A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

The Bible is a tale of two cities: the City of Man and the City of God. We can trace these two cities from the opening pages of Genesis to the closing paragraphs of the book of Revelation.

The City of Man is symbolized by Babylon, Rome, and even today by Western civilization. In contrast, the City of God is symbolized by the elect of God from every nation, tribe, and generation. For believers currently living their earthly lives in the City of Man, it may appear to be the worst of times. But the Gospel of Jesus Christ promises that one day all believers will experience the best of times.

Read Genesis 4:1-16. Here we see these two opposing cities begin to take shape in the lives of the children of Adam and Eve. In Abel, we see the City of God. Abel loved God and was obedient to Him, bringing his Creator a sacrifice of blood. In his brother Cain, however, we see the City of Man with all its disobedience and an attitude that says, “I know what God said, but I want to come to God my way.”

After Cain killed his brother Abel and lied about it, he fled home and eventually built the first city—a place to escape from God—filled with fear, anxiety, and restlessness. In Cain’s city, it was easy to pretend that God did not exist and therefore to revolt against Him. To this day, so it remains within the City of Man.

As believers, you and I represent the City of God. Because we follow Jesus, our lives run counter to the culture that surrounds us. The Bible tells us that the godless culture of Cain runs down through generations, sinking deeper into sin, idolatry, and rebellion over time.

But there is good news: God has placed you in your neighborhood, school, campus, or workplace in order to serve Him as a light in this present darkness. God does not call us to run away from the City of Man, but instead to invite others to come to the City of God before it’s too late. Will you stand up and be counted for Christ today in your areas of influence?

Prayer: Father, may I be burdened for the lost in the City of Man. Use me to call people to Your Truth boldly with the love and compassion of Your Holy Spirit at work in my heart. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere” (2 Corinthians 2:14).

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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