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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Michael Youssef » Michael Youssef - From Valley to Victory - Part 2

Michael Youssef - From Valley to Victory - Part 2

Michael Youssef - From Valley to Victory - Part 2
Michael Youssef - From Valley to Victory - Part 2
TOPICS: From Valley to Victory

Back in the days of the horse and buggy, story told about a farmer who came from his house to the town to buy some supplies. On this particular day, his dog decided to follow him all the way to town. The farmer, when he arrived into the storehouse, and basically tied his horse into the post there, the storekeeper noticed that the dog was panting so hard, and so he chided the farmer for letting the dog run while he was riding on the horse and buggy. And the farmer responded, he said, "This dog is not tired from following me to town, this dog is tired from his foolish zigzagging along the way". There wasn't an open gate, or a hole in a fence, or a tree stump that this dog did not explore. "He is worn out from zigzagging".

My beloved friends, I am absolutely convinced as I'm standing before you today that the reason our society is in the fix that it is in is because of our foolish zigzagging away from God. There's only one reason why the drugs and the murders and the addictions and the pornography and the sexual perversions, the breakdown of the family, other than the zigzagging of sin away from God. Our problem is not because we do not have enough government programs, our problem is not because we don't have enough government spending on social programs, our problem started back yonder when we began to zigzag away from God. In fact, it was just about the time when President Lyndon Johnson announced that the final conquest of poverty is within our grasp.

About that same time, a group of offbeat theologians declared and announced that God is dead. By accident? I think not. The government now has replaced God and his church, and that is why the epistle to the Romans is so relevant to our culture today. It is so poignant to our culture today, it speaks to our culture today as well as allow the church to speak with a prophetic voice today. However, the time of the Apostle Paul, when he was writing this epistle to the Romans, when he was telling 'em about the wrath of God and the judgement of God that is coming upon the evil of society, when he wrote at that time, he did not have the benefit of 2,000 years of Christianity. He did not have the benefit of hundreds of years of Christian heritage. He did not have the benefit of 500 years of Reformation or some Godly founders like the Godly founders of this great experiment we call America.

Beloved, here is an indisputable fact of modern history. After 2,000 years of Christianity, after 500 years of the Reformation, after 250-plus years of this American experiment, we are returning back to the pre-Christian, Greco-Roman immoral perversion. Question, could the judgement of God that came upon Rome after 150 years of Christianity, could that judgement be far behind today? Question. So turn with me please, if you haven't already, to Romans chapter 1 beginning at verse 18.

In the last message, we started a series of messages from the epistle to the Romans, calling it "From Valley to Victory". I don't care where you are and how low deep in the valley you are today, you can walk out of here on top of the mount of victory, amen? That is why the series is called that, because it is exactly what the Apostle Paul is telling us. Here in this epistle of Romans, you find the Apostle Paul being a great diagnostician. Before he could tell them about the spiritual healing that only can be found in Jesus Christ, he has to show them their most depraved condition in which they are in. Before anyone can be saved from their sins eternally, they have to recognize that they are sinners. Until I recognize that I am not just a sinner, but sinful, I could not come to Christ and ask forgiveness of my sins.

And here in Romans chapter 1 verses 18-32, Paul gives us three reasons as to why the wrath of God or the judgement of God must, not may, but must take place sooner or later. Reason number one, verses 18 to 23, you can write it down if you're taking notes. Reason number one for God's judgement is going to be upon those who invert the truth. The second reason, verses 24-27, God's judgement will be upon those who perverted God's gift of sexuality. And thirdly, verses 28-32, God's judgement will be upon those of depraved minds. Inversion of God's truth, perversion of God's gift, depravation of the mind. Follow with me, please. Those three causes of judgement as to the reason of judgement, in fact, those three things basically codify every conceivable sin you can think of is gonna come under one of those three categories.

Let's look at the first one, the inversion of the truth. But before I get there, just bear with me just for a minute, because there are several things I need to tell you about the wrath of God. It is such a loaded statement, but it's very important that I need to explain to you what the wrath of God is all about. The wrath of God and the love of God are two sides of the same coin. You try to split that coin and it ceases to be a legal tender. Without the wrath of God, the love of God is purposeless, why? Because his love rescues us from the wrath of God, are you with me? The love of God rescues us from the wrath of God. Without the love of God, the wrath of God is hopelessness. We just might as well eat and drink and be merry, for tomorrow we shall die.

Now, here is the biggest misconception about the wrath of God. God's judgement is not a capricious, uncontrollable fury as some people think, and that's why they avoid it. The reason they deny the judgment of God or the wrath of God is because they associate it with man's sinfulness of irrational and uncontrollable rage and emotions. It's because they associated the word wrath with man's hate-filled anger, and they said, "God cannot do this, God is not like this". It's because they associate the word wrath with this animosity or animosity-laden feelings towards somebody. So, they throw the baby with the bathwater and deny the truth of the Word. But there's something else I wanna tell you about the wrath of God. It is declared upon evil, it is declared upon evil.

See, you and I get angry when our pride is injured, right? We get really miffed, and sometimes we even want to take revenge. That's the natural, but you see, there is no beef, no personal animosity, no personal anger toward a specific person. No, it is a settled matter as a person jumping from a high-rise building and hitting the floor, he's gonna die, this is it. I wanna make sure you understand that. This is very important. See, the essence of sin in the singular, the root of sin, the fruit is all the sinful things we do, but the root of sin in the singular is to get rid of God, that's the root of sin. It's to replace God, or it's to ignore God, or it's to modify what God said and pervert his truth, and that is why the judgement of God is gonna be on those who perverted his truth.

The essence of sin or evil is either living without the fear of God or twisting the truth about God. Those who invert the truth about God's Word, those who tell half truth about God's Word, listen to me, those who have made up their mind to live by their own rules, whims, and fancies, are gonna come under the wrath of God. Make no mistake about it. So, what is the truth? Well, Paul says in Romans chapter 1 verses 19 and 20, you see, they rejected the knowledge of God. The rejection of the knowledge of God is really the core of the problem. I know you heard people say, "God is not fair. What is gonna happen to those who never heard"?

I will say they are none of your business, except you shared gospel with them. Leave them to God's care, love, mercy, grace, and justice. But that's okay, it's always the red herring. I always say, "What are you gonna do? You heard the truth. Don't worry about the ones who haven't heard". But if you look with me at verses 19 and 20, Paul tells us what's gonna happen. Paul is saying that there is natural revelation of God that he has placed as plain as the nose on your face. He is saying that when they look at the majestic mountains, and when they look at the mighty oceans, when they look at the exquisite and intricate way our bodies are formed, when they see the precision by which the galaxies and the stars are operating, and after seeing all of that and they do not believe in the Almighty God, then they will come under judgment.

It's after seeing all of this and still think it comes from a blob, they're gonna come under God's judgement. They just rejected God. But there's one more thing I wanted you to know about the wrath of God. There is a day in which there's gonna be a global judgement. The entire globe will be judged by God, and that judgement is coming upon those who have rejected God, those who have modified the Word of God, those who have changed the truth about God, but there is something else that it says here in Romans that makes you want to sit in a corner and weep. He said even in this life, before the day of judgement, God gives them up to the consequences of the rejection. God gives us more of what we want. Can you say that with me? God gives us more of what we want.

You see it in the very early part of the Scripture. Pharaoh hardened his heart. God says, "Mr. Pharaoh, I'm gonna give you more of what you want. I'm gonna harden your heart even more". The opposite is true. When you hunger for righteousness, you say, "How can I do this"? When you sin, and we all stumble and fall, and then you admittedly cry out to God, said, "Oh God, I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry, forgive me. That is not something a man of God or woman of God should... I am so sorry, forgive me". That's hungering for righteousness. God sees that, and he sees that hunger, and he says I give you more of my righteousness. I give you more righteousness.

You see, that's why he said those who hunger for righteousness, they shall be fed. Question, why does God give you more of what you want? You see, God is a respecter of his creation. He respects us. I read not long ago the number of people in the United States alone who have sexually transmitted diseases, over 70 million, and this is a while back. God didn't give them that. God did not give them that, they gave it to themselves, why? Because all moral enlightenment comes from God. All intellectual enlightenment comes from God. All reasoning power comes from God. So, when the source of this moral, intellectual, and reasoning power, namely God, is rejected, they descend themselves into this moral, intellectual, and reasoning darkness.

Beloved, we see this all around us. We see it all around us. Sometimes when I'm watching the news, and you hear a news report is showing some atrocity somewhere in the world, and you say, "This is man's inhumanity to man". I want to shout, "No, silly, this is man's humanity to man," because without the one true God, there can be no true humanity. Without the light of the gospel, man becomes a wild beast. Verse 22, "Although they claimed to be wise, they are foolish". Now, the Greek word here for foolish is the word from which we get our English word moron. See, sometimes I hear some of these morons saying, "Because the final judgement has not happened, therefore it's not coming".

Beloved, just because God is so patient, just because God is so longsuffering, it does not mean that he does not settle accounts someday. He is settling some accounts now by giving them up to the consequences of their choices. But the final day, the judgement day, the day of wrath which is yet to come, he will settle all accounts. An old preacher used to say payday someday. Listen, God will bless and will bless and will bless and then bless some more, and then the day of reckoning comes. No one will be able to say, "God did not give me enough time. God did not give me enough opportunities. God did not give me enough warnings". No, no, no, no, judgement is coming upon those who have inverted the truth. Secondly, judgement is coming upon those who have perverted the gift of sexuality.

See, when God's truths are suppressed, the mind becomes darkened. And when the mind is darkened, all of God's gifts, all of them, but especially the gift of sexuality, becomes perverted, misused, and abused. Listen to what Jesus said. If you're still having a problem with wrath, and you think, "Well, it's just the Apostle Paul," here's what Jesus said in John chapter 3 verse 36. "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath," this is Jesus now, "God's wrath remains on them". Paul is basically saying the same thing that Jesus said in Romans 1:26, "For this reason," what reason? The perversion of God's gift of sexuality, "God gave them up". "For this reason, God gave them up to their detestable passions. The females exchanged natural relations for unnatural and the male likewise".

This is a very sensitive subject, and I know it is especially sensitive for those who have family members who are caught in this lifestyle. Listen to me. I'm begging you, listen to me. First of all, if you have a family member, or like I do, neighbors whom I go and hug and I talk to and befriend, but if you have a family member, you must do the following. It doesn't matter who said what, you must love them. Love them, love them, and then love them some more, okay? It doesn't matter what a megachurch pastor in this city or any other city said. It doesn't matter what a head of a denomination said. It doesn't matter what the Supreme Court said. It doesn't matter what government says, God said that any sex other than between a husband and wife in marriage is perversion of the gift of sexuality.

We must always love those who are caught in that lifestyle, always, always, always. But you never stop praying and fasting on their behalf. Never, never, never, never give up praying for them, amen? In the past, I knew some people who came to the Lord after their contracting AIDS. We loved them in this church. We ministered to them. We conducted their funerals. A dear friend of mine told me that a very reputable survey showed that 95% of those who have gone through sex change in Sweden, where it's so easy, 95% of them are miserable and depressed. Beloved, all of the honest and brilliant psychiatrists that I read have said gender confusion is a terrible psychological disorder, but it is treatable.

It is treatable, and you can go though a hundred sex change, but until you come to the loving arms of Jesus, you'll still be unhappy, you'll still be miserable. But Jesus loves you, and he wants you to come to him today. God gave us the gift of sexuality to be practiced in marriage between a biological man and a biological woman. Listen to me, it's a terrible sentence. I might be emotional before you, but when I was preparing the message, I genuinely wept. It's a terrible sentence, and it's repeated three times. "God gave them up". Anyone who rejoices in that doesn't know the heart of Jesus.

Inversion of the truth, perversion of God's gift of sexuality, thirdly, the depravation of the mind. Verses 28-32, here again a third time, "God gave them up". Beloved, listen to me, as we're seeing this downward spiral before our own eyes, every step down, every step that is taken down in rejecting of Biblical truth, every step we take down in twisting Biblical truth, in modifying Biblical truth, in doing injustice to Biblical truth, we see God's hands of restraint, let's go a little bit, a little bit, a little more, a little bit more, a little more, until finally when the bottom of morality falls, these catalog of 21 evils will dominate our lives.

I want to put them on the screen. These 21 categories, all manners of wickedness, evil, greed, depravity, envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice, gossip, slander, God-haters, insolent, arrogant, boastful, invent new ways of doing evil. They disobey their parents, senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Now, I don't know about you, but every time I read this list, I wanna have a shower, and I'm talking about spiritual shower. But just think about this being a dominant, terrible thing for our children and grandchildren, think about it.

Now, I wonder how many of us, even if we don't practice these, we approve of them by our silence. I always wonder whether the message of the angels about the birth of Jesus, he was born in the darkest of night, that's because he and he alone can meet us at the midnight of our soul. And you may be watching around the world, or you're here, you're at the midnight of your soul. Jesus wants to meet you at the midnight of your soul. Now, I wanna conclude by inviting anyone, anyone, anyone, anyone who wants to cross over to the light of Christ, you can do that today.

As we pray in a moment, we're here to introduce you to the light, because we walked in the darkness too, and came to the light. So, we're gonna be in front here to pray with you. But then I want to speak to those who know Jesus. I want to say this. As long as you're ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, not the gospel as it's preached in many an apostate church, I'm talking about the gospel of Jesus Christ. As long as you are living like those in darkness, as long as you are imitating and emulating the television shows, you have lost your power with God.

Now, you notice I didn't say you lost your salvation? No, but you lost your power with God, and you too can renew your covenant with God today. For when you lovingly become unashamed of the truth, when you lovingly stand firm for the truth, you're gonna find that many who are in darkness will come to you, ask you to help them cross to the light. It might not be today or tomorrow, this week or next week, or next month, but they will. Some of them will, at least.
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