A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

History repeats itself. No matter how many so-called advances we make as a society, spiritually we are no better off than those who have lived before us. As King Solomon once said, “There is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Human beings, apart from Christ, will inevitably choose to rebel against the ways of God. As a result, cultures that once were thriving will begin to deteriorate. The question we must answer as believers in Jesus Christ is, how shall we live in such times?

 

How shall we live now as Western civilization, once built upon the Protestant Reformation, continues to turn its back on God? How shall we live now when our culture, which once espoused Christian principles, now publicly mocks and ridicules God’s ways? How shall we live now when even the church has joined in the anti-Biblical chorus?

 

Read Hebrews 11. As believers, we live in the City of Man--but we are pilgrims in this world. We know our true home is the City of God, but we must learn to live here and now in the City of Man as Christ’s ambassadors to a dying world. Because we belong to Jesus and have the Holy Spirit, we can find the strength and wisdom to not just survive but thrive in the City of Man.

 

In the beginning, there was Eden, a beautiful garden. In the end, there will be an even more beautiful garden city called the New Jerusalem. For now, we live in the City of Man between these two gardens that bookend history. As we live here, we must keep our eyes fixed on another garden--Gethsemane. Here Jesus prayed, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. . . . I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them” (John 17:3, 13).

 

Only Christ’s victory can empower us to live triumphantly in the midst of the darkness of the City of Man. Because of the cross, we can walk with our heads held high no matter how bleak things may now look in this present city. After all, we belong to Jesus, and one day we are going to reign and rule with Him in the City of God.

 

Prayer: Lord, thank You not only for the promise of heaven, the City of God, but thank You for the full joy and freedom that I can have even now in the midst of the City of Man. I praise You. Help me to live a holy life that I might bring glory to Your name. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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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