(NEW: You can now listen to today’s MY Devotional on Leading The Way’s daily devotional podcast!)

As persecution intensifies around the world, many will forsake Christ and join the nonbelievers. Jesus said: “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:10-13).

People will defect from the faith for three principal reasons:

First, they will defect because the price of following Jesus is too high. They will decide they do not want to pay the cost of discipleship.

Second, they will defect because false teachers will arise with deceptive but persuasive messages. These false teachers will speak from church pulpits. They will write best-selling books and appear on TV. They will have the most popular social media accounts. They’ll use variations on the same lies Satan used in the Garden of Eden: “Did God really say…?” and “You shall be like God.”

Third, they will defect because sin is attractive and seductive. Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). The wide gate is the gate of selfishness and the temporary pleasures of sin. The narrow gate is the gate of righteousness and everlasting pleasures in heaven.

There are many in the church today who are what I call “hangers on.” They may outwardly look like believers, but they are not truly born again. They are members of the institutional, visible church but have never joined Christ’s invisible church. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of those “hangers on” will grow cold, and they will fall away from the church. But genuine believers who stand firm to the end will be saved.

Prayer: Lord, forgive us for being so taken with sin and false teachings that tickle our ears. Help me to stand strong in faith and to be a light for Christ, that those around me would see Your Truth and run to the Light of the World in dark days. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).

This devotional is adapted from Dr. Michael Youssef’s timely book Is the End Near?: What Jesus Told Us About the Last Days. This eye-opening work will answer your questions about end-times issues by examining statements that Jesus Himself made about what was and is to come. You will be encouraged as you anticipate Christ’s return. Secure your copy today at IsTheEndNearBook.com!

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s companion sermon series Is the End Near?: WATCH 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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