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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Michael Youssef » Michael Youssef - Facing the Future with Confidence

Michael Youssef - Facing the Future with Confidence

Michael Youssef - Facing the Future with Confidence
TOPICS: Future, Confidence, Expectations

You know, every New Year, these fortunetellers, that's really what I call them, future-predictors, they come out of the woodworks, every year. And through the years I've really tracked some of them and I gotta tell you that at least, and I wanna be very charitable, so I'm gonna say at least 90% of their predictions never come to pass. If I were not a disciple of Jesus Christ, I'll be depressed, but I'm not. I am absolutely as optimistic as I've ever been. I'm as encouraged as I ever been, I am hopeful as I've ever been, because I know that my Redeemer liveth and he is interceding for me at the right hand of the Father. It makes no difference to us who know and love Jesus.

It makes no difference to us whether any of these predictions come true or not, because our confidence is never shaken because our faith is immoveable, because our peace and our joy is not dependent on the circumstances, because our peace can never be taken away from us because eternal security in Christ is not up for grabs. Why? Because we fully trust in the promises of God in the Word of God. And his Word said in Hebrews chapter 7, verses 24 and 25: "But because Jesus lives forever, He has permanent priesthood". What kind of priesthood? Now before I get to verse 25, just the whole argument in the Hebrew Epistle here, the whole argument in this chapter, is that Jesus is a far, far, far greater high priest than the Old Testament high priests. He is a high priest not from the Levitical side, but according on the order of Melchizedek. Supernatural, permanent.

And because of the Resurrection and the Ascension, he is now at the right hand of the Father as our permanent high priest, our permanent high priest who intercedes on our behalf. Now, verse 25, Hebrews 7:25: "Therefore", Remember, I always tell you when you see the word "therefore," find out why it is there for? "Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to him," he is able to save what? He's able to save what? "Those who come to him," and here it comes. "Because he always lives," to do what? "To intercede for them," praise God. Now, my beloved friends, that is enough for me to be able to say to whoever is predicting the future, "Bring it on. Bring it on". Why? Because my Savior is interceding for me right now, at this very moment.

I am thankful to the Lord that the Holy Spirit guided John, specifically John out of the four Gospels, to give us this word for word sample, example, of how our Lord is interceding for us. Our Lord, while here on earth, just before the Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension, he gave us an example of how he is now interceding for us at this very moment. And so, turn with me to John 17. Three things I want to share with you very quickly here about Jesus's high priestly intercession in John chapter 17. First of all, in the first five verses, you notice our Lord is claiming his own glorification which now he's appropriating. But before the cross and the tomb and the Resurrection, he was claiming that glorification, his own glorification, has already been promised by the Father.

Secondly, verses 6 through 19, that's the longest part, that he is praying for our sanctification. And thirdly, verses 20 to 26, Jesus is interceding for our unification. His glorification, our sanctification, and unification. Look at this very quickly. I want to unwrap them very fast. First of all, Jesus claims the promise of the Father for his own glorification. Now, remember, this is before the cross, okay? So having obeyed the Father perfectly, and this could be a day before the cross, before the Crucifixion. Having obeyed the Father perfectly, his first intercession has been fulfilled. And now he is appropriating that glory with the Father. Inasmuch as our Lord Jesus Christ now is glorified in heaven, please hear me right, Jesus was confidence of that coming glorification when he prayed those prayers. Why?

Remember, before coming to earth as an embryo in a virgin's womb, Jesus dwelt in the glory and the splendor with the Father in heaven before his coming down to our broken and sin-filled world, before stepping down into this earth to deliver us from evil and the punishment of evil, our Lord Jesus Christ dwelt in the Father's power and great glory. Jesus himself said that he willingly, willingly, willingly, willingly. Did you get that? Willingly obeyed and left the Father and left the glories of heaven to come to our broken world so that he, the sinless, perfect, Son of God, allowed repentant sinners who will come to the Father through him and through him alone, to be accepted by God the Father. And you're accepted because of Jesus. And thus, when he prayed for his own glorification, he knew that that glorification is coming, but only after the agonizing death of the cross.

Only after paying for your debt and my debt on that cross, his glorification is coming but only after his perfect obedience to the Father. Why was he so confident as he intercedes for his own glorification? Because he knew that his Father, listen to me, his Father always, always, always... how many times did I.. always keeps his promises. He was so confident that his Father keeps his promises. So the question is what does it mean to be glorified, or glory? We sometimes use the word and sing the word and we don't really give it a great deal of thought. Glory is the revelation of God's character. Glory is the highlight of God's attributes. Glory is the shining of the floodlights on what God is really, really, really like.

When Jesus went to the cross, the hidden riches and the radiance of God, his love, his truth, his mercy, was partially revealed, and because of the fact that only Jesus is the full revelation of the glory of God, our pagan culture blocks his name. They hide his name, they deride his name, they even curse his name because they've rejected the glory that was revealed of the Father by Jesus. Oh, but for us who love Jesus, those of us who love Jesus, those who have lived for Jesus, he is our only hope. He's our only power for living. He's our only strength in times of trouble. He's our only authority over demons and evil spirits. He's our only authority over sickness and disease and infirmities. He's our only authority over sin and addiction. He's our only authority over bitterness and fear. And all because Jesus's name has eternity built in it.

Eternity built in that name. Jonathan Edwards, whom God used, to bring about the first awakening in the United States, was the president of Yale University. Back when Yale started as a Christian school. He used to pray this prayer. He said, "Imprint 'eternity' on my eyeballs". Imprint "eternity" on my eyeballs. Look at verse 3: "This is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, the only true God, and your Son, your only Son," and those who say Jesus is just the founder of another religion, let them read that verse. "This is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God and your only Son". You know, so many people sometimes mistakenly think that they will experience eternal life after they die. Our Lord, here in this very verse, disabuse us of that notion. How? By telling us that eternal life begins the moment we know God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Eternal life begins in us when Jesus is enthroned in our hearts as our Savior and Lord. And that is why dying for the believers, listen to me, dying for the believers is only a change of clothes. It's only a change of residence. It's moving from the basement to the penthouse. It's moving from the tent to the mansion. It's moving from the slum to the posh. It's moving from the perishable to the imperishable. It's moving from the limited to the limitless. It's moving from weakness to strength. Praise God. Give him praise. So what does it mean for Jesus to pray for his own glorification? He was looking beyond the cross. He was looking beyond the Resurrection, he was looking beyond the Ascension. He's looking to returning to his former splendor before he left heaven to come to earth, and that is why I tell you that we can face the future with confidence.

Our name is mentioned in high places. We are known to God. We are known to him by name. He knows everything about us and he still loves us. Glorification. Secondly, brings me secondly to the intercession for the sanctification. I know it's a big word. Kids, I'm gonna explain it to you in a minute. It's a big word, and the reason is because we don't use it. It's not in our regular vocabulary. Verse 6. Talking to the Father, Jesus said, "I have revealed you to those whom you had given me out of the world". After three years, our Lord Jesus poured his life, poured into the disciples, he poured into them. Day after day, he poured into them. But look at Jesus's model of discipling. He did not only intercede for them, but he did not try to control them, never. Read the scripture.

He did not try to keep them under his thumb. No, no, no. He did not try to frustrate them, as some of them displayed immaturity and selfish ambitions, some of them displayed doubt and unbelief. But that never stopped him from pouring into them. Beloved, pouring oneself into another is Jesus's model and we must do it. Serving and giving mentorship is Jesus's pattern, especially as we possibly face some dark days. I believe with all my heart, not one in this body of believers should walk alone.

Look at verse 11: "Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name". The power is where? In the name. The name that you gave me. God the Father gave him that name. Verse 12: "While I was with them, I kept them safe by the name that you gave me". Only the Son of perdition referring to Judas Iscariot who was pretending to be believer. My goodness gracious. There's so many pretending believers. These are what I call the goats in the church. They're actually not pretending to be sheep anymore. My confidence is not in my holding into God that some people say, and let me tell you something. If that was the case, I would have been lost long time ago. But my confidence comes from the fact that he's holding me. He's holding me. He's holding me.

Jesus is interceding for his disciples right now, which means that those who are eternally saved, those who know and love Jesus, no one can steal their salvation. No one can deprive them of fellowship with him. Jesus is asking the Father that you and you and you and you and me be protected from the schemes of Satan, from what's around the corner that we can't see, from the blind alleys. Verse 15: "My prayer is that you do not take them out of this world but you protect them from the evil one". And that is why you often hear me say I am indestructible until God says, "Come home".

Verse 17: "Sanctify them by your truth". Sanctify them by your, "Your word is the truth". Your word is what? That's the truth. That is the truth, and not what Dr. Smellfungus or Pastor Superduck has says. The Word of God is the truth. The Word of God is the truth. Don't ever forget, nothing will protect you from the world, the flesh, and the devil, like the Word of God. The Word of God will keep you from sin, or sin is gonna keep you from the Word of God. The word "sanctify" here, as I said, can be misunderstood because it's not in common use. And it's a big word, but some people might not, you know, "What's 'sanctify' means"?

Well, it means just simply every day you grow more like Jesus. Every day you're more set apart for Jesus. Every day more and more of you belongs to Jesus. Let me give you something that even the kids will understand, even children will comprehend. You know, this is a comb. This comb is sanctified in me and to me. It's sanctified. It's dedicated, it's set aside for the use in my hair. Not for any other purpose. You can't use it. I will not lend it to you because your hair might have bugs in 'em. I will not use it for anything else, for any other purpose, except for that, what it means, for my hair. And let me go from the ridiculous to the sublime.

You and I are set aside for Jesus. We're set aside for his glory. Mind, body, soul, everything belongs to Jesus, not to anywhere else. You cannot use it for junk and you cannot use it for other stuff that does not bring glory to Jesus. That's what it means to be sanctified, to be set aside. He interceded for his own glorification. Jesus interceded for the disciples' sanctification. And thirdly, he interceded for our unification. Perhaps no one knows more about the abuse, yup, you heard me right. The abuse of the word "unity" than I do.

In my years of ministering in the apostate church, a church that turned its back on the gospel of Jesus Christ, the word "unity" was often used to silence the Bible-believing Christians in many melong denominations, why? So that they would get their apostate agenda through. Their motto was as follows: "Doctrine divides but love unites". Meaning, because they don't believe in the divinity of Christ, but I believe in the divinity of Christ, that is a disunity. I am causing disunity to the body. Doctrine divide. If I believe that Jesus rose from the dead, bodily, physically, though and they don't, I shouldn't be preaching that because that divides.

But love, love unites. But love, they mean, is that you bring all sorts of abomination and be accepted into the church. That is not love, that really is not love. In other words, you Bible-believing Christians, you better shut up or otherwise we're gonna call you "unloving". No matter how abominable that agenda was, and listen. That is not the unity that Jesus is praying for here in Gospel of John chapter 17. The unity that Jesus is praying for is not organizational unity, it is not institutional unity, it is not denominational unity, but rather, unity on the substance of the Christian faith.

Unity of seeking the glory of Jesus above all else in life. It's the unity of the centrality of the gospel and the Word of God. It's the unity of believing that salvation is through Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone, in the scripture alone. I have given them the glory. I revealed to them your character that you've given me. I've shone the light on how loving you are.

Don't ever fall in the trap of these false teachers who tell you that the God of the Old Testament is not the God of the New Testament, that the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath, but the God of the New Testament is the God of love. Absolutely false from the pit of hell. It is God of the Old Testament who sent his Son Jesus to die on the cross to redeem us. Beloved, when we love one another, united on the gospel, united on the Word of God, united on the death and the resurrection of Jesus as the only way to heaven, we are revealing the character of God by loving one another.
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