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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Michael Youssef » Michael Youssef - Became So Worldly

Michael Youssef - Became So Worldly

Michael Youssef - Became So Worldly
Michael Youssef - Became So Worldly
TOPICS: Letters from Jesus, Seven Churches of Revelation, Church, Apostasy

Few years ago, there was something, there was a big craze. It was known as extreme sports. What is it? Well, it was a sport that was taken to an extreme. That's extreme sports. But then they get to the bottom line. Always get to the bottom line. Just about most of those who would be sitting in front of the television screen watching these, whom they think crazy athletes, performing these extreme sports are in far more danger than these athletes. You say, "Michael, how can that be"? When you sit back and watching what appears to be, to you, as crazy stuff, crazy action, your blood pressure rises. Often, you're munching on some food that's clogging your arteries. You're internalizing stress, often mounds. No outlet for that stress to go, right? In the meantime, the athletes whom you think they're nuts, they keep their body fit. Because of that fitness, their stress level is lowered. Are you with me?

Their lungs operate more efficiently. Their overall hurtling through the air is less risky than sitting in front of the television stuffing their faces. I want to submit to you that this scenario, spiritually speaking, has been repeated millions of times every single day among believers. What do I mean by this? Those who sit back and do nothing for Jesus except criticize everything and everybody are in greater danger than those who roll up their sleeves and take risks for God. Those who are forever receiving, consuming, taking, watching are at a far more risk than those who are giving and serving and ministering and doing for Jesus.

When you compare these physical couch potatoes with the spiritual couch potatoes, you see the similarities. The spiritual couch potatoes may convince themselves that they are safe, may convince themselves that they are secure, may convince themselves that they are protected. They may convince themselves, but what they doing is that they're being destroyed from the inside out. According to Jesus, the spiritual couch potatoes who belong to the church in the city of Laodicea, they were in danger of being vomited and spit out of his mouth. You have to understand few things about the city, the city itself. First of all, it was founded in the year 250 BC by Antiochus of Syria.

Now, Antiochus of Syria is where... the city of Antioch was named after him, and he founded this city and named it after his wife, Laodice. Laodicea was a remarkable city in every way. In all the ones we've been looking at, this is the most remarkable city of them all. It would have been the kind of city that every business consultant would set as an example for success; why? Well, it was the center of the manufacturing of the finest clothes. The sheep, they were renowned in this Laodicean hill from which they were famous for soft, violet-black, glossy wool, which was rare and was manufactured in Laodicea. But that's not all. It was the medical center of the region, and then became the talk of the world, literally. Nearby the temple of... there was a medical school, and it was second to none. In fact, that medical center became world-renowned because they discovered a special salve for the curing of all eye diseases. Powder.

I want you to think with me. Please just think with me. They are the financial capital of the world, the clothing manufacturing capital of the world, the medical center of the world, and yet Jesus said, "I am not impressed". It's a rough translation, but you get the meaning. Something else important about the city of Laodicea, and Jesus focuses on it like a laser beam. The water supply to the city of Laodicea had to travel several miles through underground aqueducts. And the water, because it traveled long distance underground, by the time it reached the city it was foul, it was dirty, and it was tepid. This water was not hot enough to relax and restore and rejuvenate like the hot springs in a nearby Hierapolis, that's H-I-E-R, Hierapolis nearby. They had hot springs where people went there and were rejuvenated. It was not cold enough to refresh, like the streams of cold water in the nearby Colossi.

Question, what good is that water? What good is it for? It was good for one thing. They drank it to induce vomit. Our resurrected, glorified, soon-coming Lord Jesus is saying to them, "You are like your water. Your indifference and your complacency is making me sick. Your apathy is making me nauseous. Your half-hearted commitment is making me feel like I have drank a glass of your water". Now, beloved, I am absolutely convinced that this is how our Lord Jesus Christ now feels about so many of the 21st century churches, his churches that have departed from the truth. Someone said there are some churches that make Jesus weep, other churches make Jesus angry, then others make Jesus sick. I pray to God that our church make Jesus rejoice. So what is the answer? What's the... praise God I don't have to come with the answer. Praise God we don't have to come with the answer. Jesus himself gives the answer, and here, the resurrected, glorified Lord Jesus gives them three things.

First of all, he alerts them to their dangerous conditions; secondly, he advises them how to get out of their dangerous condition; and finally, he awards them if they get away from their dangerous condition. Here you have it. Alert, advice, and award. This is Jesus's alert system. It's his alert system, his alert system. The truth is, most people have blind spots. All of us have blind spots. What makes it worse is that none of us are naturally alert to our blind spots. Otherwise they wouldn't be blind spots, right? So the question is, how do you react when somebody points your blind spot? How do you react to it? Now, there are some people react angrily when you point their blind spot. Others receive it graciously and do self-examination and come clean with God and say, "Lord, search me, oh God. I want to come clean with you".

And then there's a third group, third reaction, and those who react apathetically. You know what I'm talking about? It's like the person who said, "I'm neither for nor against apathy". Remind me of the preacher who was really preaching, waxing eloquently about apathy and against apathy; and he was preaching his heart out, and then he turned to the person in the front pew and he said, "Is that not so"? And the man said, "I don't know, and I don't care". It warms the heart of the preacher. Now, we're going to make a statement. It's going to startle some of you. Not all, some of you. I believe with all my heart that apathy is Jesus's number one enemy. Why am I saying this? Listen carefully, please. Because he knows how to deal with the red-hot fanatics, he knows how to deal with the cold enemy; but it's the tepid, apathetic, lukewarm person that makes him sick.

And here in this letter to the believers in the city of Laodicea, our glorified Lord Jesus is telling them, "Your blind spot is that you are not realistic in your self-assessment. You are smug in your self-satisfaction. You're resting on your worldly reputation. You're placing your total confidence in your material resources. You're puffed up with your wealth. In other words, you're blind to your true condition". Oh Lord, may that never be said of me. You're materially rich, but you're spiritually penniless. You may be dressed up in the designer clothes, but you're spiritually and shamefully naked. You may be able to boast about your eyesalve, but you are truly spiritually blind to what is really matters. All sin, all sin, all sins are infectious, but pride is the most infectious and dangerous sin of all; and that is why, here, Jesus had to speak to them bluntly. He said, "Wake up and smell the coffee. You're paupers in spite of your banks. You're blind in spite of your eye powder. You're naked in spite of your clothing manufacturing companies".

First of all, he does what? And secondly, he advises them. Underline that in verse 18 in your Bible. Revelation 3:18, just underline it. I'm going to tell you a little bit about that verse. It gives me palpitation. It really does. It's just amazing verse. "I counsel you". Say that with me. This verse gives me goosebumps. I'm going to tell you why. The God who said "Let there be light" and there it was, the God, the very God who clicked his fingers and the galaxies began to dance in their orbit, that same God says, "I counsel you". What? Yeah. He could have said, "I order you". He could have said, "I command you". He could have said, "I demand of you". But no. He said, "I counsel you".

Our amazing God. Listen, the older I get, the longer I walk with Jesus, the more I am overwhelmed by how amazing our God is. He respects the very freedom that he gives us. He respects the freedom he gives us. You and I know that God can terrify us, but he doesn't. He can order us. Often he does it, not in the beginning anyway. He can demand from us, but he doesn't. He prefers first to counsel us. That small voice. He prefers first to advise us. He prefers first to convict us. He prefers first to call us. He prefers first to guide us. He prefers first to lead us, all to be sure, don't miss what I'm going to tell you. There are dire consequences to ignoring his counsel. There is a terrible price to be paid for continuous disobedience. Oh, I know that. I know it. But he always starts the process with counseling us, advising us. His small voice speaking gently and softly.

Have you heard that small voice? So what is Jesus's counsel to the believers in Laodicea? He says, "Come and buy from me true spiritual gold that will make you truly rich. Come and buy from me real spiritual clothes that will cover your sin and guilt. Come and buy from me good spiritual eyesalve that will open your spiritual eyes". Some of you heard the word or read "buy" and you said, "Buying? What is this? Are we going to buy salvation now? Is salvation for sale? When Jesus was saying, 'Come and buy from me,' what is this all about"? No, of course not. You know it's not. No and a million nos. I want to tell you. I want to tell you. I want to tell you. Listen carefully. This is the best buy of your lifetime. This is the biggest deal in the whole universe. This is the greatest bargain in all of human history.

When you come in repentance, you exchange your sin for his forgiveness. You exchange your failure with his success. You exchange your pain for his healing. You exchange your pride in your sin for his humility. You exchange your worthless self-righteousness for his true righteousness. You exchange the rest of your stubbornness and rebellion for his gold of obedience. You come and you exchange your pride of your ideas and your opinions for the true peace and contentment that only God can give you. Have you ever known a bargain like that? Only a foolish person turns a bargain like that down. This exchange is not the exchange of equal sums. You pay X to get Z. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. This is not an equal exchange. I am giving him my trash for his riches. I'm giving him my sin for his forgiveness. I'm giving him my worry and anxiety for his peace.

A question that's often raised regarding this in the church of Laodicea, "Were they really carnal believers, or were they never believers at all"? But you know what? It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. Don't get sidetracked. If Satan has blinded someone's heart, it does not matter whether that person is a churchgoer or not. In fact, there are so many people, hearts are blinded, who are churchgoers. It doesn't matter whether we... that person has heard the truth then turned their back on that truth or never heard the truth at all. It doesn't matter. The message of the resurrected, glorified Jesus is the same. "Come to me. Come to me. Come to me". Will you open your heart? He alerts, he advises, and then he awards. Isn't that amazing? His greatest award is for those who overcome, and he will give them the right to sit on the throne with him. Let me tell you something. That boggles my mind. We're going to sit on the throne with Jesus.

First he said, "Give me your trash, and I'll give you gold in exchange". Then he says, "If you accept this unbelievable exchange, then you'll sit on the throne with me". Now, beloved, this award exceeds all the other promises, all of them that we have seen in the other six churches. This exceeds them all. Exceeds them in glory. It exceeds them in honor, exceeds them in authority.

I want to conclude by something I left this, in all the seven letters. Every one, at the end of every letter, says the same thing. I didn't touch it, I left it all the way to the end. Every letter end, "He who has ear, let him hear". It means that you cannot sit here or watching online or wherever you are and say, "Wow, this is a great message for so-and-so," or, "I wish so-and-so was here to hear that message". That's what it means. It means it's for you who have heard it. It means this message is for everyone who reads it or hears it. This message is for you. Every admonition is for you. Every promise is for you. Every encouragement is for you. "He who has ear, let him hear".
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