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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Michael Youssef » Michael Youssef - It Is Never Too Late - Part 4

Michael Youssef - It Is Never Too Late - Part 4

Michael Youssef - It Is Never Too Late - Part 4

Tolerance, have you heard of tolerance? Well, on the surface, it sounds like a wonderful word, and it is. But in reality, now, it's a new religion. It really is, a new religion that is sweeping across the Western world. Tolerance is the most intolerant religion, and woe unto the person who refuses to embrace its tenets. The high priests of this new religion would preach freedom of choice. You're free to choose your car. You're free to choose your house. You're free to choose your mate. You're free to kill a baby in a mother's womb. You're free, except you're not free to choose to believe that there's only one way to heaven and salvation. You're not free to publicly speak about the truth and that Jesus is the only truth.

At that moment, those ministers of this new religion of tolerance can cause you the loss of your job. They can throw you out of school or university campus. They can discriminate against you. They can ostracize you. They can alienate you. Above all, they will label you as "intolerant". And, beloved, this is the unpardonable sin in the religion of tolerance. This epistle of Peter, as I told you in the very beginning, I'm calling it, "It's Never Too Late," because it is seldom preached from in many a pulpit, and seldom quoted. And yet, it is as relevant to the believers, the ones who love the Lord Jesus, as relevant today to strengthen us to stand up and stand up than even in the time when it was written.

In the last message, from 2 Peter, we saw Peter not only assailing the false teaching, but he was denouncing the false teachers. This is the battle of the Christian believers in this generation because eternity is at stake, nothing short of eternity that's at stake. Falsifying or modifying the gospel just to fill in the pews is a serious offense to God. But, beloved, here's what Peter tells us. He's saying, "This is not new". Because wherever the Word of God is preached, Satan is always behind with his falsehood. John 8:44: "Satan is the father of all lies". He is the inventor, he is the promoter, he is the preacher of all lies, and he uses false teachers in the church to do it, to promote this lie.

But Peter said something else here again, and look at with me, please. This is not new, because even in the Old Testament, he's talking about the people of God, back in the Old Testament, there were false prophets. Even back then, just as there are false teachers today, his day, our day. "But there were also false prophets," talking about the Old Testament, "among the people, just as there were false teachers among you". Beloved, we have tolerated false teaching for too long, amen. So much so, today, today, I have known and you have known Bible-believing Christians, and I'm not talking about professing Christians, I'm talking about Bible-believing Christians, Evangelicals who are embarrassed about biblical absolutes. They're embarrassed about it. Will say, "Well, I believe it, but you don't have to".

That's how they kinda couch it. You can always discern a false teacher by how easily he or she embrace the worldly culture. Did you get that? You can always discern a false teacher or preacher by how easily they embrace worldly culture and popular culture. When that happens, a congregation that was once on fire for God slowly but surely no longer endure sound doctrine. They no longer endure sound teaching. Congregations that once was Christ centered, had Christ-centered worship and preaching, they give way to manmade antics and entertainment. The Bible emphasis that was once preached about sin and repentance and the holiness of God become replaced by emphasis on self-esteem and felt needs. These false teachers will never come out and say, "I don't believe the Bible anymore. I really never believed the Bible. I don't believe the Bible is inspired Word of God. I don't believe in inerrancy of the Scripture".

No, no, no, no, they're too clever for that. They'll couch it with a disclaimer. Why? Because, for example, the virgin birth, when they say, "You don't have to, but you come to Jesus," how you come to a Jesus who is not divine? If he's not divine and he's born just like all of us, of the will of man, or the seed of man, then he's a sinner. How can a sinner bear the sins of sinners? You see, the very core of the gospel is at the stake here. When they say, "Well, you know, you don't have to believe in the sanctity of marriage," what they're doing? They are destroying the very purpose of God in Creation. What are these false teachers doing? According to the Word of God, "They are exchanging the truth of God's words for their own self-styled opinion". And Peter is saying, "These false teachers have been, are, and always will be around".

They will always be around. Peter is giving us a number of ways to spot a false teacher and a false preacher. 2 Peter chapter 2, verse 1: "They will subtly introduce destructive heresies". They are very subtle. They're too slick. They're very sneaky. Sometimes they'll use word like "love". But really, they meant something else. In reality, they want you to love them, not love the truth. The word "destructive heresies" here, it means "the doctrine that contains some truth, but cleverly blended with error". It's like a glass of water with few drops of hemlock or cyanide. One word, in one word, Peter is telling us, "These false teachers are the masters of deception".

They're brilliant communicators. They just have enough of the truth there to make the unsuspecting keep on coming to them, keep on coming to them while they are slowly, but surely, they are poisoning the water. And Peter is saying, "These people deny the Lord". Who on God's earth can know what it means to deny the Lord like Peter? He knew what it means to deny his Lord, and yet, he also knows how welcoming the Lord is to every repentant person, even the one who deny him, just like the difference between him and Judas. Peter turned to the Lord and he was renewed and given a great ministry. Judas hung himself. That is my prayer, that if you are tempted, Pastor, to go down that road that you will turn back to the Lord before it's too late.

In fact, the Greek word for "deny" means "contradict" or "reject" or "disavow". They deny the Lord who bought them. I want you to say those words with me: "They..." Some of you are saying, "Now, wait a minute. Wait a minute. He bought them"? And the reason I'm gonna dwell in this for a minute is because people fought over this for 2,000 years. I want to clarify it for you so you will never miss it. Deny the Lord who bought them. What does it mean, "The Lord who bought them"? Beloved, when our Lord Jesus Christ hung on that cross, and his blood kept on dripping, kept on dripping, until he died on that cross, by this very gracious act, Jesus bought the whole world, the whole world.

When Adam fell in the garden of Eden, he handed the deeds of planet Earth to Satan. But on the cross, Jesus arrested the planet Earth's deeds from Satan's hand. And so he bought the whole world. It means that redemption is possible for everyone, every human being on the face of the earth. By buying the whole world, Jesus's redemption now is possible for whomsoever, whomsoever, whomsoever. By buying the whole world, does not mean that he redeemed the whole world, as some of these false teachers are teaching. By buying the world, Jesus is giving everyone an opportunity to come to him and be redeemed.

By buying the world, Jesus is saying that "the Muslim and the Hindu and the Buddhist and the atheist and the nonreligious and the agnostic, everyone, all can come to me and receive salvation from my hands". That's what "buying the world" means. He bought it all, but he did not redeem it all. This is vitally important, beloved, because every statistic show 64% of so-called "Evangelical Christians" believe that there are many ways to God. I told you, this is the battle of our time. On the cross, Jesus redeemed whomsoever comes to him to be saved, not redeemed the whole world, like so many of these Universalists are saying. In reality, redemption is only for those who have received Jesus Christ as their only Savior and Lord. Redemption is only for those who have availed themselves to the value of that shed blood on Calvary.

And even Jesus himself tells us in Matthew 13:44, Jesus pictures himself as the man who sold everything. He gave up everything. He gave up his glory in heaven. He gave up the splendor of heaven. "He gave his all to buy a field". And the Bible said, "The field is the world". Verse 2, these false teachers who are lowering biblical standards of morality, these false teachers who are encouraging self-indulgence and sexual perversions, they will be swiftly judged. They will be swiftly judged. Verse 3, those who wink at wickedness and immorality for personal gain, those who have chosen the ministry not because God's call on their life, but because it's a lucrative profession, those who have chosen to be ministers not because they care for the people's eternity, but for their own self-aggrandizement, they may become accepted and loved by the sinful culture.

They may receive the applause and the accolades and the approval of the sinful culture. And yet, in reality, they are digging their own eternal grave. Doesn't give me any joy saying this. Someone may be asking, and I know somebody asked me that several months ago, "If that is the case, why these people are so successful"? Now, listen to me very careful. I'm gonna give you the answer. It has nothing to do with them. It has to do with God. God is very, very, very, very... how many verys are these? Very patient. God is longsuffering. God gives them ample opportunity to turn to him and repent, just as he gave an opportunity to Peter, who denied him. But in the end, please, "Do not judge things by appearances".

The last chapter has not been written yet. And then, in verses 4 to 11, Peter gives us specific biblical evidence of how God is gonna deal with the wicked, how God is gonna, sooner or later, gonna judge them. They will not get away with it. Verse 4: "God judged angels, and he kicked them out of heaven when they sinned". When Lucifer and 1/3 of the angelic being rebelled against a holy God, they were thrown out of heaven into the very pit of hell, and they will be eventually thrown into the lake of fire when Jesus comes back in power and great glory. And so he sent these fallen angels to utter doom, and he will do the same with false preachers and teachers. But not only fallen angels were severely judged.

The ancient world, when they turned their backs on the truths of God, they suffered doom and destruction. In fact, the book of Genesis chapter 6, verse 5 gives us a description of the culture at that time. I'll read it to you, and see if that picture does not fit our time. "When every imagination of thoughts of their heart were only evil continuously". Only Noah and his family were righteous, and they were saved. Let me ask you this. Do you know how long it took God to preach righteousness through Noah to his generation? Do you know how often he pleaded with them, "Escape, escape, escape while escaping is good"?

Do you know how many years? Hundred and twenty years. Our God is longsuffering, he's patient. Now, fast forward 450 years from the time when the Flood came and covered the whole earth. We even have archaeological evidence, 450 years after the flood, the twin cities, the twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah turned their back on the witness of a righteous man by the name of Lot, and God judged them severely. Now, I don't know about you, but I think some of you, if you are like me, when you looked at this verse 7 and says, "A righteous man like Lot".

Now, wait a minute. We know that guy. He was righteous? I preached on Lot many years ago. But how can the Bible calls him "righteous"? Listen carefully, please. Verse 8 tells you the answer: "(For by what the righteous man saw and heard, as he lived among them, he was tormented)". The old translation said, "He was vexed". Literally, it means he was tortured. He was being tortured. Hear me right, please. What I'm gonna say to you is gonna surprise some of you. Not all of you. It's gonna surprise some of you, but I hope you understand me, and not misunderstand me.

The mark of righteousness, and we in the New Testament believers only have the righteousness of Jesus Christ, not our own, but the mark of righteousness of how you react to the sinful culture in which we live. The false preachers and teachers say, "Let's accommodate to it". Under the guise of engaging the culture, they're swimming in the murky water of the culture, but the righteous, the righteous weeps over the sinful culture. The righteous soul is distressed over it. The righteous heart breaks in two. And the righteous hearts long for them to come, pray for them to come and do what they can to introduce them to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

So the question is, when you come into direct contact with evil culture in which we all live, how do you react? How do you react? How do you react? Do you want to accommodate to it? Do you wanna go along with it? Do you wanna accept it as an inevitable progress? Or do you weep over it? Or do you seek with all your heart to light a candle in that dark place? Does it drive you on your knees to pray for them and witness to them? Like Noah 450 years before Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot stood against the sin of his day. And then, in verse 9, Peter assures us that: "God is able to deliver the righteous and judge the deceiver".

He's able to do it, and he'll do it. Beloved, listen to me. I'm about to close. Of these false teachers and false preachers, they are misleading untold number of people. They are telling them that they can pick and choose what they like and what they don't like from the Word of God, that the Word of God has never been inerrant, that the Word of God has never been infallible, that the Word of God was never God breathed. In reality, these people are misled all the way to a Christless eternity.

I don't know about you, but I am willing to die on this hill. I'm willing to die for this truth. You who know the Lord Jesus Christ, it's your decision whether you are willing to stand for the truth or accommodate to our evil culture. It's your decision whether you wanna be misled by false teachers or get into the Word of God. But there may be somebody here today, and this stuff kind of new to them, and never really given their life to Christ. They never surrendered their life. They never know what it means to come to Jesus just as they are and say, "Lord, forgive me," and receive the forgiveness, the gift of forgiveness, and the gift of eternal life. Well, you can do that today.
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