A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

God’s great indictment against Israel was that the Israelites willingly became “dialogue partners” and “collaborators” with the religions of the Canaanites and Phoenicians, the Egyptians and Assyrians, the Persians and Babylonians. Though God had told Israel, “You shall have no other gods before me,” the people repeatedly turned to idols and false religions--and that is why God sent them into exile in Babylon (see Exodus 20:3 and 2 Kings 17:7-23). Israel was punished and exiled for doing exactly what the leaders of the Emerging Church advocate today.

 

I’m not saying we should view Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, or atheists as enemies. We must love them with the love of Jesus Christ. But the only way to authentically love them is by sharing the Gospel with them. Collaborating with false teachers might win friendship with the world, but it would betray the one who declared, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). 

 

Once you set your sights on friendship with the world, you place yourself in spiritual jeopardy. If the praise of unbelievers is what you want, it’s not hard to get. Simply compromise the Truth. Unbelievers will tell you, “We love your uncertainty, ambiguity, doubt, and tolerance of other religions. Just do away with your claim that Jesus is ‘the way, the truth, and the life,’ and let’s agree that all paths lead to God.”

 

But Jesus never said, “Tolerance for other religions will set you free.” He said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32, emphasis added). Truth comes from the teachings of Jesus, and only the Truth of Jesus will set us free.

 

Some would have us believe that the Christian faith contains some truths, other religions contain other truths, and if we put these truths together and all sing “Kumbaya,” we’ll have a more complete truth. That is twenty-first century idolatry.

 

The Israelites, before the Babylonian exile, practiced a similar approach to Truth. They believed God had delivered some truth through Moses, but they also wanted to sample the “truth” of the Canaanites and the other false religions around them. But God told Israel that there are not many paths to God; there is only one way.

 

And God’s message to us hasn’t changed. It remains the same: Do not tamper with the Truth of God. The fate of those who adulterate the Gospel is the same today as it was in ancient Israel: Exile.

 

Prayer: Father, help me to remember that the true way to love others is to lead them to Jesus, the only way to salvation and freedom. Forgive me for compromising Your Truth. Help me to trust in You for deliverance in Your timing. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32).

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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