A challenge to prepare the next generation to engage in a world that's walked away from God's Word.
From Dr. Michael Youssef. With every ounce of my energy, I want to encourage you. Prepare your children to stand up in the battlefield. Prepare your children to stand upon the Word of God. Prepare your children to have confidence in the Word of God. The greatest legacy you leave our children and grandchildren is not a great education. Good and important as may be or leave them a trust fund.
Good and if you can't afford it, wonderful. But the greatest legacy, the best legacy, the most enduring legacy is to teach them to appreciate, revere and obey the Word of God. The world wants everyone to adhere to common, non-biblical values, often calling that inclusion. Thank you for joining people from all around the world for Leading the Way Audio. Today, Dr. Youssef continues his life-changing series called Never Give Up, offering encouragement to take a stand for Christ no matter where you live life. You've probably heard us mention that Leading the Way is listener supported, meaning that Dr. Youssef relies on your prayers and your financial support to continue ministry right here in this area. So why don't you stand with Dr. Youssef when you visit ltw.org or when you call us 866-626-4356.
Here now is Dr. Michael Youssef with Never Give Up. Conformity is a big issue today. It's a huge issue. In fact, if you don't conform, they attack you. They call you names. However, the training for non-conformity starts early in life, very early in life. Conformity of course is a neutral thing. We can conform to doing good things or bad things.
We can choose to imitate some bad people or some good people. And that is why the Bible often talks about conformity to Christ, conformity to Christ, conformity to Christ. No wonder the Apostle Paul repeatedly, repeatedly, repeatedly warns us against conformity.
And that is why the second half of chapter 3 of 2 Timothy, chapter 3, the second half of it. He continues to focus on Timothy's service as a defender of the faith, as a man to stand up and to stand out and not to count the cost or not be afraid and never, never, never give up. And he starts with mentioning three things that helps. These are the three things that Paul said are really very helpful for anyone who seeks not to be conforming to the world. First of all, having an example, having a role model, having a spiritual mentor. And that's why we emphasize mentorship here among the men, among the women, among the students. Mentorship is vitally important. And the second thing is to have a strong connection built on spiritual foundation. And thirdly, is an absolute belief, unshakable belief in the authenticity and the authority and the infallibility of the Word of God. Here are the three things right here the Apostle Paul gives us.
We're going to unpack them in a moment. We saw in the last message that there was a conjunction. And I explained to you the conjunction, the word but that Paul uses, it means he's going to make a sharp turn.
He's going to make a contrast. And he does the same thing here in chapter 3 verse 10. A contrast when he says, but as for you, he's contrasting those ungodly characters of the false teachers and preachers on the one hand and Timothy on the other. But you, or as for you, follow not only my teaching, here it comes, not just my teaching, but also my conduct, my purpose, my faith, my patience, my love and experience in persecution and perseverance and suffering in all these places that he mentioned.
Everywhere he went, he faced those oppositions. Listen to me please, like Timothy, we all are tempted, we are tempted to weakness, we are tempted to vacillate, we are tempted in many other struggles in life. And that is why it's the very reason why Paul was writing this last letter before he went to be with the Lord in heaven.
He is so deeply concerned about what's going to happen, that he's going to heaven and that he will not be around to personally encourage Timothy one on one to be there in person to uphold him. And so in chapter 3 verses 10 to 15, Paul twice, twice in those five verses, as for you, as for you, don't let them squeeze you into their mold. Don't let them pressure you to wobble on biblical truth.
Don't let them cause you to sell out for personal popularity and acceptance. Don't let them blindside you into watering down the message of the cross. This is a consistent message of the Apostle Paul. You see it in every episode.
Why? Because he knows, he knows how easily we all are tempted. He knows how tempting it is to take it easy and to take the easy way out and not to stand up and be controversial. He knows how enticing acceptance and popularity is. He knows that. And that is why in Romans chapter 12 verse 2 he said, do not let the world system pressure you into conformity and mold you into its mold.
I can tell you, as God is my witness, I know experientially, this is not a theory for me, I know experientially this colossal pressure. No, especially when they call you names. You don't want to be called those names. If you do not conform to their world view, if you do not use politically correct language, they will call you unloving. Imagine, they call us unloving. What they're doing is they're projecting what they have, the hatred they have in their hearts on us.
This pervasive and insidious atmosphere is deadly. And the Apostle Paul knew that and I thank God for that. Sometimes you go, they ask Vance Havner, they said to him, they said, you know the world is becoming so churchy. And he said, that's because the church has become so worldly.
Instead of invading the world for Christ, the world lies has been invading the church. And that is why the great Apostle is telling Timothy to stand firm. Stand firm in what you have learned from me. Stand firm in doctrinal purity. Stand firm in finding and following God's purpose for your life. Stand firm in patience, in love, in endurance, in the face of pressure and persecution.
Stand firm and refuse to be squeezed and become a people pleaser. Verse 12, know this. Know what? Know this. That godly living, listen carefully, godly living will always, always, always, always arouse antagonism from the ungodly. Always will. That can come from a home, it can come from workplace, it can come from neighbors, it can come from some churches.
Please listen. This was a fact when Jesus walked the earth and it's a fact today. Listen to what he said in John chapter 15. If the world hates you, know that it hated me before it hated you. If you are of the world, the world will love its own.
But because you are not of the world, therefore the world hates you. Beloved, there are only two types of people who can avoid pressure, persecution, alienation, rejection. Two kinds of people. Those who are in Christ Jesus, but they decide to go out of the world and into a holy huddle somewhere or a monastery or something, just get out of the world.
Put on white robe and get on the mountains. It won't get much rejection. There is a second group and those are the people who are not walking with Christ. The professing Christian or they will not be rejected or persecuted by the culture. The first group escapes pressure to conform by withdrawing from the world, by withdrawing from the secular world.
The second group escapes pressure by giving in and they conform to the world's standards. But as for you, this is very important, listen carefully. You who are godly, you who upholds godly living, you who are standing firm on biblical authority, you who never give up at any cost. As for you, young man please listen to me, listen to me young man. I don't care how cute she looks. If she pressures you to sin, walk away. Young women, listen to me.
I don't care how curly his hair is or how big his biceps are. If he pressures you to sin, walk out. They may intimidate you, criticize you, hate you, but take heart. Jesus knows how you feel and he will honor you and he will bless you sooner or later. Amen. Give God glory. Give God glory. Give God glory. But as for you, as for you, stand firm.
Why? Because God loves you so deeply. And even in the persecution, the godly will grow upward. The godly will go forward. The godly will consistently advance. The godly will eternally be invincible. By contrast, the evil people, verse 13, look at it. The evil people, they're going to go from bad to worse. They're on the road to destruction.
They will be intellectually and spiritually ruined. I am so grateful that I lived long enough to see this. I really am because there are times in the past and I say, How can they get away with this? Why would God let them get away with this? And I just wait a little bit.
Wait for your ears. And I say, Oh God, you are a marvelous God. And that is why Paul said, avoid them. Avoid them. If you're listening to false preachers and false teachers, you have one choice.
Run. Don't listen to their teaching. Reject their falsehood.
Refute their deception. And the apostle Paul knew that there will be those who will bring doubt upon the word of God. He knew that. Just like Satan did in the garden.
And you know what? Satan's not really very clever. He just keeps repeating. He keeps repeating the same thing. Did God really say?
I mean, you boil it down to that. And so Paul affirms the truthfulness of all the word of God. How many of it? All of the word of God. He affirms the integrity of all the Bible. He affirms the verbal inspiration of the whole scripture. He, by the power of the Holy Spirit, affirms that all of the holy scripture is God-breathed. Verse 15, he tells Timothy, the very scripture that his mom and grandma taught him growing up, all that prepared him for the preaching of the gospel by Paul is because the Old Testament is telling that Jesus is coming. So when he heard that the Messiah had come, he put his faith in Jesus.
He was prepared to receive the Messiah. Christian parents, please listen to me. You will never find more sympathetic pastor than I am. I know the challenges of bringing up children. I always say my children taught me sanctification. And if you have teenagers, you'll understand what I'm talking about. This is a code between us parents, okay?
With every ounce of my energy, I want to encourage you. Prepare your children to stand up in the battlefield. Prepare your children to stand upon the word of God. Prepare your children to have confidence in the word of God. The greatest legacy you leave our children and grandchildren is not a great education, good and important as it may be, or leave them a trust fund.
Good, and if you can't afford it, wonderful. But the greatest legacy, the best legacy, the most enduring legacy is to teach them to appreciate, revere, and obey the word of God. The way to protect our children from deception is to teach them how to know and how to love the word of God. No, I am not recommending that you sit them down and you wag your finger at them.
I've never done that. That is actually the wrong thing to do. Listen to me, let them see you apply the word of God in your life. Let them watch you practice the word of God in your life. Let them see how you bring the word of God to bear upon a problem or a crisis in the family. When they see you, not only reading the Bible, but living it, applying it in every circumstance in your life, they too will grow to trust in the word of God. Question, why was the apostle Paul so burdened to affirm the authenticity and the authority of the word of God?
Why? Look at verse 16. He gives us a reason. And when he says what he says in verse 16, he does not mean, as some people teach and preach today, that it means that we feel inspired. That's why they think the word inspiration, that we feel inspired when we read the word of God. Just like you're inspired when you listen to poetry or Shakespeare or some good literature.
No, and a million no. It means that God is the one who brought the Bible into existence by the breathing of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit invaded the minds and the hands of the writers as they were writing. God spared and prepared these writers for this purpose. So much so that Jeremiah says, before I was born, you prepared me for this.
Each writer had his own distinctive style and vocabulary. Each book of the Bible grew out of a special set of circumstances. And yet, throughout all of this, God's hand was breathing. God's hand was training. The writers were like sailors. They were just hoisting the sail. But the wind, the Holy Spirit, Ruach. Ruach means wind and spirit both. The wind of the Holy Spirit blew and took the ship where he wants it to go. Listen to me. Both Old and New Testament are of othermost importance.
Why? Because they revealed to us the mind of God. They revealed to us the heart of God. They revealed to us the character of God. Where else would we know about God? And because it is God-breathed, therefore it is profitable in instruction regarding salvation. There's something here I need to tell you and I want you to listen very carefully because you can easily misunderstand me. Okay? About the Bible.
Don't miss this. The Bible's primary purpose is not to teach us about science, is not to teach us about history. The primary purpose of the Bible is not to teach us about the nature of the stars and the galaxies.
No. The Bible primary purpose, the Bible overarching purpose is to tell us how to be saved. Ah, but after we are saved, we learn that God created it all from nothing. That God created us from dust. That God is in total control of the galaxies and the stars. That God is in control of the heavens and the planets.
That God is the one who made the stars to dance in their orbits. But the Bible primarily concerned with how to be saved eternally. How to be saved. The Bible is salvation's handbook and it tells us salvation is only possible through Jesus the Christ. The Old Testament foretold of his coming, the New Testament says he's here.
The Old Testament foreshadowed Jesus, the New Testament announces his life, death, and resurrection, and salvation. And that is why those who want to undermine biblical morality, biblical ethics, if they ever want to get into this, they don't start there. They start by undermining our confidence in the Word of God.
That's how they start. First of all, you undermine the confidence and that's why they say we need to be unhitched from certain parts of the Bible. We need to be unhitched from those parts that we don't like. We need to be unhitched.
And once you got unhitched, it's free for all. Someone said that those who seek to destroy or undermine of the Word of God and undermine the fact that it is God-breathed, they might as well stand on either side of the rock of Gibraltar. I stood under that rock and I looked up. It is a mighty rock.
But here they are, two people with toothpicks on both sides of Gibraltar, trying to move it with toothpicks. That's really a great image to have in your mind when you hear people undermining the authority of the Word of God. All who have tried to destroy, undermine the Word of God are all dead and God still seated on the throne and his Word is continuously invading the world. The Word of God is our roadmap to salvation.
Let me tell you this as I conclude. It's a true story and it took place during World War II. When the American GIs landed in the South Sea Islands, like most people overseas, even back then, not now perhaps, but back then, they used to think all Americans are Christians. And so when the South Sea Islanders saw the GIs landing, they held the Bible and wanted to tell them that they believed the Bible. And one particular native kept saying, pointing to the Bible, and one GI looked at him and said, you know, in America we outgrown this book.
We've outgrown it a long time ago. And the native looked at him and smiled and said, I am glad for your sake that we have not outgrown this book, because if we did, you would have been our next meal by now. My beloved friends, the Word of God is light that leads us to salvation. The Word of God transforms lives all across the world. The Word of God radically alters our character.
And so let me ask you this as I conclude. Are you broken? The Word of God is more than able to mend your broken heart. Are you lonely and hurting? The Word of God will comfort and soothe your wounds. Are you carrying a load of guilt? The Word of God can take that load off you and off your shoulders and set you free. Are you bitter and unable to forgive?
The Word of God will show you how to get rid of that bitterness. Are you defeated and you feel hopeless? The Word of God will give you hope and victory and lift you above your circumstances. Are you discouraged and despondent? The Word of God will make you victorious. Are you sad? The Word of God will give you joy unspeakable in the midst of your sadness.
Are you lost? Well, the Word of God is a lamp at our feet and will guide you to salvation. Thank you for listening to Leading the Way Audio with Dr. Michael Yousaf. Would you like someone to help you understand how you can stand against the world's thoughts and anti-Christian agendas? Maybe a conversation with one of our Leading the Way pastors would help.
Just reach out to ltw.org slash jesus. Learn the keys to spiritual endurance, overcome spiritual burnout, and train up the next generation to stand firm on biblical truth with Dr. Yousaf's new book, Never Give Up. Dr. Michael Yousaf unpacks Paul's rich words of encouragement found in 2 Timothy, words that will help you endure, flourish, and thrive in the midst of doubt, danger, and despair. In this encouraging book, Dr. Yousaf unveils four unique aspects of what it means to never give up biblical truth, a timely message as Christians around the world face mounting pressure to compromise their faith and abandon their biblical values. Pre-order your copy today for your gift of any amount and receive two bonus resources exclusively from Leading the Way.
Be empowered to live for Christ and learn how to leave a lasting legacy of faith for the next generation. Pre-order your copy of Dr. Yousaf's newest book, Never Give Up, by giving a gift of any amount. Contact us today. Get ordering information about Never Give Up when you visit ltw.org. ltw.org.
Get one for yourself and another for your friend. You can also call a ministry representative, 866-626-4356. That's 866-626-4356. This program is furnished by Leading the Way with Dr. Michael Yousaf, passionately proclaiming uncompromising truth around the world.
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