Here's Dr. Michael Youssef introducing you to a fascinating message. This greatest lie, it's very simple. It's very simple because it's easy to fall into. And it appeals to our human pride. It places me and myself at the center. It demands no moral obligation, no loyalty, no boundaries. It places me in a superior position.
It really anesthetizes people into doing their thing. If I think there are so many ways to God and God doesn't care which way you come to him, then I'm going to do my thing. And that is why I meet people who go to churches all the time and say, well, you know, I believe in Jesus as my savior, but he's not everybody's savior.
That is part of the greatest lie. Welcome to Leading the Way Audio with pastor and author Dr. Michael Youssef. Life in recent years has brought tolerance and acceptance into the news headlines, introducing that hot topic into daily conversations at dinner tables, even workstations. But tolerance and acceptance has also infiltrated many a church's view of sin and salvation. Today, Dr. Youssef introduces you to the greatest lie propaganda of today that's ushering people straight into hell.
Listen carefully and thoughtfully as he begins today's teaching. If the statistics, the most conservative statistics are correct, 40% of those who call themselves evangelicals have already bought into this greatest lie. Between 75 to 79% of those in the mainland denominations have bought into that greatest lie. This greatest lie, it's very simple.
It's very simple because it's easy to fall into. And it appeals to our human pride. It places me and myself at the center. It is palatable to the human taste, to the flesh, to one's fallen nature. It demands nothing. It demands no moral obligation, no loyalty, no boundaries. It places me in a superior position.
It really anesthetizes people into doing their thing. If I think there are so many ways to God and God doesn't care which way you come to Him, then I'm going to do my thing. And that is why I meet people who go to churches all the time and say, well, you know, I believe in Jesus as my savior, but he's not everybody's savior. That is part of the greatest lie. But falling for the greatest lie will bring me and bring them psychological hell in a turmoil to say nothing of eternal condemnation.
But here's the tragedy. That greatest lie is not new. It is not something that people in the pulpits today are preaching for the first time as if it's a new revelation. It is as old as our first parents in the Garden of Eden, and yet it is as new as Tony Blair, the former prime minister of Britain, starting a foundation in America to unite the religions of the world together. It is as old as the Garden of Eden, as old as the first human beings ever created, and it's as new as Oprah Winfrey proclaiming this greatest lie and causing millions of people, many of them are churchgoers to buy into it.
Let me just give you an example. Back in 1994, Oprah Winfrey was interviewing a woman who claimed that she had a near-death experience. The woman claimed that during the time that she was dead, Jesus supposedly told her that all religions are equally true.
Here's what Oprah said. I believe that there are many paths to God or many paths to the light. I certainly don't believe that there is only one way. Did Jesus indicate this to you also? Did Jesus agree with me? Isn't that wonderful to have him agree with me, the great O? The woman replied, yes, absolutely. Oprah said, I am glad to hear that because if Jesus is as cool as I think, he would have to tell you that.
Isn't that nice? If Jesus is as cool as I think he is, he would agree with me. God have mercy. Think with your mind with me. If I would say to you that I believe with every ounce of my being that two plus two equal five, you would say what? You're wrong.
God bless you. Say it louder. Good.
Get used to it. Others might choose to believe that two plus two equal five. And you would say, no, it is a mathematical fact that two plus two equal four. This example of my feelings or what I believe means nothing. How I feel does not change the fact. What I believe is not right.
It's wrong. My feelings or my beliefs are irrelevant. If I say, I believe it's two plus two equal five, you would say, well, you're entitled to your belief, right?
Now think with me how I'm going to explain my calculation to the IRS. They will soon let me know what they think of my belief. And so I get angry and I get mad at the IRS and I would say, that is intolerance on your part. You are intolerant to tell me that I have to believe that two plus two equal four. It's intolerance.
Again, try to exercise my calculation what I believe to the bank. And they will show me how tolerant they are. Tolerance does not mean that I have to accept what is wrong. Tolerance does not mean that I have to agree with what is wrong. Tolerance does not mean that I have to change my facts to make you feel good. Tolerance does not mean that I suspend my faculties and my understanding of the truth just so that I may get along with you.
No in a million no's. Tolerance says to me, you're wrong and very wrong, but I'm going to respect you. I'm even going to love you as a person. Listen to me.
You can bring a church full of bishops. You can bring famous preachers and famous writers and so called Christian clergy to tell me, Michael, you're right to believe that two plus two equal five. It will make no difference. I'm still wrong. In the real world, there's not very much tolerance for mistaken belief except when it comes to Jesus.
Let me illustrate. If you fill your car with prune juice instead of gasoline, you will soon discover that your engines are not very tolerant to prune juice. If you fill your glass with gasoline instead of prune juice and you drink it, you will soon discover that your body is not very tolerant to gasoline. That's how it was from the beginning when God created a man and a woman and He placed them in the garden. He said to them that you have complete freedom to enjoy the delights of the garden except for this one.
You can eat from all of the trees that are in the garden except for this tree. You see, that moment, God gave them free will to choose because it really honors God when we obey Him. See, He did not create puppets on strings. Sure, in His sovereign plan and His sovereign will, He calls people to Himself. Sure, we understand that but nonetheless, He gave us free will.
The free will means that you can choose to put prune juice in your car if you want to instead of gasoline as long as you know that there are consequences for your choices. In this case, it is eternal consequences. Eternity is a very, very, very long time. The devil kept on harping on Eve, kept on harping on a girl.
You don't know what you're talking about. Girl, God is cool. God is cool. And if God is cool as a school as I think He is, He would not restrict you and keep you from this one tree. A cool God certainly would not rain on your parade.
You must have just misunderstood Him. You know that your interpretation of what God said is as good as mine and anybody else's. And Satan offered Eve and Adam false wisdom. False wisdom. You see the world is filled with false wisdom.
It sounds so good. It sounds so convincing but it is false. It is not the truth. And she and Adam fell for it. And they soon discovered that they have fallen for the greatest lie. But it was too late.
It was too late. You see falling for the greatest lie leads to disobedience. And disobedience to the Word of God leads to a broken fellowship with God. And a broken fellowship with God leads to fear, anxiety, depression, self-loathing, emptiness, meaningless life, and the effort to hide from God. And that's exactly what Adam and Eve were doing. They were hiding from God.
Beloved, listen to me. There are millions of people, and I know I'm not exaggerating, who are hiding from God in church pews all across the land. Because falling for the greatest lie creates a chasm between God and man. And since he is the only source of peace and joy and contentment and happiness and eternal salvation, when we break that fellowship end up in a life of turmoil and an eternity of a bottomless pit. Falling for the greatest lie leads us out of the garden and into the wilderness of meaninglessness.
It's that bottom line. The wilderness of purposelessness. And Adam and Eve lost not only the garden, but they lost the pure joy that can only come from intimacy with God and fellowship with God.
Hers was the labor paint. His was the thistles and the thorns of the wilderness to both of them children who were at odds with each other until one killed the other. And as human race multiplied, so did the human disposition toward believing the greatest lie. But God in his mercy, in his grace, he made Adam and Eve a promise. He promised them that he will provide a savior to save people from falling into the greatest lie.
That was the promise. Listen to me, beloved. Listen, when people say to you that all religions are of equal value, all religions will lead to the light, all religions will lead to God, all the founders of religions are all basically saying the same thing. You can say to them, yes, but not Jesus. Not Jesus. He did not just drop out of nowhere telling people to try harder. He did not just sit in a cave until he thought he heard an angel speak to him. He did not go out and conquer lands. He did not kill his opponents and everybody who disagreed with him.
No, no, no, no, no, no. But he is the promised Messiah. He is the promised savior.
In Genesis chapter 3 verse 15, he was promised by God back in the garden. He was the promised savior to Adam and Eve. He was God the son who created the world from the very beginning. He is the God who has the only remedy to all of man's sin and guilt and frustrations. He is the only one for whom the world for thousands of years long before he came, he is the hope and the dreams of everyone who believed in the one true God for thousands of years. In other words, he is not a founder of religion.
Amen? He is not a founder of religion. He is the founder of heaven and earth. He is the founder of the human life. He is the founder of the universe. He is the founder of eternal life.
And here's the promise. If you have your Bibles, I want you to turn to Genesis chapter 3 verse 15. That is beloved the crux. That is the beginning of Christianity. The beginning of Christianity is found in Genesis chapter 3 verse 15. Mark it in your Bible.
This is very important. Here's what God said to Satan in the garden. Genesis 3 15. He said, I will put an enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring in the singular and hers. Her offspring again in the singular will crush your head and you will strike his heels. What is God saying here in Genesis 3 15?
Here's what he's saying. Listen carefully. The offspring of the woman is Jesus. He is God of very God before the foundation of the earth was born of a woman.
He is the seed of the woman. Satan will nip at his heel and he did. You see it in the gospel is so clearly he was tempting Jesus on every turn. He was tempting him in every way.
Nip, nip, nip at his heels. He never left him alone in the wilderness. He tempted him in the streets.
He tempted him everywhere. He was tempting him and Satan was trying to do his dandas to stop Jesus from going to the cross because he knew that this is the only plan of salvation of God. And that is why he wanted to stop him from redeeming mankind, from offering us salvation. Ah, but listen, when Jesus rose from the dead, he crushed Satan's head and he destroyed the power of death. That death has no power over the believers anymore. And that's what it means.
That's what it means. Well, nip at his heels, but he will crush your head. If you're living a defeated life, it's because you're listening to Satan's lie. Because Jesus wants you to live a victorious life. He wants you to live above your circumstances. He wants you to live as a child of the king, not a pauper.
He wants you to live with the power that he made possible through the Holy Spirit of God. And that is why, beloved, Jesus and Jesus alone is the fulfillment of what God said in Genesis 3.15. Now, anybody can lump him with all the other founders of religions, so-called founders of religions, all the misfits and all the murderers and all the confused people and all the charlatans. They can do all they want, but as long as they understand, there is a tragic end to that choice. Those who buy into the greatest lie that Jesus was the founder of another religion, just like all the others, they are trying to put prune juice in their gas tanks. And you're wondering why they live a life in shambles and in disarray.
And until they put the right gasoline in the engine of their life, namely Jesus, they are not only going to be miserable here and now, but they will spend eternity in turmoil. Please listen to me. Part of the greatest lie, a sub-lie, if you like, is that people say, if you love me, you would agree with me and don't tell me that I'm wrong.
Really? What kind of love is that? What kind of love if I see somebody jumping from the tenth floor that I don't do everything possible to stop them? I plead with them.
And if I can literally physically restrain them, I would do it. That is real love. Not the other way around. And that is why it is out of love that we proclaim the truth. It is out of love that we tell a person that there is a wrong way and there is a right way. It is out of love that we insist that two plus two equal four.
It doesn't matter how sincere in believing it's five or three or any other number. It's out of love that we'll tell a person to stop putting prune juice in the gas tanks and gasoline in their stomachs. Just as there was one way into the garden, there is also one way out of the garden. The one way in the garden was obedience to the Word of God. The one way out of the garden is disobedience to the Word of God. One way each way. And the Bible was written in a span of 1,600 years.
Did you get that? 1,600 years. Not just somebody gave him a book and said, hey, take this and go and tell people to do what's in the book.
Listen to me. The Holy Spirit authored the Bible, but he chose tens of different writers throughout that span of 1,600 years. And they all came from different backgrounds.
There were shepherds, there were doctors, there were different professions and different backgrounds who men, women would do a variety of them. 1,600 years. And yet they tell the same story. That is the miracle of the Bible. That is the miracle of the Bible. And therefore, beloved, it is not by accident that the Bible begins with Genesis and ends with Revelation.
It's not by accident. The beginning of humanity mirrors the end of humanity. In the beginning human beings lived in a beautiful pristine environment called the Garden of Eden.
And they had an uninterrupted fellowship with God. And in the book of Revelation we see how the resurrected believers in heaven and those who rose in the Lord Jesus Christ, they're living in a beautiful garden city that is coming down from heaven where they are experiencing perfect fellowship with the Creator. The opening chapter of Genesis depicts a wedding.
A wedding between a man and a woman. And the closing book, the book of Revelation, presents us with another wedding between Jesus the groom and the believers the bride. The bride of Jesus is made up only of those who have refused to believe the greatest lie. Only those who have submitted their life to Jesus Christ and Jesus alone. Only those who believe that there's no other way to heaven except through Jesus. That's the bride of Christ.
Those who have trusted that there's only one way to salvation. And that is why Revelation 19, 7 and following says, Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory for the wedding of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready. And He said that an angel said to Him, Right, blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb.
Are you going to be there? The parallel between the first book of the Bible and the last book of the Bible is even more powerful. In Genesis, the Creator God gives man authority over creation. And in Revelation, Jesus' people, those who refuse to believe the greatest lie and believe that He is the only way, that He's not like all the others, they are given authority to reign and rule over the universe with Jesus. In Genesis, humanity began in peace and joy. And in Revelation, because of Jesus, those who belong to Jesus will spend eternity in far greater peace and far greater joy than we can even imagine in this life. You see, what happened between Genesis and Revelation is Jesus. Just as God promised Adam and Eve in Genesis 3.15, Jesus came from heaven, born of a woman, the seed or the offspring in the singular of the woman.
And that is why He alone through His death on the cross and resurrection, He alone resolved the problem of sin and guilt and self-hate and despair. And beloved, this is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Thank you for listening to Dr. Michael Youssef's first message from his culture challenging series called The Greatest Lie. Now, if you missed any portion of this or any of our messages, you can always catch up. You can just ask your smart home device to play leading the way podcast just like that.
Find out ways to listen by streaming or through the app and more. It's all there for you at ltw.org. Learn the keys to spiritual endurance, overcome spiritual burnout, and train up the next generation to stand firm on biblical truth with Dr. Youssef's new book, Never Give Up. Dr. Michael Youssef 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. Youssef 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. Order your copy today for your gift of any amount and receive two bonus resources exclusively from Leading the Way.
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