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Don’t Ever Give Up on the Truth

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef
The Truth Network Radio
March 2, 2022 7:00 am

Don’t Ever Give Up on the Truth

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef

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March 2, 2022 7:00 am

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Hello, and welcome to Leading the Way with Dr. Michael Youssef, author of more than 50 books, including the brand new Never Give Up.

Now, over recent years, we've heard stories of people unable to share the last moments of life with family, heartbreaking stories of loved ones missing out on sharing final words of comfort. Today on Leading the Way, departing words from the Apostle Paul. He wrote words to Timothy just before his execution, but they're also for you and me. Words that challenge Timothy, and today, you, to never give up on the gospel.

So if your situation allows, turn with us to 2 Timothy chapter 4 in your Bible, or your Bible app, and listen together as Dr. Michael Youssef begins this powerful message. This is the very last of eight messages, series from the very last words of the Apostle Paul, the last epistle that he's written in prison before he was beheaded and went to be with the Lord. In fact, the summary of the entire message is never give up, never give up on biblical truth, never give up on the infallibility of the Spirit of God, never give up on the faith that once delivered, never give up on the biblical orthodoxy.

And he told us why, because it is God-breathed. And that message that he leaves to Timothy and leaves to us are very last words before he went to be with the Lord. Don't give up, no matter how unpopular the gospel of Jesus Christ becomes in our culture, in our society, in your schools, in your campus, don't ever give up. It's the last words that is written from the great Apostle. Turn with me please, chapter 4 beginning at verse 9, all the way to the end. But before I even get to the passage, before I expound these last few verses of the second epistle to Timothy, I want you to notice something that is not written. I want you to focus with me just for a little bit about something that is not here. You say, well, how can I do that?

I'm going to show you. You notice that in these last words of the Apostle Paul, there is not a tinge of bitterness. There is not a hint of regret. There is not a major of remorse.

And there is not a thought of anguish. Earlier in the chapter, he said, I am completely satisfied that I fought the good fight. I stayed in the battle. And in the heat of the battle, I didn't defect to the enemy. I didn't cut and run. I fought the good fight. Then I ran the race. I ran the marathon that was set before me. I did not stop.

I did not look for a shady spot. But I ran the whole race. And I've kept the faith, unmolested, unmodified, unwatered down. I kept the faith. Now, beloved, this is a clear indication to me that the great Apostle Paul kept short accounts with God.

He kept short accounts. And therefore, when the time came for him to die, he was ready. Oh, but there was a little bit of sorrow in his heart. But you notice this is not feeling sorry for himself. The little sorrow that he has in his heart is not for himself. The only sorrow he had was those who have defected from the faith, that those who have turned their back on the faith. That is the deepest sorrow that you see here, the lack of courage on the part of other believers. That's the only sorrow that he has.

I want you to hear me write, please, this is important. The Apostle Paul mentions 17 names in this short passage, 17 names in this passage alone. And here he does not suggest for a moment that all of these friends and colleagues have forsaken him or defected the faith.

No. He said some of them were scattered around preaching the Gospel. But he said there are some in Rome who have been afraid and they stayed away. And he's not minimizing the presence of Luke. He said all left except Luke. He's not minimizing the fact that Luke was there.

He's just stating a fact. Luke is the only one who was there standing by his side. But you can literally feel the depths of his anguish over being abandoned and cut off from the many churches that he has founded. You can feel his anguish from being cut off from friends whom he had served. He was feeling anguish because he separated from friends that he prayed for, that he'd ministered to, that he's been cut off from friends whom he dearly loves. But the greatest pain that he's experiencing in these last moments of his life, the greatest pain he's experiencing in this passage that we see in those last words, is that a former companion who was his companion in ministry, he was his colleague in ministry, but now he defected to the world. Demas is mentioned three times in the Scripture.

Three times. And these three times were really the biography of this man known just as Demas. That's all we know about him. And this biography represents a downward spiral. A downward spiral in his spiritual walk, in his spiritual life.

A man who started well, but he ended up badly. You see, the first time he's mentioned is in Philemon, verse 24. Paul said, Demas, my fellow worker, my dear colleague in the ministry. And then the next time he gets mentioned is in Colossians, chapter 4, and he was just mentioned as Demas.

And finally, here in 2 Timothy, chapter 4, the third time he is mentioned, Demas has forsaken me, for he had loved this present world. Oh Lord, please, may this never be said of me. It may never be said of you.

I want you to hear me right. There can be very few things that breaks the heart of a servant of God than seeing people who had every reason to do great things for God but chose the low road. But I also know that there is nothing that breaks the heart of a parent more than seeing their child who has great potential to accomplish great things for God but disappoints him.

There is nothing more heartbreaking for a spouse who knows that his or her spouse had great potential for God, and yet they opted for mediocrity. And just as Paul had his Demas, Abraham had his Lot. Isaac and Rebekah had their Esau. Oh how Abraham must have longed for and was broken hearted when his nephew Lot chose the area that he chose and ended up in Sodom and Gomorrah. How he longed that he would follow in his footsteps but he didn't. Oh how Isaac and Rebekah must have cried buckets of tears over Esau's wrong choices.

We know that Paul he tells us that he wept over the rebellious believers in the church of Corinth. And here he grieves over Demas who have decided to pursue the mirage of worldly success instead of serving the King of Kings. Oh what a letdown.

Oh what a disappointment. Oh what a heartbreaking situation. Now beloved listen to me. When you have a Lot in your life or an Esau or a Demas who breaks your heart, I want to tell you on the authority of God's Word don't ever ever stop praying for them. God will answer their prayers. Spurgeon said whenever God brings somebody to the kingdom from a family he has a plan for the rest of the family. And Paul affirms that in 1st Corinthians chapter 7.

Philip Brooks said in the Christian life the deeper depths of sorrow the higher heights of joy they come together. And so don't ever give up praying for them. Don't you ever give up praying for them. You might not see it in your lifetime.

For your sake I pray that you see it in your lifetime. But if you don't don't ever stop praying for your prodigal. God will bring her. God will bring him to himself. God will do it and he will answer your prayers.

That's a prayer you know that he will answer. Demas has forsaken me for he loved the present age. Let me ask you is there a Demas in your life that's breaking your heart? Is there someone whom you dearly love and you want to help so badly but all they do is reject and refuse. Is there someone is there someone in your life in whom you have invested your life and invested your time and all you get back is ingratitude.

Is there someone in your life in whom you have placed high hopes and ended up disappointing you big time. Take heart take heart say that with me take heart never give up praying for them. Paul is heartbroken over Demas's defection and that is why he asked for Timothy to come as quickly as possible. Listen to me the great apostle the great apostle to the Gentile handpicked by God from being a persecutor to being the great apostle Paul who wrote the vast majority of the New Testament felt the discouragement that comes from disappointment. So don't ever feel bad about being discouraged every now and again.

In fact twice in this passage he tells him he said hurry up hurry up and come to Rome in verse 9 he said do your best to come to me soon verse 21 do your best to come before winter and here's something very important for all of us listen carefully if the great apostle Paul needed encouragement from Timothy his young colleague who are we to shun encouragement from anyone at any age or any stage. Sometimes I think we all like that little boy when they kept saying to him don't be afraid of the dark don't be afraid of the dark God is with you God is with you and he says yes I know that but I want somebody with a skin on. I think most of us like that listen to me even the great apostle Paul felt alone and abandoned. Now here's one thing that you need to understand about loneliness because people confuse that loneliness and aloneness are two different things.

They're not the same. Sometimes a person is so lonely and yet he or she is in the room filled with people. You can be alone without being lonely. There are some who are alone but not lonely. Loneliness can be the loneliness of vision when nobody is able to see or share your vision. Loneliness can be the loneliness of leadership when no one can understand it unless they've been through it. Loneliness can be the loneliness of conviction where you stand in your school and in your classrooms and on your campus when you stand up for the truth of the gospel alone loneliness can be the loneliness of conviction and nobody is sharing that conviction that's near you. Look at verses 16 and 17 in verse 16 he said at my first trial that's court trial he went on a court trial and the first trial he went to he said no one came to my support.

Everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. Isn't that amazing? He's praying for their forgiveness just like our Lord did on the cross. Verse 17 oh but the Lord stood by my side and he gave me strength. Praise God. Even the best of Christian friends can go wobbly on us when we are under attack from the world and when that happened there can be no greater loneliness. Listen we live in a time when even Christian friends are happy to be around us as long as we have benefit to them but as soon as the benefits are gone they abandon us. We know that.

Don't be surprised when you see it. Paul stands in a long line of men and women of God who stood alone. He was not the only one and he's not the only one that in his very loneliness the Lord appeared to him and ministered to him in a personal way in a special way. Elijah bless his heart I mean after a great victory he runs for over a hundred miles and then he goes in the mouth of Horeb and then he said I'm all alone nobody and God said no there's seven thousand knees have not bowed down to Baal yet and you're not alone but nonetheless the Lord ministered to him in a loving way.

I often reflect a poor old knower. Think of how absurd it is to obey God and build a big ship in the desert. These people never seen rain let alone deluge of it. During the construction time no doubt his neighbors and I'm speculating poor old Noah poor Noah he's lost it. Look at him poor old Noah he flipped his cork finally you know poor old Noah he thinks he's obeying God he hears voices. I mean we told him a little bit of religion go a long way we warned him against too much religion. We told him not to get too fanatic about hearing God's voice because we knew that this excessive religion will get to him one day.

Look at him now look at him now building a ship on a dry land where is he going to go with that ship? That was well and good until the windows of heaven opened and the earth opened and the floods came and they were drowning in the waters. Probably they were crying out to Noah probably apologizing for mocking him probably asking for forgiveness but it was too late because the Bible said God shut the door not Noah but God. God shut the door. In the same way beloved friends listen to me in the same way those who are mocking the Bible those who are belittling the supernatural those who want a God who accommodates to them those who want to come to God that way on the last day they will regret it they will regret their action they will regret their lifestyle but it will be too late will be too late. Job perhaps stand out as the ultimate in feeling loneliness of abandonment. One time he reached such a low ebb in his life that he began to believe that even God in whom he has placed all of his trust has also abandoned him and yet God met Job too and he met him in the whirlwind and that is why Job could say in 42 5 I have heard of you by hearing of the ear but now my eyes have seen you. Oh yes no matter how bleak your loneliness or faithfulness may be listen to me you're never alone you're never alone say that with me you're never alone and I cannot talk about loneliness without harkening my own mind and memory to the many times I have sat in the Garden of Gethsemane never once in all the times I go to Gethsemane that I become overcome with emotions and the second place that tears me up is Caiaphas's basement think of the profound loneliness that are sinless perfect pure Lord Jesus not only that his friends and his disciples flee and abandoned him but on the cross there was a moment it could be nanoseconds and it could be two seconds we don't know I will know when I get to heaven because that's really so profound I can't put my mind around it for that brief moment when your sin and my sin was laid on his shoulders even the father turned his back on him because his eyes are purer than to look upon sin in the garden he asked his closest friends to fellowship with him in prayer they couldn't the last night before the crucifixion he spent it in Caiaphas's basement and it's four walls with a hole in the ceiling from which they dropped him and there when you go to that place there is Psalm 22 in 22 languages of the world laminated down in that basement so whoever comes from wherever in the world they can read the Psalm Psalm 22 which tradition says that Jesus recited all night before the day of the crucifixion my God my God why have you forsaken me why are you so far from saving me so far from the words of my groaning question why does our culture not know how to deal with loneliness why so many in our culture are suffer in silence why are so many afraid to admit their loneliness some think the admission of loneliness is a sign of weakness it is not even some Christians they think that it is not spiritual to say hey I need fellowship I need fellowship at this moment in Paul's life he was not concerned of how many likes his God on Facebook he was not concerned about how many followers God on Twitter at this moment in his life he's not caring about social media now he feels forsaken so instead of brooding instead of brooding over it he prays for their forgiveness may the Lord not hold it against them second half of verse 17 he says I was delivered from the mouth of the lion who is the lion Peter tells us who the lion is he's roaring around roaring like a lion he's forever prowling he's forever growling and he's setting traps for every one of us he's setting traps for the faithful children of the living God he's forever setting traps he was setting traps for Paul he wanted to get Paul to abandon the faith he wanted to get him to turn his back on biblical truth he was trying to get him to compromise his conviction he was trying to get him to save his skin and Paul rejoices that the Lord delivered him from all the entrapments of the lion beloved in the time of loneliness Satan sits traps he sets his traps and this is not a time for you to abandon Christian fellowship why because when Satan tries to tempt you to think that it is your faithfulness that causing you your loneliness then the Christian brothers and sisters going to remind you of the promises of God amen some of you may be going through your own private Gethsemane right now because of your obedience to the word of God Satan will try to entrap you on every side and then you can join the Apostle Paul in verse 18 and say that God is going to keep me safe and is going to take me safe all the way home no matter what beloved listen to me it is natural to go with the flow but it is divine to stand alone it is natural to flow with people and drift with the tide but it is divine to stand up and stem the tide it is natural to compromise your conviction and follow the trends but it is divine to sacrifice temporary popularity on the altar of God whatever you do remember the words of the series of messages never give up Dr. Michael Youssef delivering a passionate challenge to finish well standing firm against the rising tides of culture thank you for listening to leading the way audio and if Dr. Youssef's words today stirred you perhaps having a dialogue with one of leading the ways pastoral team members would help you process further and take action so begin a conversation at slash jesus and as we close out today's leading the way we wanted to take just a moment with Dr. Youssef here to ask him about his new book it's called never give up and Dr. Youssef I know this is a very personal book for you so please if you will share what personal ministry challenges you share in the book and then perhaps how God gave you spiritual endurance to face those challenges well you know you couldn't have lived as long as I have and ministered as long as I have without facing temptations and challenges and some people try to kind of bring doubt to your mind and I remember I used to be part of a denomination and my goodness they made me offers of positions and all kinds of lucrative stuff and I said no I will not sell my soul and I will not compromise because of whatever it is that may last for a few years life is short whether it be 20 years or 100 years we all gonna go and face what I call the audience of one every one of us gonna have that audience of one we're gonna face Jesus every one of us what would I say to him I have done this and I've done this and I've done this for you or I'm gonna say I've been faithful to the word of God I've been faithful in the proclamation of the word of God and that's what I want pastors lay leaders people in the pews to read this book and be empowered by that book and share that book get more details about never give up when you visit ltw dot org we have this and lots of other great resources for you there so make it a favorite ltw dot org oh and you can also call and speak to a ministry representative the number is eight six six six two six four three five six that's eight six six six two six four three five six well it's time to say goodbye thank you for being with us today and do plan to join Dr. Michael Youssef for the next leading the way when he passionately proclaims uncompromising truth this program is furnished by leading the way with Dr. Michael Youssef
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-28 11:54:12 / 2023-05-28 12:02:33 / 8

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