm not talking about political news, and I'm not talking about social news. I'm not talking about military news. I am talking about the good news of the gospel, the truth of God's Word. The news of the gospel has been so falsified by many a church, the inerrancy of the Word of God is now mocked in many an evangelical churches and replaced by a popular message.

It was my friend, the late Dr. Adrian Rogers, who once said, "It is better to be hated for telling the truth than loved by telling a lie. It is better to stand alone with the truth than be wrong with the multitudes". I want to say, "'Amen' belongs here". And, beloved, that's precisely what Peter is telling us here in this passage today as we come in the third in the series of messages, "It's Never Too Late," from the 2nd Epistle of Peter. I already told you this is the forgotten Epistle. Very few people preach from it, or quote it.

And so I want you to turn with me, please, to Peter, 2 Peter, chapter 1, verses 12 to 21, as Peter begins to sense in his spirit that his time for departing this life is drawing near. He begins to share the biggest burden of his heart, and the biggest burden of his heart for the church of Jesus Christ, not that the church be financially well endowed, not the church of Jesus Christ be merely socially accepted in society or that the church members are popular or that the church members are accommodating well to the pressure of the secular humanism or that the church members are happy. But that the church of Jesus Christ and the church members are armed with the truth. That the church members are not being misled by fake gospels, by fake news, and that the church members are not taken in by these falsehoods, that the church members do not fall victims of this false biblical interpretation, that the church members do not believe this popular lies.

And so in verse 12 all the way to 15, Peter is saying that as long as he has breath, as long as he's living in this body which he calls a tent, he will never tire from proclaiming the truth, that he will not get bored or be dissuaded from repeating the truth, why? Because, as a Jew who knew his Old Testament only too well, he knows what a fickle memory his people have, and so in verse 12, he said, "I will not cease to repeatedly remind you of the truth". Verse 13: "As long as I'm in this tent," which the Bible talks about the body. In fact, the apostle Paul talks about the tent. And when Jesus said, "You'll have a mansion in the sky," we think that we're gonna get a big palace. But what the Bible does in the Semitic language is that he compares this body, and he calls it a tent because a tent will fold.

Every one of us, our tent will fold one day. But then Jesus prepared for his own children a spiritual body that is awaiting them, and in comparison, that spiritual body is a mansion in comparison to this tent because it will be a body without any limitation. So he said, "As long as I'm in this tent, I'm gonna stir you up". Verses 14 and 15, Peter is only too aware of the brevity of life that he is only too aware the time is coming to an end. For every one of us, my beloved friends, that day is coming. And no matter how much we think that it will never come to us, it's gonna come to every one of us when we'll dispose with this body, when we will dispose with this tent, when this tent will fold and our souls will be clothed as in 1 Corinthians chapter 15 Paul says, "Be clothed with that spiritual body, a body like Jesus's body after the Resurrection".

Let everyone ask yourself the question, "What will I say on the day when I'm gonna have an audience of one with him"? Let that question haunt you. Never let it depart from your mind and from your thoughts. For some, and I don't know, maybe watching around the world, maybe even sitting in this beautiful sanctuary; for some, you need to ask yourself the question: where will I spend eternity? Where will I spend eternity? Will I hear from the lips of Jesus, "Well done, good and faithful servant"? Or will I hear, "What have you done"?

In verses 16 to 21, Peter explains why he is so patient about constantly and repeatedly unfolding the truth of the gospel. He is unfolding it without compromise, without watering it down, without make it popular to the masses, without accommodating to the pressure of a perverted culture, without trading the truth for personal popularity. No, verse 16, he said, "For we did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ".

Hear me right, it is very popular in many evangelical churches today and I'm not talking about, you know. I'm talking about evangelical churches that say that you do not have to believe in the virgin birth, you do not have to believe in Noah and the flood, you don't have to believe in Jonah being in the belly of the whale, you don't have to believe this and you don't have to believe that. And so they pick and choose like a smorgasbord. Why would Jesus liken his death to that of Jonah being in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights? He said, "As Jonah". Why would he say that the last days, our last days, are gonna be like unto the days of Noah, "where they marry and given in marriage and there's living for self and self-indulgence".

Why would he do that? Here is the truth. Listen carefully. Peter said that, "We were eyewitnesses of these truths". You have to ask yourself the question: why? Why is Peter making an issue of all this? Why? Why is he making an issue of this? Because in his day, as in our days, there were false preachers who are preaching fake news. Furthermore, history tells us that Peter himself when they were gonna crucify him, he asked specifically not to be crucified like his master, but rather be crucified upside down. Let me tell you something, nobody would be crucified upside down for a tale or for a fable or for fake news.

Now, these fables fill other religions. I know it. I've read it. It is there in their books. And yet, there were hundreds, if not thousands, of people who watched firsthand and experienced the resurrected Jesus. His resurrection was not done in secret. It was revealed 500 people in one day. But tales belong to other religions. Jesus himself said, "I did nothing in secret". Hear me right, please. The way Satan operates, even in many a church today, is this. He will bring doubt to the truth. And in a sense, he's basically saying, "This truth is a lie". And once you think the truth is a lie, and we're seeing it before our very eyes right now. We're seeing it with our own eyes. What happens after a while, people become confused, and when they become confused, they're gonna throw their hands up in the air and say, "We don't know what the truth is anymore".

And Peter's saying, "Listen to me because I can never forget that he looked at me and he said, 'Peter, feed my sheep.'" And that is why I'm feeding you on the power of the Word of God. I'm not giving you dogs and cat food that the false teachers are giving you, and not even fake news that mislead you. The reason I will not give up warning you and pleading with you and entreating you is because I promised him that I will feed you on the infallible, inerrant Word of God.

Look at verse 19. Peter's saying to us and to everyone who would listen, the Word of God is a light. It's a light. Don't choose to follow fake news. It can only take you to darkness. Its word is light. It shines the light of Christ into your hearts and that is why Peter is warning us against snuffing the light of the Word of God and eating the worms. He is warning us against eating the spiritual worms that can only, only, only damage our hearts and minds. Instead of seeing, instead of doing this, he is saying when the Holy Spirit sees in any of us a genuine desire, a genuine desire of wanting the light of Christ and the light of the Word of God to shine in us, he comes, the Holy Spirit comes like a magnifying glass and, that focuses the light of the Word of God and illumine our hearts. But the opposite is also true.

Listen to me very carefully. A lot of people stumble over this. If you are one of the elect of God, if you're saved and you're living in disobedience and you choose to live in the darkness of immorality, the Holy Spirit of God goes into a corner and grieves. Why do you think the apostle Paul said, "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit"? The light of Christ and the light of the Word of God will illumine your life. Allow the spirit of God to take the words that he authored to shine deep into your heart and only then will you be able to clearly see and distinguish the difference between the real news, the good news, and fake news, between the truth and the falsehood, the light will expose all of these lies that are making their way among evangelical churches, a lie that says Jesus is a way, not the way.

Or a lie like that says that Jesus is just a founder of another religion like the other founders. Or the lie that says that love should not only make us accept people, but approve their immoral lifestyle. Or the lie that says that being a Christian means that you embrace sinfulness and perversion. The lie that says that love compels us to never condemn sin, whether it be a sin in our lives or the sin in other people's lives. Or the inclusion into the church membership of those who reject the truth of the Bible as an act of kindness. That's not kindness; that's cruelty. The list goes on and on and on.

Let me tell you something you already know. Lying has always been around. Ever since the serpent lied to Eve, lying has always been around. But I wanna submit to you that it has reached an endemic proportion. It's epidemic now. So much so that the truth sounds stranger than fiction. On the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter was so ecstatic, he just want to stay there forever. I can understand that. Sometimes, when we see the glory of Christ, we wanna be with him. We don't wanna come down into the valley and deal with the problems of life, sure. He said, "Let's have a booth for you and for Moses and one... We wanna stay here". And that is why he says, "Look, we saw with our eyes. We have experienced firsthand the majesty of the Lord Jesus".

Finally, verses 20 to 21, he is telling us that you can trust the Word of God because it came from God. All this false preaching about, well, this part was relevant two centuries ago, in the first century, but not now. A smorgasbord, you pick and choose. This was relevant then, but it's not relevant today. This was this, and this was that. You know, all that stuff, Peter here absolutely tears it to shreds. Verses 20 to 21: you can trust the Word of God. No matter who throws doubt on it. No matter who throws cold water on its authenticity. Those words in the Scripture, he said, written by human beings, but the Holy Spirit of God edited every one of their thoughts and words. These writers, 40 of them, have written in the Word of God, in the span of 1600 years and yet they all write the same story, why? Because the Holy Spirit of God guided their thoughts and their hands.

Don't you ever doubt it. When did you ever doubt it? Give God glory. I'm so grateful that he preserved it. So many despots and so many enemies want to destroy the Word of God, but he preserve it for us. How grateful should we be for that, huh? Notice the word "all". Can you say "all"? He says, "All Scripture was written by the direction of the Holy Spirit". Not the bits you like and the bits you don't like. No, no, all Scripture, it is all profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction, and for righteousness.

All Scripture. Let's say it again. All Scripture. I'm gonna tell you this story as I conclude. It's a true story of a church like many of the thousands of churches, at least I know dozens of them, who many years ago, the gospel was proclaimed boldly, truthfully, but today no more. It's one of those churches where the pastor preached the whole counsel of God, preached the whole Word of God, trusted in the integrity of the Word of God and the authenticity that the Holy Spirit authored the Word of God. When he died, the church called one of those pastors, those modern pastors, who was doubting some parts of the Scripture. He doubted the historicity of the flood. He doubted the historicity of Jonah. He doubted the historicity of the virgin birth despite of the fact that the very divinity of Christ depend on it.

And so, after two years of preaching this doubt to that congregation, many people would just sit there in tears over what happened to their beloved church. He found out that one of the stalwart members of the church was terminally ill and is dying. And so he decided to go and pay him a visit, this man who served on the board of the church, a man who loves the Word of God, trusted the Word of God, all these years.

And so, the pastor said to him, "I know you love the Word of God. Do you want me to read from the Bible"? And the man said, "Yes please". He said, "Well, I didn't bring my Bible with me. Can I borrow yours"? The man gladly took his Bible, gave it to him. And the pastor opened that Bible and he found that many pages torn out. Some whole chapters were missing. There were actually some verses that methodically, either with a scissors or razor blade, were taken out. I mean, it was highly mangled volume of the Scripture.

And the pastor kind of was reluctant, didn't want to say anything, but then finally he said, "Do you have a better Bible than this? This is just all mangled up". And the dying man responded, "When you came to our church, I believed the entire book, but as you told us certain sections were not true, I removed them. As you told us some stories are probably fables and fictional, I tore them up, out of the book. I think if I sat under your preaching one more year, I would have nothing left of the Bible except the two covers". Beloved, I know and you know that we live in uncertain times. We live in uncertain times. But don't let that uncertainty lead you to following fake news, fake gospel, or fake preachers.
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