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Powerful Witness

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef
The Truth Network Radio
April 18, 2022 8:00 am

Powerful Witness

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef

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April 18, 2022 8:00 am

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It is only faithful witnessing through the power of the Holy Spirit is going to bring about permanent change in our country and in the world.

How? By bringing changed people into the kingdom of God. Thank you for connecting to Leading the Way, audio content featuring pastor, author and international Bible teacher, Dr. Michael Youssef. Living for Christ is not easy, especially in 2022. Standing for truth has become particularly divisive as people immediately peg us in tolerant or judgmental or other words that aren't so nice, even though your heart is to help people find Jesus. Well, today, Dr. Youssef reveals God's power for daily living words grounded in the Bible, sure to help you lean in and trust the Holy Spirit in a deeper way as you live out your faith at home and the workplace and in your neighborhood. Here now is Dr. Michael Youssef with tools to become a powerful witness.

Join me in listening to Leading the Way. When you get subpoenaed to testify in the court of law as a witness, you are not expected to present a legal argument. You are not expected to expound on some finer points of the law.

You're not even expected to know anything about the theory of jurisprudence. When you are subpoenaed to the court as a witness, you are only required to do three things. You're required to say what you saw, what you've heard, what you have experienced. That's all is required of you as a witness. Jesus knowing the importance of the eyewitness testimony, the last thing that he said to his disciples, the last words that he left with them before he was ascended to heaven, be my witnesses.

Be my witnesses. If there's a theme that runs straight through the book of Acts, it's a theme of witnessing. In fact, Dr. Luke tells us all that we need to know about witnessing and about our message. Very simply, very clearly turn please in your Bible to the book of Acts, the first 11 verses of chapter one. There's one thing I want to tell you about these 11 verses. You must know something of vital importance about those first 11 verses in the book of Acts.

They are a historic documentation of the period of time between Jesus's resurrection from the dead and his ascension into heaven. Forty days condensed in 11 verses. Luke tells us six things in these 11 verses. Number one, he is telling us that our message is his person. Verses one and two of chapter one of the book of Acts. Our message is his person.

I want you to listen very carefully. The Christian faith is the only faith where the message is the messenger. It's the only faith. Take Buddha out of Buddhism, you still have the Buddhist teachings. Take Krishna out of Hinduism, you still have the Hindu teachings. But not so with the Christian faith.

Why? Because these religions and most of the religions, not all the religions of the world are basically made of set of principles and teachings. Not so on the Christian faith. If you take Jesus Christ out of Christianity, you'd end up with a dead corpse in your hand.

It's not faith at all. So our message is his person and without Jesus Christ, we have no message. Jesus did not merely teach us about God, he is God. Jesus did not merely tell us about salvation, he is our salvation. Jesus did not merely tell us about the wages of our sins, no he bore the wages of our sins on his body on the cross. Jesus did not merely point us to God, he was the only way to God and he is the only way to God. Jesus was not just a good man, he was a perfect man.

Sinless man. And therefore he's the only God-man who can stand between God and man. Our faith is not based merely on some dead words that are recorded in a dead book, no. Our faith is based on historically proven living resurrected Jesus Christ. Our faith is not merely a set of moral and ethical rules, no. Our faith is set in a personal God who empowers us to live up to his moral and ethical standards. Our message therefore is his person, period.

We have no other message. Secondly, his manifestation is our proof. Look at verse three. You know I am absolutely flabbergasted, I'm amazed. I shouldn't be surprised but I do get surprised every now and again about the intellectual dishonesty of some so-called theologians and historians.

I am aghast at times at their intellectual dishonesty. They would easily accept the account of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius back in AD 79 that was recorded by a boy who was 17 years old. They will take that and they will accept it as a historical fact and they would never question it and yet they have the audacity to question the testimony of more than 500 eyewitnesses of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is a fact of history and if you subject the resurrection to all the historical testings, it will pass with a flying color and therefore there's no honest historian, honest theologian would doubt the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

In fact, verse three of chapter one of the book of Acts tells us, he says so. He said after his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave, listen carefully underline it in your Bible, many convincing proofs that he was alive. Many of these eyewitnesses stood there before the cross. They saw the nails piercing into his flesh and his hands and his feet.

They watch it with their own eyes. Many of them saw him pull down from the cross. Many of them saw him died. Many of them saw his body being buried and then they saw him again, very alive and many of them couldn't even believe it. They couldn't believe their own eyes, they couldn't believe their own ears, but as for 40 days, as he talked to them, as he walked with them, as he ate with them, as he told them some very important things about the kingdom of God, they not only were convinced of his resurrection, they were ready to die for the sake of Christ and for the sake of that conviction of what they saw with their own eyes. And that is why as a scientist, Dr. Luke uses words such as convincing proofs. You see, he knew that some smart aleck at some university somewhere going to say, well, they must have imagined the resurrection. They were so preoccupied with grief that when they saw an angel, they thought he was Jesus for 40 days talking to them about all kinds of things that only they and he could understand.

No, because after three years with them, he was telling them things that only they can understand, they would know. So what does this leave us? Well, there are four steps here of vital importance.

If you're writing, take them down. Here's what Luke is trying to tell us. Number one, he is saying that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a fact of history.

It is undeniable. And therefore, the next step has to be that he must be God of very God. And if he is God of very God, then therefore, the third step is that everything that he says must be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. And if his resurrection is a fact of history, and if he is God of very God, and because he speaks the truth and nothing but the truth, therefore, the last step of vital importance is this.

Every human being on the face of the earth is going to be judged based on how, whether they have accepted him or rejected him, period. That's what Dr. Luke is trying to tell us about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our message is his person. His manifestation is our proof. Thirdly, his might is our promise. Look at verses four and five of Acts chapter one.

His might is our promise. You know, if there's one thing that modern Christians do that runs contrary to the teaching of the scripture, it is their overemphasis on programs. Look, I understand how human nature loves to focus on a program. I understand this, this program or that program. I understand human nature would like to go around and look and find a program that has worked somewhere and let's implant it and let's just import it and use it because it's going to be used.

Now, let me tell you something. When the program works, who gets the glory? The program. Who gets the glory? The methodology. Who gets the glory?

The clever people who devise the program. And that is why Jesus wanted his disciples not to depend on a program, not to depend on their ingenuity, not to depend on their abilities, not to depend on their native talents for being witnesses for Jesus Christ. No, he's so commanded them to wait for the Holy Spirit to come because when the might and the power of the Holy Spirit come upon them, there will be fruitful witnesses. You know in the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit of God, the third person of the Trinity and he's a person, don't ever refer to him as it.

He is equal with the Father and the Son. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit was sent from heaven to accomplish a task. The Holy Spirit was sent upon a person to do a job and then returns back to heaven. And that is why there are a number of prophecies in the Old Testament that tell us that the Holy Spirit one day is coming to dwell on the earth permanently. Prophecy after prophecy in the Old Testament that says one day, one day, the Holy Spirit is going to come and when he comes, he's going to be poured out and he's going to dwell on the earth permanently. And so in Acts chapter 1 verses 4 and 5, Jesus is telling the disciples to wait for the fulfillment of all these prophecies, for the fulfillment of all these promises of the Holy Spirit coming. And when he comes permanently to dwell on the earth, he's going to give them power to be effective witnesses for him. And that is why Jesus told them to wait until they received the Holy Spirit.

Here we are 2,000 years later. The Holy Spirit is here because the moment the Holy Spirit was given in Pentecost, he remained on the earth. What is he doing?

He's going around. He's opening blind eyes, lightening dark hearts like yours and mine and showing us what sinful people we are and how desperate we need the salvation of the Lord. And then our eyes become open and repent and turn from our sins and receive Jesus as Savior and Lord. That's what the Holy Spirit does first and foremost. That's his power. Nobody can do that. No church can do that. No denomination can do that. Not the whole Christian community can do that. Nobody can do that.

All of our money in the world, we cannot do that. Only the Holy Spirit does. And that is why our witnessing without the power of the Holy Spirit will produce no results.

No results. Our message is his person. His manifestation is our proof.

His might is our promise. Fourthly, the master's plan is our priority. The master's plan is our priority. You know, every church, every denomination, every Christian institution, I hope that every home they have the list of priorities.

That's good. I tell you what, I lived long enough to see some very sorry priorities on the agenda of some denominations and some churches. I want to tell you, there are some Christians who would die for some ritual or some final dogma somewhere that has nothing maybe to do with the gospel. They'll die for it. I mean, that's how committed they are to whatever it is.

I'll give you an example. There are some people, there are some Christians who are so convinced of how and when the end of time is going to be that if you ever questioned them, they will question your salvation. I mean, they were just convinced.

They just know it. Well, there are some disciples who are like that. They really, all they were hung up on, when is Jesus coming back? When is he going to establish his kingdom?

When are we going to be in the kingdom of God when all is going to be great and power and might? And they asked Jesus the question. See, some of them were convinced that it's soon. Now he died.

He rose again. Now it's going to be soon, must be somehow coming up now, any moment. James and John, they're going to be on the right and the left and one is going to be the secretary of the exchequer and one is going to be the vice president. One is going to be the... Jesus, when is it? Come on, tell us now.

They were so convinced about his ultimate rule. But I hate to tell you, Jesus's response was so disappointing. Look at verse seven of Acts one. But you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to give you a use of translation of this. Here's what Jesus saying. It's none of your business when I'm coming back. It is none of your business when I'm going to establish my ultimate kingdom. Your job is to be my witnesses. Your job is to testify of what I've done for you. Your job is to tell about the resurrection. Your job is to tell about my salvation.

That's your job. Don't waste your time worrying about dates. That's foolishness. If you want another priority of Jesus, look at verse seven. It's right here, verse seven of Acts one.

It is not for you to know the times and the dates. You be my witnesses. And that is why Jesus goes on to verse eight, which is my fifth point. And he says to them, your mission shall be my program, not yours. We all love programs.

We all love to have our programs. And Jesus says, no, if you really want to do my mission, you have to have my program and my program is for you to be my witnesses, but you can only do that through the power of my Holy Spirit. Therefore, you have to be walking with me in the spirit day after day, moment after moment. Otherwise you will lose the power of the Holy Spirit to have the power of the Holy Spirit and your witnessing and your effective witnessing for Christ.

You have to have a daily moment by moment walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. Now, please, I want you to listen carefully. See, this is our only hope in this nation. This is our only hope in this country is our only hope in the world. I believe with all my heart that there is a place for political involvement. There is a place for moral reformation. There is a place for Christian education. There is a place for taking public stand.

There is a place for expressing your worldview as a Christian. But if everything I understand from the word of God, it is this, it is only faithful witnessing through the power of the Holy Spirit is going to bring about permanent change in our country and in the world. How? By bringing changed people into the kingdom of God. Only through the faithful witnessing of God's people by the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit will there be true and lasting impact upon our society. How?

By changing one heart at a time, one life at a time. Only through the dunamis, that's the Greek word in that verse by the way, verse eight, dunamis. I read recently that the scientists when they discovered the power of dynamite, they went to a Greek scholar and they said, we don't know what to call this power. He said, well, you know, in Greek, the word power is dunamis. So they called it dynamite.

That's what dynamite came from. And the Lord uses the word dunamis here. He says, only through this dynamite power, the spiritual dynamite power working in the church of Jesus Christ will the world be changed. Our message is his person. His manifestation is our proof. His might is our promise. The master's plan is our priority. His mission is our program. Finally, our motivation is the prospect of his return.

Verses 9, 10 and 11. Have you ever watched a man in love? I mean, he cannot wait to see his beloved. He always thinking about how he's going to tell her about his accomplishments. Now, of course, some guys just overdo it. I mean, he can't wait to tell her about his thoughts of her and plan for the future.

Even the most dense man, when he's in love, he kind of becomes creative and thoughtful. But if you would ask him why, why are you doing this? To please his beloved, of course, to honor her, to gain her favor, to gain her approval. What motivates you? What motivates me to get up in the morning? What motivates us in our Christian walk? What motivates us to walk with Christ is that we can get whatever we can get out of him. Then you don't know Jesus and you need to know him today. Is you're trying to manipulate him and get him to do what you want him to do. You don't know Jesus.

You need to know him today. What motivates us? Or some would say in all honesty, there's an overwhelming sense of gratitude. That would be right. Another person would say, well, you know, I'm just so thankful that my spiritual eyes got opened and I'm heading from hell to heaven and I'm just so grateful that I'm motivated to tell others about him. That's great. You say, because I don't want my friends and loved ones to end up in eternal torment. The thought just so grieving to me and I'm motivated by that. That's right. That's good motivation.

It really is. But above all, we are motivated because we know that the one who loved us so is coming back one day. He's coming back one day. The overwhelming motivation of the fact that my beloved Lord Jesus is coming back one day and I know that he's going to look me in the face and he's going to ask me, Michael, how did you use the opportunities I gave you to witness for me? Were you silent witness for me or did you testify to what I have done for you? Michael, did you keep quiet about me with your business associates, with your neighbors and with your friends?

Or did you tell them about my salvation for you? This same Jesus said the angel is coming back, is coming back and our motivation is the prospect of his return. Appointed message from Dr. Michael Youssef, giving you tools to be a powerful witness for God's kingdom. We thank you for listening to leading the way. You know, in recent years, Dr. Youssef and leading the way renewed efforts to strategically share the gospel worldwide. And one key initiative in these efforts is the kingdom set.

Leading the way is reaching a world in chaos with the love of Jesus. Through our Vision 2025 campaign, we are witnessing dramatic impact across various platforms across the world. Reaching around the entire globe is leading the way's award winning satellite television channel, The Kingdom Sat, specifically targeting Arabic speaking countries and populations. The Kingdom Sat is continuing to grow.

And as part of Vision 2025, our plan is to double its audience. This past year, we've started producing a host of new programming, new programs for women, apologetics programs, as well as indigenous worship programs. The Kingdom Sat aired in over 100 live broadcasts to over 195 million homes in the Muslim world, including two live events in the Middle East with Dr. Youssef. Through the Kingdom Sat, viewers in the Middle East are coming to Christ daily, including Muslims who have nowhere else to go to learn about the Christian faith.

With each passing year, the world keeps changing. But our calling is the same. Leading the way is right there on the cutting edge, adapting to the new tech and media landscape, using every tool to reach the world with the hope of Jesus. Contact us today to find out how you can join with Leading the Way's global outreach and become a part of what God is doing through this worldwide ministry. May we invite you to participate in what God is doing all around the world through Leading the Way and Dr. Youssef. You can learn about the many initiatives that you can stand behind and experience stories of lives changed through the gospel because of supporters like you. Here's how ltw.org. That's ltw.org. And also ministry representatives are available to speak to you anytime at 866-626-4356.

That's 866-626-4356. Well, that's our broadcast for today. Thank you for being with us and plan to listen to the remaining messages in Dr. Youssef's life-changing series, God's Power for Daily Living, is right here on Leading the Way Audio. This program is furnished by Leading the Way with Dr. Michael Youssef, passionately proclaiming uncompromising truth around the world.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-30 11:47:23 / 2023-04-30 11:55:53 / 9

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