Michael Youssef: The End Times Shouldn't Be Terrifying for Believers

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At the appointed time, Christ will appear in majesty and splendor and glory and power to bring this fallen world to a grinding halt, a grand finale, a screeching end. It will be a day of reckoning for those who have rejected Jesus Christ as the only Savior and Lord—a dreadful end for those who refuse to believe Him to be the King Eternal.

But it will be a glorious end for those who have put their faith in Jesus, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.

The end of history will be a time of utter devastation: "The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare" (2 Peter 3:10). These end-times events and more are described in the book of Revelation, detailing a truly terrifying future for this world.

But I don't want you to be alarmed. God gave us His revelation of the end times not to frighten us but to motivate and encourage us. He wants us to live both with a sense of urgency about His coming and with hope, knowing that He has not forgotten us but wants everyone to come to repentance (see 2 Peter 3:9).

Remember That Satan is a Defeated Foe

I admit that when I consider the coming judgment of the world, I'm as big a coward as anybody. If God gave me a vote in the matter (which He has not), my vote would be, "Come quickly, Lord Jesus! In fact, come early!"

Not only do I not want to go through seven years or three and a half years of the Great Tribulation—I don't want to go through one minute of it! But whatever God determines that His people will endure, we can be confident that He will sustain us. In fact, we can already read the scoreboard and know how the game is going to end. We can celebrate here and now because Satan is finished.

In 2 Thessalonians, the apostle Paul wrote a word of encouragement for all those who will experience the anarchy, terror and evil of the age of the Antichrist at the end times. He declared, "[T]he Lord Jesus will overthrow [the lawless one] with the breath of his mouth and destroy [him] by the splendor of his coming" (2:8). My friend, there is no long, drawn-out battle. There is no protracted war. Victory will be quick and instantaneous. And I can't wait. I am confident that I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (see Psalm 27:13).

Remember Who Is Holding You

How can we be confident that we'll stand firm even in the face of the direst trials? It's certainly not by trusting in our own strength. Our assurance rests solely in Jesus, our Rock and Redeemer, our absolute and unshakable security. In fact, in Matthew 24:24, Jesus warned that false messiahs would come at the end times and perform wonders so spectacular that they would deceive even the elect if that were possible. But of course, it's not going to be possible because those who trust in Jesus are held in His sovereign, all-powerful hand. Nothing and no one can separate us from His love (see Romans 8:31-39; John 10:28-30).

If you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you can have peace that transcends understanding because God chose you, loved you and called you. And He's going to keep you safe all the way home. Regardless of present circumstances, regardless of present troubles, regardless of future lawlessness, God's call, His sovereign choice, His predetermined love, anchors us in the midst of crashing waves and stormy seas. Just listen to what Jesus declared about all who believe in Him:

"All those the Father gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me I will never drive away. ... And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I shall lose none of all those He has given Me, but raise them up at the last day. For My Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day." (John 6:37, 39-40)

But that's not all. In John 10:27-29, Jesus said, "My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of My Father's hand."

God's sovereign, loving choice should banish fear from our lives. Let the devil mount his fiercest attack. Let the man of lawlessness be revealed; let the Antichrist persecute us. Let all hell break loose and all rebellion break out. It will not shake us. It will never move us. Our stability is not based on our circumstances or our feelings. Rather, it is firmly established in the sovereignty of God's loving choice. We can stand firm because we know how firmly our soul's anchor holds. You can stand firm because it's not about what you are holding onto. It's about who is holding onto you. And the one who is holding you is immovable.

Overcome Your Fear With God's Faithfulness

In light of the teachings of the gospel, we can overcome any fear of the end times by relying on and trusting in God's strength and faithfulness. Moreover, leaning on the everlasting arms of God—His infinite power—moment by moment is our witness to the world that we truly believe in His promises and have anchored our faith in Him and Him alone.

We cannot stand firm, we cannot have stability in life, without being sandwiched between the past promises of God and the present power of God. You see, God is faithful, and He will not allow us to be tempted beyond our ability to bear. God is faithful, and He will give strength when strength is needed. He is faithful to shield us from the spirit of lawlessness at the end times.

And He is faithful to keep us blameless to the day of His coming.

Youssef bookIn this life we're sometimes dazed and wounded by trials; we often have losses and sufferings that we don't understand. But God's message here and now for every believer in Jesus Christ is take heart, you are destined for glory. You will reign and rule with Christ. Don't let the world's troubles cloud your vision. Remember your final destination. We know the final score. Jesus is preparing a place for you. Be comforted in the face of trouble.

For more information or to order Michael Youssef's book, "Is the End Near," please visit mycharismashop.com.

For the original article, visit ltw.org.

Dr. Michael Youssef was born in Egypt and lived in Lebanon and Australia before coming to the United States, where he fulfilled a childhood dream of becoming an American citizen. He holds degrees from Moore College in Sydney and Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, and a doctorate in social anthropology from Emory University in Atlanta. He founded The Church of the Apostles, which was the launching pad for his Leading The Way television and radio international broadcast ministry. Dr. Youssef has authored more than forty books, including popular titles such as "Saving Christianity?" and "Hope for This Present Crisis." He and his wife, Elizabeth, reside in Atlanta.


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