Michael Youssef - Treasure That Lasts - Part 5
There's no doubt in anyone's mind that political or so-called political correctness has been rammed down our throats to the point where truth has been replaced by such concept as all views must be accepted and accommodated. All things, including morality, are relative. Among churches today, they despise biblical teaching and biblical doctrine. Their refrain is this. Doctrine divides, but love unites. And by love, they mean that there is no right and there's no wrong. And so, those of us who are Bible believing Christians, it's like never before we are called upon this time, at this hour, and this moment in this generation to stand up and stand out against that pressure. This is the battle of our generation.
We must firmly and lovingly say that according to God, there is right and there is wrong. That according to God, right must be lifted high and wrong must be rejected. Confrontational falsehood in our world today is not popular, do I need to say it again? It is not popular. And I can tell you it ain't cheap either. And sadly, when too many Christians have placed leisure and comfort and remaining silent above the confrontation, we end up with a quagmire as we're seeing today. It is my testimony, as I can tell you right now, for me to fear nothing and no one but God, to place nothing above his glory, to revere his Word as much as I revere him. To seek nothing more than to seek him. To lift up nothing but the cross of Jesus. To pay any price, go anywhere, including prison for his sake and for the sake of the truth of his Word.
I refuse to compromise and abhor mediocracy. I will not accommodate or tolerate sin in my life and in the life of the church. I will not place popularity above the truth of God's Word. It is like the old song, "Though none go with me, I still will follow". This is my declaration. Moses was a man who was reluctant to accept the challenge of confronting evil. We are going through this series of messages, we'll call it "Giving Up the World's Gold for God's Glory". Looking at the life of Moses, learning from it, how we walk with Christ in these last days. And yet, despite of his reluctance, in spite of his feeling of inadequacy, he began to trust God, he began to trust in the power of God, which is far greater than any Pharaoh.
And so, he received great, supernatural power that he couldn't even imagine as the heir apparent to Pharaoh's throne, when he was adopted grandson of Pharaoh. Moses was reluctant, felt inadequate to confront evil, why? He was counting the cost, he's weighing the cost. But after quickly counted the cost, he decided to trust God and to go for God's glory over the world's gold. Now beloved, only those who overcome the fear of after counting the cost will experience glorious victory. Are you with me? Only those who honestly, after weighing and measuring the difference between the world's gold and God's glory, and then they will turn their backs on gold, will they experience God's supernatural power.
Only those who are willingly pay the cost will experience the supernatural power of God. As long as we are contented with our comfort, and with our entertainment, and with our sports, and I mean all these comfort zones that we have created for ourselves, we will never see God's power working. For this was not a battle between Pharaoh and Moses. This was not a battle between Egypt and the Israelites. This is the very battle that every believer is facing today. This is the battle between the true God of the Bible and the false gods. This is the battle between the creator, sustainer God who has revealed himself fully in Jesus and in Jesus only, over against satanic powers and satanic false teaching, while God appears to be patient and long-suffering in the confrontation with Pharaoh, who is a type of Satan. Yet God demonstrates his indisputable power over and over again. And he will do that with every one of us when we take our call seriously of serving the living God.
Only those who place nothing above pleasing God will understand the spiritual significance of this confrontation between Moses and Pharaoh. Ten times, we'll see that more in the next message, ten times, ten plagues that came one after another in rapid succession. And every time, Pharaoh fakes repentance and appears on the surface that he is pliant, he ends up going back to his old ways. Listen to me, no one can ever blame God for acting hastily. No one can ever accuse God for asking hastily with Pharaoh. And no one can ever accuse God for acting hastily with us. He has been so patient, he has been so patient, but his patience will run out one of these days. And that is why the Bible said, "You are without an excuse, old man". No one will have an excuse.
Listen, I know God could have clicked his fingers and delivered the people of Israel from the slavery of Egypt just like that, supernaturally. God could've clicked his fingers and destroyed the Egyptian army just like that, but he didn't, why? Because God wants to use human instruments. God wants to empower his people. God wants to lift us up to stand up. God wants to give us a share of the victory that he wrought on the cross. And that is why God is a gracious God. Jesus decimated Satan on the cross, but he want to empower us to experience victory, his victory that he already wrought on the cross for ourselves.
Exodus chapter 5, follow it with me. There you see the battle between God and Satan. Pharaoh is a type of Satan, and this battle began to be waged with great intensity. And yet, at the end results, just as it was on the cross, the final victory, uncompromising victory was our God's. And make no mistake about it, the final victory always be our God. It's like the old preacher said, we've read the last chapter of the book and we know we win. You and I have no choice. If you try to ignore the battle, you try to run away from the battle, you're going to be run over. You and I have no choice in confronting Satan by the power of the blood of Jesus Christ, amen? Just as Moses had only one refrain, "Let my people go. Let my people go," let's say it together.
So, our refrain and prayer to God in commanding Satan with the power of God that dwells in us, if it got your son who's in trouble, you got your daughter who's in trouble, you got a husband or a wife who doesn't know God and you must never ever stop saying, "Let them go". You must never give up saying, "Let him go". You yourself may be at the grip of addiction. You may be chained to something that you know it is not right. And you are giving the keys to Satan, exactly what you do. You give him a key into your life, and he comes in and harasses you with this. Now, you can say and command Satan in prayer, in the power of Jesus, "Let me go".
Please, please, please let me warn you. Here's a warning from the world from the example of Moses. Here's a warning, don't miss that. The more you persist in commanding Satan to let go, the more he gets outraged. Did you get that? Just like Pharaoh, who would not let the Israelites go, but he made their lives more miserable. He made their lives more intolerable. Satan will hold tenaciously, hoping that you give up. That's exactly what he does, and that's exactly what he was doing here. Just like Pharaoh, who pretended that he's going to let them go and you'll see that in the next message, little bit here and little bit here on the surface he sounded sincere.
Satan sometimes throw you a bone to keep you busy and stop you from praying. Satan's teeth were knocked out of the cross, are you with me? His bark sometimes can be scary, but he can't touch you. You are in the palms of the hands of your heavenly daddy and no one can touch you. So, don't give up. Don't give up, say it with me. Oh, I think of Moses, I always, I told you I always put myself in the place of these characters in the Bible, these individuals. And he sees Pharaoh increasing the whips on their back, increasing that they have to keep the same quota with God and get the straw, and he's making the Israelite's life miserable. And he's probably standing there and said, "Oh God, what am I doing here? What's going on here"? And he's, "Okay, okay, I give up. I give up, just let them go. Let them go back to their original quota".
I could imagine that, can you, can you? Moses could have listened to the Israelites' false accusations of him. And he added to their trouble and said, "You caused us this". And he knows he's there by God's command. And he could've said, "Oh God, I don't want this to happen. Okay, okay, Pharaoh, Pharaoh, I give up. I don't want to make things worse for my people". But beloved, listen to me, the more the situation worsened, the more Moses trusted in the promises of God. The angrier Pharaoh becomes, the more trusting Moses became. Had Moses reacted through his emotions, had Moses reacted with his feelings, had Moses reacted out of sentimentality, the Israelites would've still be slaves in Egypt today. They would've never gone to the Promised Land. There would've been no David, and certainly there will be no Messiah, who in the loins of some of them came the Lord Jesus Christ.
So, hold on and don't give up. Hold on, don't ever give up. And I'll tell you the truth is I no more enjoy waiting for God than any of you. I don't enjoy the process of waiting for God. But I know, but I know, but I know that this process, through this process, God is teaching me perseverance, God is building my faith muscles, God is exposing the horrors of sin and Satan. God is accomplishing his purpose in me. God is demonstrating his unquestionable power. God is showing Satan who's boss. God is showing Satan who's in charge. God is exposing falsehoods. During God's process to victory, he's doing too many things all at once, that's we can't see it. he's encouraging Moses to trust him more. He is rendering Satan as a worthless deceiver. He is showing Pharaoh who's king and a whole lot more.
As I was preparing this week, my mind harkened back to a fable that I've read many, many, many years ago, well over 30 years ago. But it has truth here, and the fable goes something like this. It's a story about the lion who wanted to show all the animals in the kingdom, in the jungle that he is king, that he is the king of the jungle. So, one day, he decided to show the rest of the animal kingdom who's the real king, who's boss. And so, in arrogance, he bypassed all the small animals in the kingdom, and he went straight to the bear. And he said to the bear, "Bear, who is the king of the jungle"? And the bear said, "It's you, of course, king Lion". And at that moment, the lion issued a roar of being pleased with himself.
Next, he went to the tiger, "Tiger, who is the king of the jungle"? And the tiger said, "You, of course, oh lion, king of the jungle. Everyone knows that". Next on the list was the elephant, and so the lion faces the elephant, and he asked him the same question, "Who is the king of the jungle"? The elephant immediately grabbed the lion with his trunk, whirled him around five or six times, and then he slammed him on a tree, and then he pounded him into the ground several times, and then he drenched him on the water in a nearby lake, and finally he dumped him on the shore. By that time, the lion was bruised and battered, dizzy and struggling to stand to his feet. And he looked at the elephant through sad and bloodshot eyes, and he said, "Look, just because you don't know the answer, you don't have to be mean about it". Amen, amen.
That is why I want to prepare you ahead for next message, that's why those ten plagues that God sent upon Pharaoh in rapid succession is a picture of how that lion, Satan... and the Bible said that, I am not making it up. Peter said that he is like a lion roaming around, looking at someone he may devour. You see, he may be hammered and bruised and battered and beaten, but he would not give up. He will not give up, make no mistake about it. Satan's one and overriding desire, that he to be followed and worshiped instead of God. It has been from the beginning when he was thrown out of heaven. He does that through false religions. He does that through false teaching in churches. He does that through false teachers. He does that through secular humanism. He does that through ignorant and blinded people.
Think of this audacious statement that Satan made to the Lord Jesus Christ. "All these things I'll give you if you'd fall down and worship me". And on the cross, our Lord Jesus Christ showed him who's king. There he plummeted him and pounded him and knocked his teeth out. And Jesus is soon coming back to finish him off once and for all. So, stand up and stand out. Look up, look up. Satan's overriding desire to be worshiped has been enhanced by believers' silence. His efforts are being enhanced by misguided teachers. For everyone who is not worshiping Jesus with their all, open the door to Satan. Every believer who does not worship Jesus with their all, they are not worshiping nothing, they are worshiping falsehood.
The Bible said how Satan appears to be as an angel of light and deceive people. Here's the thing that probably previous generation would not have seen this, Satan is not pretending anymore. Did you get that? His foot soldiers are now coming out of the closet and into our schools and into our churches. And in this day of tolerance, when every religion is good, at this age of saying that all religions are false except for Jesus Christ alone and faith in him is considered to be bigotry. I want to tell you I am honored in this circumstance to call myself bigot.
That is why I'm pleading with you, learn to look up and stand up, and watch and anticipate the power of God working in us. And unless God's people start repenting, start to seriously, seriously, not just paying lip service, the judgement will not stay, will not be stayed. It will come, it will come. Pharaoh said, "Who is this God that I should obey his voice? Who is this God that I should obey his voice"? Poor old Pharaoh, shortly he found out who is God, who God is. It was too late for him. It was too late for him. I pray to God that it's not too late for anyone here, anyone watching around the world.
Now is the time, today is the hour. Beloved, God is patient and long-suffering. And God persevered with Pharaoh. Ten times he persevered, probably gone for about ten weeks. God persevered in preaching through Noah for 120 years before the flood. God had waited patiently with Israel 300 years, prophet after prophet after prophet asked them to turn, to return, to turn, to return. And when they didn't, the Babylonian terrorists came and terrorized them, the apple of his eye. Jesus was very clear when he warned Jerusalem around 33 AD. In fact, the Bible said he wept, "Oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem". And he said, "The day is becoming, because of your rejection of me your Messiah, and now two stones are going to be on top of each other".
And if you've ever been to Israel, you've seen these massive stones kind of on the ground because what happened 40 years later or so, around 70 AD, the Romans came and they razed Jerusalem, and not a stone was left. God is patient, God is long-suffering, but it will not be forever. For those of you who know the Lord and love the Lord, your task and mine is to thoughtfully but firmly call our generation to repent before it's too late. But before we can do that, we have to learn how to repent ourselves. I always say repentance is not only for sinners, but repentance is for believers. God may be calling someone here today, whether here or watching, before it's too late. I sense in my bones that this may be a final warning to someone. Will you turn?