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Peering into the Courts of Heaven

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef
The Truth Network Radio
April 29, 2022 8:00 am

Peering into the Courts of Heaven

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef

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April 29, 2022 8:00 am

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Welcome to Leading the Way with Dr. Michael Youssef, author of more than 50 books, including Never Give Up, recently released and impacting lives in amazing ways. As we begin today's episode, we wanted to share the brief testimony of a life impacted by the teaching of Dr. Youssef and Leading the Way. Amir recently shared with our team how he was only 16 years old when he first started feeling drawn to Christ, even though he was raised as and living as a Muslim. He found a Bible at a bookstore and started to read it on occasion. Each time he read it, he was overwhelmed with peace that he'd not felt before.

When he found out he could talk with someone at Leading the Way, he was so happy because of finally getting answers to some of those lifelong questions. When he called, the field team person immediately shared the Gospel, and Amir accepted Christ. Today, Amir is engaged in an online discipleship group and preparing for baptism.

He's looking forward to joining a local church and having fellowship with other Christ followers. Please do remember Leading the Way is listener supported, meaning that Dr. Youssef relies on God's provision through God's people who are blessed by this ministry to pray and to give. Learn how to stand with Dr. Youssef when you visit ltw.org or when you speak to a ministry representative.

Call 866-626-4356. Up next, Dr. Youssef invites you to experience the powerful words in Psalm 14, bringing to life the truth that God has the answer for every problem you face. See how God never leaves you in a place of hopelessness, but how he offers hope in and through his word.

Let's listen together as Dr. Michael Youssef begins. Here the psalmist has been inspired by the Holy Spirit of God, not only to write these words, but he was given the privilege of peering into the proceedings in the heavenly courts. This psalmist gets a glimpse of the inner sanctum of God's courts in heaven. And then he turns around and he gives us three things of the proceedings of the courts of heaven. First of all, he gives us the summons. He tells us what the summon is, verses one to three. And secondly, he tells us the court's summation, verse four. Thirdly, he tells us the court's sentencing, verses five and six.

Easy to remember. Summon, summation, and sentence. Then at the end of the message there's a surprise, a big surprise. So I want you to stay tuned, focus with me until we get to the very end of the psalm, and then I'm going to explain something that the average reader, when you read through it so quickly, you miss it.

First he gives us the court summons. I want you to visualize this. It's a court, the judge is sitting on the bench, there at the dock, being accused is the human race, all of humanity. And the accusation is they are accused of depravity. The height of depravity is the denial of the one and only true God. The height of that depravity is a human race that wanting to create variety of gods of whom they approve or they want to think of as God.

Hear me right on this. The deepest desire on the part of those who do not know the one true God is this. The deepest desire is that he doesn't exist. And that desire is so strong in them, it's so strong that it becomes a religion. It's so strong that it becomes a religion.

You know people like that. And that's why the Bible said the fool says in his heart there is no one true God. Romans is a commentary on Psalm 14 puts it this way, the one who does not want to believe and worship the only one true God is a fool. The one who does not want to believe and worship that only one true God is foolish.

Why? Because he knows or she knows that there is only one true God, they really do, deep down they do, and yet they choose to live in denial of that true God. You say how come? Well Paul said the very creation itself proves that one true God, not only that he exists, but demonstrates his power in his creation. But sadly they choose to ignore him or deny him.

I don't think you can truly understand who the fool is without understanding who God is. Because the psalmist deliberately here does not use the term Yahweh or translate it into English Jehovah, but he uses the word El, E-L, from which we get Immanuel El and Beth El. You say why is that a big deal? Why is a big deal whether he uses Yahweh or El?

It's a big deal trust me when I explain it to you. Because the name Yahweh or Jehovah communicates a different side of God's character than the word El. The name of God Yahweh or Jehovah communicates the covenant-making God, the provider God, the giver God, the sustainer God, the gracious and generous God. But El speaks of the God who revealed himself in the Word of God. It speaks of the God with moral absolutes. It speaks of the God who has clear moral standards.

Speaks of the God who demands something from us. And therefore, therefore, understanding why the psalmist uses El and not Yahweh makes anyone, anyone, anyone who anyone, anyone who rejects that one true God to be a fool. This includes the practical atheists. It includes the agnostic.

And I hope there are some practical atheists and agnostics here today because you are going to move like so many of us from being fools to being wise. But it also includes those who worship a God of their own creation. They want a God whom they want to imagine what they want for a God.

Beloved, this is the God of many professing Christians today, a God who does not change them, a God who does not challenge them, a God who does not challenge their assumptions, a God who does not demand righteousness, a God who does not demand moral absolutes, a God who does not judge their immorality or their lifestyle, a God who does not condemn their corruption, a God who does not demand exclusive allegiance. All of these folks, according to Psalm 14, are foolish. They're foolish. And fools, you know, come in all shapes and sizes. And I read not long ago about a young son of practical atheist parents. He observed his parents for a while and finally said to mom and dad, why do you fight against God so much when you don't believe in Him? Good question.

Someone said it is better to remain silent and be thought of as a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt. In fact, thinking of foolishness, I thought of this story I read many, many, many years ago about this foolish couple who really, all their goal in life, their dream is to be able to hobnob with the upper crust. They want to hobnob with the rich and famous.

That's all they wanted. So finally when they came across few dollars and made a little bit of money, they began to hobnob with the upper crust and at a party where they when finally thought they made it, the conversation ensued about Mozart. One person there talked about how brilliant Mozart was. What a genius composer Mozart was. And the wife said, Mozart? I know Mozart.

I love Mozart. Just the other day, I saw him on bus number five going to Coney Island and the husband became furious and incensed and he said, get your coat, we're leaving. And so they get out and in the car, he was fuming and muttering to himself and finally his wife said, you are mad at me, aren't you? He said, I am so embarrassed.

I can never show my face in that crowd again. She said, why? He said, everyone knows that bus number five does not go to Coney Island. Ah, the foolishness. The fool said in his heart, there is no God. Literal interpretation.

I'm not saying translation, interpretation. A literal interpretation would be, the fool is the one who denies the one and only true God. Or the fool is the one who denies that God revealed himself fully in his Word. Or the fool is the one who refuses to accept God's demands. Or the fool is the one who rejects God's anointed Messiah as the only Savior. Or the fool is the one who refuses to submit to God's moral absolutes. Or the fool is the one who denies the one and only Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The fool is the one who denies that Jesus and only Jesus is the way to the Father and to Heaven. That's modern fools. And we all were fools at once, right? I was a fool. Trust me. I shook my fist at God.

Not proud of it, but it gives me sympathy with those who are still in the foolish stage have not come to the light of Jesus Christ. Amen? And we need to be very patient with him. And we need to be thoughtful. And we need to be compassionate.

Instead of being mad at him, we need to be very compassionate. Because Paul keeps saying, we once were. Now I come to something very important, which is the Hebrew word for fool that is mentioned here in this passage, in this particular psalm. The Hebrew word for fool here is the word Nabal. Nabal, which does not mean intellectual weakness. It does not mean that. And if you think so, please don't. But it means moral perversion. No one can ever accuse some of the non-believers particularly as being dumb or stupid.

No, no, no, no, no, no. Don't fall for that. Many of them are intellectually brilliant. Many of them are intellectually intelligent. But when it comes to the most important thing in life, they are foolish.

But there's something else here I don't want you to miss in this psalm. In the earthly court, all of you lawyers know this, all of you judges know this. In the earthly courts, they judge a person on the basis of what he or she did. Did you do it or didn't you do it? That's all the evidence. It has to be proven.

Did he do this? No. But in the courts of heaven, they judge on the basis of thought. Scary thought, isn't it? The courts of heaven judge our thoughts. And that's why it's so clear here. Beloved, listen to me. God does not grade on the curve.

We would like him to, don't you? But he doesn't. And that is why none and no one will make it to heaven other than by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Amen. Verse 2, for by nature no one seeks after God. God looks down from heaven and he sees no one seeking after him. Even all of us who came to believe in Jesus, we did not come to him because we were seeking after him. He first opened our spiritual blind eyes and we realized that we sinners and then we came to him. The Bible said that we were dead in our trespasses. Dead people do not seek after anything that is good. They're dead.

We were dead in our trespasses. Until he came and breathed life in us, we did not even know how to come to God. Thus the accusation sticks. The summons has been vindicated. The witnesses are impeccable and the evidences are overwhelming.

Those who have depraved minds have depraved minds because they want to have depraved minds. In fact, Paul answers these questions in Romans chapters 1 and 3. That the evidence of God is everywhere present in creation. But a man refuses to believe that evidence, let alone obey and worship God alone. The first thing that you see here is the summons.

Secondly, the summation. Now don't miss this. Don't miss this, please. The judge's grief here is unmistakably. The judge's sorrow is very evident here. The judge's broken hearted cannot be missed. Have all of the workers of iniquity have no knowledge.

You feel the bleeding of his heart. And the word iniquity here is the same word that was used many times in the Old Testament to describe Israel when they kept running after other gods, when they kept on worshiping idols, and when they worshiped Yahweh on Saturday, and then for the rest of the week they're worshiping Baal. That's the word iniquity.

Hear me right. God's summation against the apostate church is abundantly clear. God has been exercised over the fact that so many professing churches use the name of His Son, but they also denied the claim of His Son as the only way to heaven. So many professing churches have Bibles in the pews, but they also have sayings of Confucius and Muhammad and Krishna in those same pews. So many who named the name of Jesus also named other religions.

Recently in an opening of an Episcopal school, an Episcopal bishop prayed from the Quran and he prayed from the New Testament. Beloved, the summation of the courts of heaven is given. Could the judgment be far behind?

Could my friends be right? And this is the pre-judgment time. The summons, the summation. Thirdly, the sentence. Verse 5. What is that sentence here? Fear and dread is going to be the life's companion. The life's companion.

How come? Since no one can save themselves, since no one has an excuse, since no one can placate themselves from God's judgment, and since no one can stand in another's defense, therefore the verdict and the sentence is a life of restlessness, a life of fear, and a life of terror. No wonder we are trying to find the pill for every disease. No wonder we're using our own efforts alone to find solution to every problem, constantly looking for an escape from every challenge that we face in life, creating temporary diversion from every stress. We are running away from the very demands that God places on us.

Why? Because humanity, without the centrality of Christ, is sentenced to fear and restlessness. Now I come to that big surprise that in store for us here, and you see it in verse 7. Beloved, you know the Bible is always clear. The Bible always calls sin, sin. Now we modify it, it doesn't matter.

What we do is really immaterial. The Bible always calls sinner, sinner. The Bible speaks the truth. The Bible always confronts us, and the Bible then invites us and says there's hope once you're convicted of sin. That's why this cheap repentance of, you know, take Jesus along the way with your journey without repentance, without acknowledging the fact that you have sinned and offended a holy God. That's a cheap gospel.

It's cheap grace. The Bible is always clear, tells us the truth, but never leaves us in hopelessness. I have never known anywhere in the Word of God where we are confronted by the reality of sin and the reality of our sin, and then leave us in a state of hopelessness.

Sorry, you're a gnome buddy, fend for yourself. The Bible immediately goes in to offer us hope, always going to give us good news, always gives us a way out, always gives us an answer to the dilemma that we're facing, always, always, always, and the good news comes in the middle of this hopeless situation. Without verse 7, it would have been depressing, but the good news comes in screaming. Psalm 14 verse 7. It's a dramatic way.

I want you to use your imagination with me. After the courts of heaven have been adjourned, after the sentence have been pronounced, after the verdicts have been given, after the accused has been escorted out of the court, all of a sudden, all of a sudden, in verse 7, the court reconvenes. Reconvenes.

Why? New evidence came to light. New facts have been injected into the trial.

New hope to overturn the sentence is found. All that salvation would come from Zion. Amen. Where did our Jesus come from?

Zion. And He is our salvation. Without Him, it's hopeless. Without Him, it's dark, but with Him, there is hope, there is life, there is eternal life. Oh, that salvation might come from Zion. Instead, He offers us this hope. He comes from Zion.

What's going on here? Oh, the judge has suspended the sentence for a time. Don't you say praise God? He suspended the sentence for a time.

Why? Because the judge wanted to see if any of the accused would avail themselves to the newfound hope. The judge wanted to give the accused one more opportunity for a reprieve. The judge, for a time, ordered a stay of execution.

The judge will wait and see if anyone would accept his pardon. Beloved, most of you know what I'm going to tell you. In the day of judgment, whether it be near or far, it doesn't matter.

It really makes no difference. In the day of judgment, open-mindedness will not save. Tolerance will not save. Indifference to the truth will not save. Ambiguity, which is the gospel of the emerging church, ambiguity toward Christ will not save. Denominational church membership will not save. None will save but Jesus. There's only one.

Who can speak for you and for me? And he offers an opportunity for everyone for pardon. For only Jesus can defend us. Only Jesus can pardon us. Only Jesus can pronounce us guiltless. Only Jesus can lift up the sentence.

And he did that on the cross. Amen. Give him praise. Give him praise.

And he's got his arms wide open. Come unto me. Come unto me. Come unto me. There is no condemnation upon those who are what? In Christ Jesus. No condemnation. The sentence is reversed. Now if there's someone here who's never availed themselves upon this incredible opportunity to confess and receive his pardon, today you can do that. But there's something I want to say to the vast majority of you who have already received the pardon from the hand of God, those of you who know Jesus, those of you who even love Jesus.

I want to have a challenge for you. What are you doing with this good news? Are you sitting on it? Are you doing nothing with it?

Or are you sharing it with others? A challenge to look at what you are doing with the good news. Thank you for joining Dr. Michael Youssef for Leading the Way. Hey, perhaps today's words have awakened some faith questions that are deep within you. Well, let me encourage you to have a conversation with a Leading the Way pastor. You can begin by filling out a quick form at ltw.org slash jesus.

That's ltw.org slash jesus. Now before I need to say goodbye, I do want to take just a moment to remind you about a free resource or two available from Dr. Youssef. The first is My Journal. My Journal is a monthly magazine containing encouraging articles from Leading the Way's worldwide team about how the gospel is making a difference in the lives of people right there in your neighborhood and in neighborhoods just like yours all around the world and how you can get a free trial subscription started when you get in touch with Leading the Way. Call 866-626-4356 and online check out ltw.org and when you contact Leading the Way, ask about My Devotional. That's also free. My Devotional is a daily email packed with encouragement from Dr. Youssef. He takes you into God's Word and reveals practical words of life application. Use that same contact information, ltw.org and 866-626-4356. This program is furnished by Leading the Way with Dr. Michael Youssef, passionately proclaiming uncompromising truth around the world.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-25 12:46:07 / 2023-04-25 12:54:24 / 8

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