Read 2 Timothy 1:8-18.

Our society is proud of lifestyles that the Bible calls sinful, that God says will lead to death. Our nation broadcasts its sinful choices on television and holds parades to celebrate its rebellion. Even some who call themselves Christians have become ashamed of Biblical morality. Every day we are tempted to make excuses and explain away the parts of Scripture that run against the currents of our culture, to water down the Truth of God’s Word to make it more palatable.

I believe with all my heart that if the apostle Paul were alive and preaching today, he would say, “Please do not be ashamed of Biblical Truth. Please do not be ashamed of Biblical morality.” When he wrote to Timothy, he was in chains for the Gospel—and he was not ashamed. But Paul knew the temptation, so he urged Timothy not to give up on God’s Word and to never be ashamed of the Truth.

It’s difficult to swim against the tides of culture. But what is at the heart of this struggle? It all comes down to fear. We’re afraid of missing out, afraid of being mocked, afraid of suffering for the name of Jesus. But God’s Word tells us that suffering is a natural result of being faithful to God, who is always faithful to us. If you ever find yourself ashamed of the Gospel—ashamed of Biblical Truth—it is most likely because of fear. But on the cross, Jesus put fear back in its place. He defeated death—and without death, what is there for the believer to be afraid of?

Tradition tells us that shortly after Paul penned this letter to Timothy, he was led away in chains and beheaded. He died for his obedience to Jesus Christ, and he wasn’t afraid. Not many of us are going to be beheaded for our faith, but some of us may lose friends because we refuse to compromise the Truth. Some of us may be passed over for a promotion because we stand up for Biblical morality. Some of us may lose out on important business deals because of what we believe. But in the end, the Truth of God’s Word is far more important and precious.

We know the end of the story. Because Jesus has defeated death on the cross, our victory is sure. Our God is faithful, and glory is coming. 

Prayer: Lord, I know Your promises are sure. You have defeated death, and I have nothing to fear. May this Truth ignite my heart in service to You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:13).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon Don’t Ever Give Up, Part 2: LISTEN NOW

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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