In this eight-part companion series to his book Never Give Up, Dr. Dr. Michael Youssef encourages us to embody Paul’s unwavering confidence in the Gospel. Digging deep into the apostle’s letter known as 2 Timothy, Dr. Youssef exhorts believers everywhere to do all we can to remain true to Christ.
don’t ever give up. Don’t give up on biblical truth. Don’t give up on the authority of the scripture. Don’t give up on the infallibility of the word of God. Don’t ever give up no matter how unpopular the gospel of jesus christ becomes in our culture and our society and your schools in your campus when your biblical morality is assaulted, when your moral uprightness is attacked. Don’t ever ever ever give up coming up next on leading the way. Okay. Yeah, yeah. This is the very last of eight messages series from the very last words of the apostle paul, the last epistle that he’s written in prison before he was beheaded and went to be with the Lord. The summary of the entire message is don’t ever ever give up. Don’t give up on Biblical truth. Don’t give up on doctrine. Don’t give up on the authority of the scripture. Don’t give up on the infallibility of the word of God and he told us told us why, because it is God breathed And that message that he leaves September three and leaves to us the very last words before he went to be with the Lord. Don’t give up. No matter how unpopular the gospel of jesus christ becomes in our culture and our society and your schools in your campus, don’t ever give up is the last words that is written from the great apostle. Turn with me, please chapter four, beginning at verse nine all the way to the end, but before I even get to the passage before I expound this these last few verses of the second epistle to timothy. I want you to notice something that is not written. I want you to focus with me just for a little bit about something that is not here. So how can I do that? I’m going to show you. You notice that in these last words of the Apostle paul, there is not a tinge of bitterness. There is not a hint of regret, there is not a major of remorse and there is not a thought of anguish. Earlier in the chapter, he said, I am completely satisfied that I fought the good fight. I stayed in the battle and in the heat of the battle, I didn’t affect to the enemy. I didn’t cut and run. I fought the good fight. Then I ran the race. I ran the marathon that was set before me. I did not stop. I did not look for a shady spot, but I ran the whole race and I’ve kept the faith unmolested, unmodified, unwatered down. I kept the faith. This is a clear indication to me that the great Apostle paul kept short accounts with God hiccup short accounts and therefore when the time came for him to die, he’s just ready. He was ready. Oh, but there was a little bit of sorrow in his heart. But you notice this is not feeling sorry for himself. The little sorrow that he has in his heart. It’s not for himself. The only sorrow he had with those who have defected from the faith, that those who have turned their back on the faith. That is the deepest sorrow that you see here, the lack of courage on the part of other believers. That’s the only sorrow that he has. I want you to hear me right, please. This is important. The Apostle Paul mentioned 17 names in this short passage, 17 names in this passage alone and here he does not suggest for a moment that all of these friends and colleagues have forsaken him or defected the faith. No, he said, some of them were scattered around preaching the gospel. But he said, there are some in Rome who have been afraid and they stayed away and he’s not minimizing the presence of luke. He said, all left except luke. He’s not minimizing the fact that luke was. He’s just stating a fact luke is the only one who was there standing by his side. But you can literally feel the depth of his anguish over being abandoned and cut off from the many churches that he has founded. You can feel his anguish from being cut off from friends whom he had served. He was feeling anguish because he’s separated from friends that he prayed for that he administered to that is being cut off from friends whom he dearly loves. But the greatest pain that he’s experiencing in these last moments of his life. The greatest pain he’s experiencing in this passage that we see in those last words, is that a former companion who was his companion in ministry. He was his colleague and ministry, but now he defected to the world, dimas is mentioned three times in the scripture three times. And these three times really, the biography of this man known just as dim as that’s all we know about him. And this biography represents a downward spiral, a download spiral in his spiritual walk in the spiritual life, a man who started well, but he ended up badly. You see, the first time he’s mentioned is in Philemon verse 24 and he was paul said demas, my fellow worker, my dear colleague in the ministry. And then the next time he gets mentioned is in colossians chapter four. And he was just mentioned as demas. And finally, here in second timothy chapter four, the third time he has mentioned, demas has forsaken me for he had loved this present world. Oh, Lord, please, might this never be said of me. It may never be said of you. I wanted to hear me right. There can be very few things that breaks the heart of a servant of God than seeing people who had every reason to do great things for God, but chose the low road. But I also know not necessarily it’s not experientially, but I also know of ministering For nearly 50 years, that there is nothing that breaks the heart of apparent more than seeing their child who has great potential to accomplish great things for God, but disappoint him. There is nothing more heartbreaking for a spouse who knows that his or her spouse had great potential for God. And yet they opted for mediocrity and justice. Paul had his dimas, Abraham had his lot, Isaac and Rebecca had their s o all however a ham must have longed for and and was brokenhearted when his nephew lot chose the area that he chose and ended up in Sodom and Gomorrah. How he longed that he would follow in his footsteps, but he didn’t. Or how Isaac and Rebecca must have cried buckets of tears over esos wrong choices. We know that paul, he tells us that he wept over the rebellious believers in the Church of Corinth, and here he grieves over dimas who have decided to pursue the mirage of worldly success instead of serving the king of kings. Oh, what a letdown! What a disappointment! Oh, what a heartbreaking situation demas has forsaken before. He loved the present age. Let me ask you. Is there a dimas in your life as breaking your heart? Dec heart! Take heart! Say that with me. Never give up praying for them. Paul is heartbroken over Damascus’s defection. And that is why he asked for timothy to come as quickly as possible. Listen to me the great apostle, the great apostle to the gentiles handpicked by God from being a persecutor to being the great apostle paul who wrote the vast majority of the new testament felt this. The discouragement that comes from disappointment. So don’t ever feel bad about being discouraged every now and again. In fact, twice in this passage, he mentioned to Timothy, he said, tell them, he said, hurry up, hurry up and come to Rome. In verse nine, He said, Do your best to come to me soon. Verse 21. Do your best to come before winter. And here’s something very important for all of us. Listen carefully if the great apostle paul needed encouragement from timothy, his young colleague, who are we to shun encouragement from anyone at any age or any stage. You look at verses 16 and 17 and verse 16 he said at my first trial, that’s court trial. He went on a court trial and the first trial he went to, he said, no one came to my support. Everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them? Isn’t that amazing? He’s praying for their forgiveness, just like our Lord did on the cross verse 17 ah but the Lord stood by my side and he gave me strength. Praise God. Even the best of christian friends can go wobbly on us when we are under attack from the world and when that happened, there can be no greater loneliness. Listen, we live in a time when even christian friends are happy to be around us. As long as we have benefits to them. But as soon as the benefits are gone, they abandon us. We know that don’t be surprised when you see it. I want to speak to the students just for a moment. The faithful students because only God in heaven knows what you’re going through and the pressure that you’re experiencing on your campus and your schools and I know that but you need to remember this when you’re Biblical conviction is not popular when your biblical morality is assaulted, When your moral uprightness is attacked, When your desire to glorify God is not very cool when your refusal to compromise causes you and even the christian friends be embarrassed. I want to tell you, I know there is loneliness in that. I know there is loneliness in this. But I want you also to know that there is a one who sticks to you closer than a brother. There is the one who loves you more than you can ever imagine. There is a one who will never abandon you. There is the one who will never forsake you. There is the one who’s cheering you on. Stay tuned for the conclusion of Dr Yusuf’s message in just a moment. Learn the keys to spiritual endurance, overcome spiritual burnout and train up the next generation to stand firm on biblical truth with Dr Yousef’s new book. Never give up Dr Michael Yousef unpacks paul’s rich words of encouragement, found in second timothy words that will help you endure flourish and thrive in the midst of doubt. Danger and despair in this encouraging book. Dr Yousef unveils four unique aspects of what it means to never give up biblical truth. A timely message. As christians around the world face mounting pressure to compromise their faith and abandon their biblical values. This is your last chance to request your copy today for your gift of any amount and received two bonus resources exclusively from leading the way, learn how to leave a lasting legacy of faith for the next generation. Order your copy of Dr Yousef’s newest book. Never give up today by giving a gift of any amount. Contact us today. And now, the conclusion of Dr Yusuf’s message. Never give up. Don’t ever give up on the truth, Paul stands in a long line of men and women of God who stood alone. It was not the only one and he’s not the only one that in his very loneliness, the Lord appeared to him and ministered to him in a personal way. In a special way, Elijah, bless his heart. I mean, after a great victory, he runs for over 100 miles and then he goes in the mouth of horrible and then he said, I’m all alone. Nobody. And God said no, there’s 7000 knees have not bowed down to bail yet. And you’re not alone. But nonetheless, the Lord ministered to him in a loving way. I often reflect a poor old noah. Think of how absurd it is to obey God and build a big ship in the desert. These people. I’ve never seen rain let alone deluge of it during the construction time. No doubt that his neighbors and I’m not so I’m speculating poor old Noah, poor now. He has lost it. Look at him! He flipped his cork finally. You know, poor old Noah. He thinks he’s obeying God. He hears voices. We told them a little bit of religion. Go a long way. We, we warned him against too much religion. We told him not to get too fanatic about hearing God’s voice because we knew that this excessive religion will get to him one day, look at him. Now look at him now, building a ship on the dry land. Where is he going to go with that ship? That was well and good until the windows of heaven opened and the earth opened and the floods came and they were drowning in the waters probably. They were crying out to know, probably apologizing for mocking him. Probably asking for forgiveness. But it was too late because the bible said God shut the door. Not now. But God, God shut the door in the same way, beloved friends listen to me in the same way. Those who are mocking the bible, Those who are belittling the supernatural, those who want a God who accommodates to them. Uh, those who want to come to God their way on the last day. They were regretted. They will regret their action. They will regret their lifestyle. But it will be too late. It will be too late. And I’ve heard people who have actually said this to me, Michael, what kind of a God who shuts the door and let these people drown. I told him, I said, I am so glad you asked me. I want to tell you about that God. That is the good God who left the glories of heaven and came down to earth to hang on across for your sin and your sin and your sin and my sin. This is a good God who has been inviting you day in and day out to come and you, but you keep running away from him. This is the same Good God who has blessed you in every way. This is the same Good God who has provided for your every need. He is the good God who extending loving hand towards you. But you scorn him. And you reject him and you refused to come to him his way Instead you want to come to him your way! And that is why the bible said. No one will have an excuse thou art without excuse or man in that day. No one will have an excuse. Now. I stood alone in obedience. So did David. David stood alone in obedience. And someone, Oh too, he said, for my days vanish like smoke. My bones burn like a glowing amber. I am like a dessert owl, like an owl among the ruins. I lie awake. I have become like a bird alone on the roof. Yet God came to David and delivered him and comfort him and ministered to him. Job perhaps stand out as the ultimate in feeling loneliness of abandonment. One time he reached such a low ebb in his life that he began to believe that even God, in whom he has placed all of his trust, has also abandoned him. And yet God met Job too. And he met him in the whirlwind. And that is why job could say in 42,5 I have heard of you by hearing of the ear, but now my eyes have seen you. Oh, yes! No matter how bleak your loneliness of faithfulness, maybe listen to me. You’re never alone. You’re never alone. Said it with me. You’re never alone. And I cannot talk about loneliness without hearkening my own mind and memory to the many times. I have said in the Garden of Gethsemane. Those who have traveled with me! No, that I can lose it big time In the 2nd place, that tears me up this Caiaphas basement. Think of the profound loneliness that our sin lists. Perfect. Pure Lord, jesus, Not only that his friends and his disciples flee and abandoned, abandoned him, but on the cross. There was a moment. It could be nanoseconds and it could be two seconds. I don’t we don’t know, I will know when I get to heaven because that’s really so profound. I can’t put my mind around it for that brief moment when your sin and my sin was laid on his shoulders, even the father turned his back on him because his eyes are purer than to look upon. Said in the garden, he asked his closest friends to fellowship with him in prayer. They couldn’t. The last night before the crucifixion he spent it and Caiaphas basement and it’s four walls with a hole in the ceiling from which they dropped him. And then when you go to that place there is psalm 22 in 22 languages of the world laminated down in that basement. So whoever comes from whatever in the world they can read the psalm psalm 22 which tradition says that jesus recited all night before the day of the crucifixion. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me so far from the words of my groaning question, why does our culture not know how to deal with loneliness? Why so many in our culture a suffer in silence? Why are so many afraid to admit their loneliness? Some think the admission of loneliness is a sign of weakness. It is not even some christians, they think that it is not spiritual to say, hey I need fellowship, I need fellowship at this moment in paul’s life, He was not concerned of how many likes he’s got on facebook. Who is not concerned about how many followers got on twitter at this moment in his life, he’s not caring about social media now, he feels forsaken. So instead of brooding, instead of brooding over it, he prays for their forgiveness. May the Lord not hold it against Second half of verse 17, he says I was delivered from the mouth of the Lion. Who is the lion. Peter tells us who the Lion is. He’s roaring around roaring like a lion. He’s forever prowling his, forever growling and he’s setting traps for every one of us, he’s setting traps for the faithful Children of the living God is forever setting traps. He was setting traps for paul. He want to get paul to abandon the faith. You want to get him to turn his back on Biblical truth, he was trying to get him to compromise his conviction. He was trying to get him to save his skin and paul rejoices that the Lord delivered him from all the entrapments of the lion. The thumb of loneliness, satan sets traps. He sets his traps. It is not a time for you to abandon christian fellowship. Why? Because when satan tries to tempt you to think that it is your faithfulness that causing you your loneliness. Then the christian brothers and sisters going to remind you of the promises of God. Some of you might be going through your own private guest ceremony right now because of your, your obedience to the word of God, satan will try to entrap you on every side and then you can join the apostle paul in verse 18 and say that God is going to keep me safe and is gonna take me safe all the way home no matter what joan of arc, when she was on trial for her life and felt all alone and abandoned even by her family members who turned on her in the midst of her trial, she cried out. It is better to be alone with God beloved. Listen to me. It is natural to go with the flow, but it is divine to stand alone. It is natural to flow with people and drift with the tide. But it is divine to stand up and stem the tide. It is natural to compromise your convictions and follow the trends. But it is divine to sacrifice temporary popularity on the altar of God. Whatever you do remember the words of the series of messages. Don’t ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever how many others are these? Ever give up? The reason this book never give up is really a timeless book. But it’s also a timely book. It’s timeless because it is as timeless as the second epistle of paul, to timothy. I’m taking what paul said to timothy and I’m applying it to our day. Never give up on biblical truth. Never give up on Biblical authority and never give up on any of the very things that are really assures us of heaven. We need to be able to say regardless of what happens. We like, Joshua said As for me and my family, we shall worship the Lord. This book. Never give up. It doesn’t matter where you are in the spectrum, whether you are encouraged or discouraged, whether you are experiencing victory and Dominion or you are not. This book is gonna give you the foundational Biblical foundation that will anchor your life, your decision making and your thoughts and even your ministry. It will anchor it. That’s what I want. Pastors, lay leaders, people in the pews to read this book and be empowered by that book and share that book In this encouraging book. Dr Yousef unveils four unique aspects of what it means to never give up biblical truth. A timely message as christians around the world face mounting pressure to compromise their faith and abandon their biblical values. Dr Yousef also shares personal examples from his life and ministry of how he found the strength to stand for christ amid the pressure to compromise. This is your last chance to request your copy today for your gift of any amount and received two bonus resources exclusively from leading the way. What are your copy of dr Yousef’s newest book. Never give up by giving a gift of any amount. Contact us today. Mhm passionately proclaiming, uncompromising truth. Leading the way with Dr Michael Yousef. Thanks you for your faithful support through your continued prayers and gifts. Mhm. Next week join us for leading the Ways Easter Season celebration event, Easter in the Middle East, featuring a special message by Dr Michael Yousef Today, you can experience the peace that passes understanding today, you can be assured of eternal life in heaven with jesus and maestro neha Nagy and the Cairo Celebration, choir and orchestra. You don’t want to miss Easter in the Middle East next week on leading the way.