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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Michael Youssef » Michael Youssef - Hope for This Present Crisis

Michael Youssef - Hope for This Present Crisis

Michael Youssef - Hope for This Present Crisis
Michael Youssef - Hope for This Present Crisis
TOPICS: Hope, Crisis

There can be no doubt in any reasonable person, reasonable person, doesn't have to be a Christian, a reasonable person that we are in a crisis. Our crisis is not primarily economic or educational, even though we have great crisis in those areas, but primarily it's a crisis of moral. It is a moral crisis that stems from truth deficit disorder. I want to break this present crisis down, and I want to share with you four things about this present crisis that we're facing in America and in the west. First of all, I want to tell you about the nature of this present crisis; and secondly, I want to tell you about the danger of this present crisis; and thirdly, I want to give you the answer, the only answer to this present crisis; and finally, the action that we need to take every one of us, young or old. Don't sit here and say, "Well, I'm too young for this. I can't do this". God will... I'm going to give you examples. God can use you at any age.

First of all, the nature of our present crisis. Simply put, the present crisis is the disappearance of objective truth, the collapse of biblical influence in the western world. All the plenty of religions, plenty of churches, but biblical truth. All across America and Europe, Bible-believing, Christ-centered churches are emptying. Unbelief is spreading. An entire generation has turned away from God. In short, they are preaching and reflecting the secular gods of money, pleasure, politics, and power. They no longer reflect the God of the Bible. The national result is that we have more addictions than ever, more suicides than ever, more violence than ever, more abortions than ever, fewer marriages than ever, and more empty cradles than ever.

In April 2021 issue of The Atlantic, not known for being an evangelical publication, the writer says that, and I quote, "As Christianity has declined, political division has grown". He's not a Christian writer, and he continues, "Over the past 2 decades, church membership in America has dropped from 70% to 50%. As Christianity's hold has weakened, ideological fragmentation has arisen". Listen to me. God designed us to worship him alone. We were made to believe in him as the only one true God, and this is the foundational start of the United States of America. The founders understood that if we ceased to believe in the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, something else is going to fill that God-shaped void. Our most urgent crisis is spiraling decline of biblical truth and morality. The most urgent crisis is the moral and spiritual hollowing of our society from within. All other social ills that we face, they stem out of the decline of biblical Christianity in America today.

Now, my friends, as goes the church, so goes the nation. America is divided because we in the church have failed. What we have failed to do is tenaciously hold fast into biblical teaching. Mega church pastors now they'll rather make people happy and feel good about their sin than repent and turn to the Lord. This is the nature of our present crisis. The Bible-believing churches are becoming smaller and smaller in number. Biblical faith is in decline in many at church and the result, America is in decline.

The second thing I want to share with you today is the danger of the present crisis. Most Americans assume that our democracy and the way of life will always endure, but throughout history we know that empires and nations have collapsed again and again and again. Today, western society shows every sign of approaching collapse. The warning signs that have foreshadowed the fall of the Roman Empire have appeared in America today.

Let me just give you some examples. Rome fell because of debauchery and moral anarchy. Ethnic and political strife spread across the empire. The military was stretched too far and too thin. The empire became unable to control its borders. The corrupt Roman government spent itself into bankruptcy. These parallels, my beloved friend listen to me, between ancient Rome and 21st century America are deeply troubling for any thinking person, and this immigrant, listen to me, this immigrant to this country will not be silenced.

As Historian Niall Ferguson of the Hoover Institution warns us, he says empires in decline seem to outwardly strong for a period of time and then a quick and abrupt collapse. Question, is there no hope? Is America doomed to collapse? No, absolutely not. There is hope. Decline is not inevitable; decline is a choice, but you and I must make wise and godly choices. Our generation is choosing right now whether civilization will rise or fall. My friends, listen to me. Listen to me. It is time to give away fear. It is time to give away silence. It is time for faith. It is time for courage. It is time to stand up and be counted. Bible-believing Christians in America need to prepare themselves for persecution. We should expect to be persecuted by the government.

You see, when we refuse to compromise our faith, we will be persecuted. We should expect to be persecuted in the social media when we proclaim God, the God of the Bible. We should prepare our children to be persecuted in schools when they start to share the love of Christ with others, when they share their own love for Christ. We should take heed the words of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 16:13: "Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong". And so if you refuse their effort to silence you, if you refuse their efforts to silence you, listen to me, you can expect persecution. If you are not at odds with the culture, you're at odds with Jesus. Make no mistake about it. So what is the danger of this present crisis? The future of our children and grandchildren. The souls of those who need to hear the true gospel of Jesus Christ, repent, and believe, and be saved.

Thirdly, should give you some answers to our present crisis. When I was a young pastor at this church, the Church of the Apostles was very small in number many years ago here in Atlanta, Georgia. I'm saying that because there are some people, millions are watching around the world. This church was tiniest group of people meeting. We had a visit from a pastor of a mega church in America, and he sat in the back. It was not in this building, of course. And he sat in the back and he heard me preach, and afterward he thought he really wants to help me. I mean, this poor immigrant boy he just needed help, and he really tried to help me as far as he was concerned and he said, "Michael, your church will never grow if you keep on preaching sermons like the one I heard today". He said, "This", quote now, "This in-your-face preaching will not build you a great church. Your message need to be more positive and inviting. It needs to make people feel good about coming back".

I always tell you the truth. For a time I thought about what he said. I reflected, I considered what he said. Our church was small in comparison to his large church that was thriving, and I wondered. For a short period of time I really wondered, to my shame, if I may not just begin to soften, soft-pillow the message a little bit. See, we preachers know how to do that. Trust me, we know how to do that. "Should I soften the ragged edges of the gospel"? And then I heard God audibly say to me, "Michael, I did not save your life from certain death, certain death more than once so that you can water down my Word. Michael, I would rather you reach heaven with a handful of people who were saved through the uncompromised preaching of my gospel than have you entertain tens of thousands of people who will curse you from hell because you compromised my truth". That day, that day many years ago now I said to the Lord, "As long as you give me breath, I will proclaim your uncompromised truth of your Word".

So, my friend, I'm speaking from experience when I say that we must cling to the truth that Jesus and Jesus alone is the way, the truth, and the giver of eternal life; and that men and women, boys and girls, we're all born with sin, in sin and we desperately need to repent and turn our backs on sin and Satan and receive salvation from the cross of Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ himself said in Matthew 5:13, "You are the salt of the earth..." And he wasn't talking about just the preachers, he's talking about every one of us. "You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under feet". Jesus also said in John chapter 8, verses 31 and 32, listen carefully, "If you abide in me..." Say that with me, "If... you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free". Praise God.

Please understand there's a price to be paid for proclaiming God's uncompromised truth. I'm not going to mislead you. There is a price, but the reward is unspeakable. God's truth impacts every aspect of life, every aspect of life. See, when we began to compartmentalize God, that's when we got into trouble. Every aspect of life, if you hold to the teaching of Jesus, then you will know the truth, and the truth is going to do what? Set you free. Today the foundation of the Christian faith is under attack sometimes from even churches, from mainline denomination. They are assaulting the foundation of the Christian faith. They can never, never, never destroy the foundation. Make no mistake about it. They can assault it, but they can never destroy it.

As a matter of fact, the psalmist in Psalm 11:3 ask the question, "If the foundations are be destroyed, what can the righteous do"? But if we stand firm on the foundation of biblical truth, we will not be shaken. We will not be defeated. The gates of hell, Jesus said, will not be able to overcome us. The nature of the present crisis, the danger of the present crisis, the answer to the present crisis of holding tightly to the uncompromised teaching of the Word of God. And fourthly, finally, the action needed, the action needed. Every one of us can do this, every one of us.

Hear me out, please. God's uncompromised truth has the power in it to transform life. When the apostle Paul said, "I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation, it's the power of God unto salvation," the power is where? Not in the preaching, the power is in the gospel. Until we come to grips with this and understand this, that a life that is transformed by the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ can change the world. And just in case there are some here... I know not many in this room, but many may be watching and saying, "Well, it's so care for you to preach the gospel, but what impact does it have on our culture? What impact does it have on society"?

Listen to me. It is the preaching of the gospel that has changed societies. If you want to change the world, begin with the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That's where you begin. That's where you start. Tell people to repent of their sins. Don't tell them that, "God loves you just as you are and live like the devil. God loves you. Just nothing, you don't have to change. You don't have to be converted. You don't have to repent of your sins". That is a falsehood.

Beloved, it is time to get serious about our faith. We must never hate. We must never, never, never hate. Hate is not part of our vocabulary. They impute it on us. We must never attack. We must never repay evil with evil. We must respond with the love of Jesus Christ and the message of eternal life, a message that they can escape the judgment of God too if they'll repent of their sins and come to Jesus Christ; and we must proclaim it. We proclaim it lovingly and humbly, and because we love we'll always tell the truth. Love compels us to tell the truth; not pander to them, not lie to them just to make them like us. We will not play political games, but we will tell them the truth and that's because we love them, genuinely love them and we have nothing in our hearts toward them other than they come to the love of Christ and understand what it means to be redeemed and their sins are forgiven. Jesus's very first sermon in Mark chapter 1, verse 14, "The kingdom of God is at hand. Therefore," what? Repent. Therefore what? Repent. That was the first message of Jesus and, beloved, that's going to be the very last message until he takes me home.
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