Archive for the ‘Michael Youssef’ Category

I have received messages of concern for our nation’s future.  As you know, we have been diligent in praying for God’s will to be done and the decision has been made. That does not mean we stop praying. No matter how you feel about the leadership of our country, they are our leaders and we must pray for them.  We must continue to be diligent in praying for a spiritual revival in our nation—truly our greatest need.

One thing I sense in the messages I am receiving is fear. We must guard against this fear because we know “God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).

Still, the storm is very real and the waves are imposing. Jesus has not left us guessing about what we should do in the face of rough weather. In fact, the disciples encountered a treacherous sea storm detailed for us in Matthew 8. Even though they physically had Jesus with them, they let their circumstances drive them to fear.

The storm set in suddenly. Not only did the disciples face the dangers of the rough waters, but they were surrounded by darkness as well. There were no life jackets. There were no life boats. They felt they were at the mercy of the great storm.

In a panic, they called for Jesus crying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” (Matthew 8:25). As Jesus woke from His sleep, He did not instantly calm the storm. Instead, He asked the disciples, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” (Matthew 8:26). Only after His rebuke did He calm the wind and waves.

Many times, we want God to fix our problems instantly. We want the raging waters around us to cease immediately. Yet, sometimes in the middle of the crashing waves, God has a word for us. He wants to deepen our faith and to encourage growth in Him before He intervenes. He wants us to follow in faith—no matter how dark our circumstances seem.

When Jesus spoke to the disciples, He acknowledged that their fears were great and their faith was little. The relationship between faith and fear is like a seesaw. When one is up, the other is down. So when we allow fear to rise, our faith will decline. But the opposite is true as well. When we increase our faith, our fear will fall.

Jesus wasn’t talking about our saving faith, but our daily living faith. Our saving faith remains constant, but our daily living faith rises and falls according to the strength of our relationship with God. When we are not in constant intimacy with God, the first storm that hits will create fear and panic. When we give God the crumbs of our time and attention, our faith and understanding in Him will weaken.

Faith that conquers fear depends on absolute trust in God. It is the kind of faith that has an open heart to whatever God provides for us. It is a faith that is manifested as an utter dependence on the sovereignty of God. When we live by faith, we know that even when the storm is at its worst, we can trust that God is working out His purposes for us.

When Jesus rebuked the disciples for their lack of faith, He was referring to their failure to trust Him in this practical situation. How often do we trust God with our eternal souls, yet not our daily needs? God wants us to trust Him not only with our salvation, but also with our relationships, our resources, and our futures. He wants to see our professed faith in action. He wants us to put our complete trust in Him for every detail of our lives.

When we walk closely with God and trust Him daily, our faith in Christ will conquer our fears. When we focus on God, fear fades into the background. At the first sign of fear, our plan of action should be seeking God in prayer.

No matter what we face, I will continue to put my full faith and trust in Jesus Christ and will continue to proclaim His Truth here at home and around the world.  He is my salvation and my hope—as He is yours.

Here is the audio from what I shared with our church on Wednesday, November 7.

I am currently on an around-the-globe trip, going from the West Coast, to Down Under, Singapore, London, and then home again.

From the vantage point of this journey, the one striking and overwhelming image I get is of two runaway trains moving in opposite directions. And yet, in some strange way, they are about to cause a global collision.

Let me explain.

On one train, Islamists are violently demanding that the West bow to them as they seek to take the world back to the Arabian dark ages of the 7th century.

On the other, humanists, atheists, greens, and extreme liberals are pushing the West to abandon its historic morals and Judeo-Christian ethics. They demand that the West embrace a world of homosexual marriages, nature worship, environmental extremism, and godlessness.

Although I am a trained social anthropologist who is supposed to make sense of such things, I must confess that I am baffled on this front. How can two extreme movements, heading in opposite directions, be so perilously close to an unprecedented collision?

The one thing that both runaway trains have in common, however, is their hatred of Christians. To both, Christians represent a threat—although different types of threats.

To Islamists, the threat is theological. Christians believe that God became man, died on a cross to redeem the world, and rose again to justify everyone who would believe in Him. Every day, Muslims are turning their back on Islam and embracing the redemption that only Jesus offers. Through those conversions, the biggest fear of Islamists has come upon them.

To atheists, humanists, and environmental zealots, the threat is to their own consciences. They were created in God’s own image, and Christians represent a “photograph” of the life they were meant to lead. The liberal extremists cannot escape that image, and it burdens their inner guilt.

Thankfully, where social anthropology fails me, the Bible never does! It is only biblical knowledge that can make sense of the apparently senseless.

The Bible tells us that when sin increases, grace also abounds. Although I can’t promise Christians an easy time in life, based on Scripture, I can certainly assure them that God’s grace and light will shine brighter through them as the darkness increases.

Many of my friends would explain the current events in the world as the great “falling away” that will occur before the return of Christ. Certainly they have every reason to believe that. But I am in the business of reminding them that, regardless of this turmoil, our call is to lift up Jesus to all. And through lifting Him up, some may come to believe and be redeemed.

Not only is our God in control of history, He is the author and finisher of history. Therefore, He will have the last word.

So, my friends, get busy lifting up Jesus. Take courage and look up. For the day of your redemption draws nigh.

There are no words that I could write as a blog for this week that can possibly be as eloquent as this. Please watch it and pass it on.

This is the sixth and final post in my blog series, titled: The Price of Liberty. If you’re just now starting the series, you can begin with the first post here.

During the middle of the nineteenth century, spiritual conditions in the United States deteriorated considerably. Conditions were quite different then because the nation had moved away from its early days of godliness. Moreover, people became obsessed with making money, and as they prospered they turned their backs on God.

Then a man named Jeremiah Lanphier began a prayer meeting in the upper room of the Dutch Reformed Church in the Manhattan section of New York City. After advertising the prayer meeting in the city papers, only six people showed up—out of a population of nearly one million. The following week, 14 people came. The next week 23 people made their way to the prayer meeting. These diligent, earnest people decided to meet daily. Soon they filled the Dutch Reformed Church, the John Street Methodist Church, and numerous buildings in downtown New York. Before long, a landslide of prayer began.

People were converted at the rate of 10,000 a week in New York City, and the movement spread rapidly throughout New England. Church bells would bring people together to pray at 8:00 in the morning, at 12 noon, and at 6:00 in the evening. The revival raced up the Hudson River and down the Mohawk River. Within a year, more than one million people were converted.

The prayer revival even crossed the Atlantic. It broke out in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England. It even traveled to the southern part of India and other parts of the world. The effect of this prayer revival was felt for 40 years! The revival began in a movement of prayer and was sustained by a movement of prayer. It lasted for a generation, but at the turn of the century the nation again needed an awakening.

Special prayer meetings began at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago; at the Keswick Convention in England; in the Nilgiri Hills of India; in Melbourne, Australia; and at Wonsan, Korea. All around the world people were united in prayer for God to send a new awakening. In 1905, God answered these prayers, just as He had earlier. Some interesting statistics that resulted from the meetings are:

  • Twenty-five percent of the students at Yale University were enrolled in prayer meetings and Bible studies
  • In Portland, Oregon, 250 store owners closed from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. each day for prayer. They signed an agreement among themselves that no one would cheat and stay open.
  • Five years later, J.P. Morgan wrote a book that tried to debunk the revival. His main criticism was that of the 100,000 people who joined churches in the five months of revival, only 80,000 remained in the church after five years – that is, 80,000 out of the original 100,000 converted!
  • In the same year, the famous Welsh revival broke out and had an astounding impact on Welsh society. Judges were presented with white gloves because they had no cases to try – no rapes, no murders, no embezzlements. The district counselors held an emergency meeting to discuss what to do with the police!

How we yearn for a return to such days! Our fervent prayer today should be, “Lord Jesus, come quickly—or send us a revival.”

Change will happen when we repent.

Change will happen when we call our nation to repentance. Change will happen when the nation’s citizens insist that the biblical principles of its founding fathers be reinstated by Congress, thus overturning the Supreme Court’s bad decisions.

Change will happen when we again honor motherhood and see children as gifts from God. Change will occur when fathers take their rightful place as head of the home.

Finally, change will take place when our nation returns to the God of its fathers and understands anew the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom (see Proverbs 9:10). Change will also come when once more we start hiding the Word of God in our hearts. We stand with Andrew Jackson who, while pointing to the Bible, said, “That book, Sir, is the Rock upon which our republic rests.”

Let us take to heart Jackson’s words and put the Bible’s words into practice. Then we can continue to lead the world as a Christian nation. We should desire nothing more nor less.

Ever since President Obama took office, he has given unmistakable signals that he is in love with the Muslim Brotherhood.

He insisted on talking to them, even before his infamous trip to Cairo in 2009. Then he demanded their presence during his speech in Cairo—a demand that was like putting his boot over President Mubarak’s neck. After all, the Muslim Brotherhood was an outlawed organization. Certainly, the Brotherhood took notice of that!

President Obama also confirmed his enchantment with the group when he appointed Dalia Mogahed, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, as his principal advisor on the Middle East.

Then later, at Obama’s encouragement, the aging Egyptian Army generals surrendered their power and helped elect a Brotherhood member, Mohamed Morsi, as Egypt’s president. With Morsi in power, Obama dispatched Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Cairo to deliver a passionate invitation for Morsi to visit Obama.

But she not only had a message for Morsi; she also told the generals that, now that they had helped put Morsi in power, they needed to butt out of politics and go back to their barracks. She didn’t need to worry about the generals, however. As soon as Mr. Morsi took power, he retired the senior generals, giving them a consolation title: Advisor to the President.

To top it all, President Obama further demonstrated his love by turning down a requested visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

But then the tables were turned. While Obama was busy jilting an old friend of the US, Egypt’s Morsi got into the jilting business himself. Morsi would not condemn his fellow Islamists’ attack of the US embassy. Nor would he let his security apparatus stop the Islamists from desecrating the American flag.

After all—although Morsi lived in America, benefited from its education, and cashed in by working for NASA for a while—he is not fond of what America stands for.

After all, he is a Muslim Brotherhood member.

But the Brotherhood knows it has to be careful with Obama. They can’t continue to lead him on if he loses the election. So after a jilted Obama publicly wondered if Egypt was a friend or enemy, Morsi tried to pacify him. Soon after, the streets around the embassy were magically cleared and a few token protestors were arrested.

So has Obama’s love for the Brotherhood been rekindled once again? Will he let them lead him astray once more?

President Obama is not going to ask me for my relationship advice. But if he did, I would tell him, “Get out. This relationship will only lead to ruin. Cancel your meeting with Morsi. Suspend US aid to Egypt for a period. And meet with Netanyahu.”

With yesterday’s storming of American diplomatic offices in Egypt and Libya, the world is now watching the true colors of Islamists—something that those of us with experience have known all along. Unfortunately the Obama administration has been doggedly colorblind to the Islamists’ true colors.


We give Egypt $2 billion a year. We give Libya military and financial aid to topple their dictator. But what do we get in the way of thanks? Death and destruction.


Make no mistake—these recent violent events will not be contained to those two countries. It will spread to many other countries that we have supported in the past—supported with our money and blood.


The extreme naivety of our foreign policy makers is not only embarrassing; it is dangerous and disastrous.


As Yogi Berra once said: “It’s déjà vu all over again.” By that I mean, it’s “1979 Iran” all over again. In that year, another group of naïve amateurs ran our foreign policy, and their ignorance ultimately led to the storming of our embassy and the hostage-taking of American citizens for 444 days.


Here is the core of our government’s ignorance: We assume that everyone is like us. That everyone responds with gratitude to generous gestures. That everyone respects us with the same respect that we offer them. That when we bend over backwards, they will show appreciation for our efforts to please them.


But not only would they never respond that way; they view our actions as unmitigated weakness. And with weakness they see an opportunity: the further humiliation of the infidels.


Our foreign policy officials ignorantly believe we won’t be viewed as infidels since we give them money. But to Islamists, it’s not only legal to take money from infidels; taking such money and using it to humiliate us is considered the height of superiority.


Apparently the attacks in Egypt and Libya were provoked by a film that disparages Islam and Muhammad. To be sure, I would never be party to any film or form of attack on the Muslim religion. The people behind that film were foolish.


But Arab Spring or no Arab Spring, Islamists will never understand what democracy and freedom of speech are all about. They will never understand that the US government had nothing to do with the film. The killing of innocent people will never touch their conscience. To them, the killing of any infidel is always just.


When will the adolescents in Washington wake up and smell the Jihadi coffee?  When will they rouse themselves from their stupor of naivety?


When will America begin to comprehend the gravity of our times?


I pray, God, that it will be soon.

Michael Youssef

Dr. Michael Youssef is the author of 27 books including his most recent and timely Blindsided: The Radical Islamic Conquest. His blog: Follow on Twitter: @MichaelAYoussef

This is the fifth post in my blog series, titled: The Price of Liberty. If you’re just now starting the series, you can begin with the first post here.

What can we do as Christians to turn America back to God? First, we need to understand the lateness of the hour for our beloved nation.

A friend once told a story of how he would often go for a walk in the evening. As he turned a corner, he saw a magnificent tree. Every time he passed the tree, he paused to admire it. The tree was in the front yard of a stately house and was surrounded by a high fence and barking dogs.

One day as he was walking, he saw some workers inside the fence cutting the tree down. He called to the workmen, “Why are you cutting this beautiful tree down? If you want to cut a tree, cut this shaggy-looking one!”

With that, one of the workers invited my friend inside the gate and kicked a hole in the trunk of the tree. Immediately my friend recognized the reason for removing the beautiful tree. The high fence and barking dogs could not protect it from the termites that had eaten into its very heart.

As a nation, we face a similar situation. Even a great army and the best machinery—including our sophisticated weaponry and high-tech equipment—cannot protect us from the moral decay that is seeping into our national fabric. Only God can reverse this evil tide. His answer is found in 2 Chronicles 7:14:

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

In his classic book, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, historian Edward Gibbon sets forth five primary causes for the dissolving of a great nation:

1. The rapidly increasing rate of divorce and undermining of the sanctity of the home.

The American family is under attack. The divorce rate is incredibly high. And six states plus Washington, DC now allow gay marriage while the Department of Justice refuses to defend the Defense of Marriage Act. When the family ceases to be the bedrock of society, society goes on the rocks. The Christian church must do everything possible to keep families together, give families all the support and encouragement it can, and honor the family tradition in this country.

2. The spiraling rise of taxes and extravagant spending.

The United States is a debtor nation. Our national debt has skyrocketed to previously unimaginable levels. It totals more than $16 trillion with annual spending exceeding revenues by $1 trillion. Our country owes $140,000 in debt per every taxpayer. You can be sure that individuals can’t survive for long with such spending. Neither can a nation.

3. The craving for pleasure and the brutality of sports.

When a nation seems to have nothing but pleasure as its goal and is obsessed by sports, that nation is headed for a fall. An average of 18 million people watch every NFL football game, and athletes like LeBron James and Peyton Manning make $40-50 million per year and are worshipped like near-gods. And millions of Americans dedicate their weekends to playing golf, tennis, and other sports.

Of course, the Bible doesn’t condemn pleasure. In fact, we need to enjoy moments of relaxation. And Paul advises Timothy the God richly gives us all things to enjoy (see 1 Timothy 6:17).

However, if Christians would spend as much time in pursuit of God as they do in pursuit of pleasure, we would have giant saints in our midst.

Further, if Christians would spend as much time in their prayer closets as they spend with their hobbies, we would have an unprecedented revival in our generation—such as we have never seen.

4. The building of gigantic armaments and the failure to realize that the real enemy is within the gates of the empire—in the moral decay of its people.

It’s apparent to every informed citizen that we need a strong defense; however, if we only concentrate on a strong defense, we will be like the magnificent tree that was protected by a high fence and barking dogs, but whose trunk was consumed from within.

5. The decaying of religion and the fading of faith into mere ritual—leaving the people without guidance.

We have already gone beyond this point when some in religious leadership not only undermine biblical teaching, but also ignore it and treat it as passé.

The following items show where much of our religious leadership is today in this country:

  • The faith of our fathers in the Gospel of Jesus Christ is trampled upon and rejected.
  • Biblical teaching and spiritual values are rejected.
  • Biblical morality is scoffed at and denied.
  • Secular humanism has taken the place of biblical principles. The result is no standards, not absolutes, no eternal values, and the belief that there is no God but man.

When this list is complete, we will have hell on earth. Only spiritually sensitive Christians can truly understand the root cause of our problems.

The greatest threat to America today is not fiscal insolvency, Islamic terrorism, or a severe environmental crisis. The greatest threat to America today is the wrath of God.

In the Old Testament, God told the prophet Hosea to marry the prostitute Gomer, by whom he would have three children. Over and over again, Hosea was forced to reach out to Gomer and save her from her wicked lifestyle. Hosea never gave up on Gomer. At last, he was able to buy her out of her life of slavery and prostitution.

Like Hosea, God showed His faithfulness and patience to erring Israel. After all of God’s warnings to Israel through the prophets, Israel continued on a downward path of blatant sin and idolatry. The result? God banished His chosen people from the Promised Land of Israel.

Surely, if God does not judge America because of its waywardness and sin, He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.

Now that we have passed our 200-year anniversary as a nation, we should look at the natural lifecycle of a democracy, as theorized by the historian Alexander Tyler in 1787:

From bondage to spiritual faith.

From spiritual faith to great courage.

From great courage to liberty.

From liberty to abundance.

From abundance to selfishness.

From selfishness to complacency.

From complacency to apathy.

From apathy to dependence.

From dependence back into bondage.

Is there hope for America? Of course! One of the reasons God has not judged us more severely is because of the faithfulness of men and women across this land and around the world who are praying for America.

In my next and final post in this series, I will explore how spiritual renewal has happened before in America, and by following the examples of repentance that have preceded us, we can witness the Lord “renew our days as of old.”