Dr. Michael Youssef confronts a difficult subject in his new book, “Hope for This Present Crisis” — the persecution of the modern-day church in America.
“The post-Christian times in which we live are very much like the early Christian era in the Book of Acts. The dominant culture hated Christianity and tried to stamp it out,” says Dr. Michael Youssef, author of the new book “Hope for This Present Crisis: The Seven-Step Path to Restoring a World Gone Mad.”
Over the last year and a half, restrictions placed on churches during the COVID-19 pandemic and rising censorship of faith-based organizations and leaders has made it all the more apparent that opposition toward the Christian faith is only increasing.
“I think we are only seeing the beginning of the unfair treatment and persecution that lies ahead for the church,” says Dr. Youssef. “I believe we are heading into a time of severe testing where we are about to find out if we are made of the same stuff as the apostles. We are about to find out if we are willing to stand for God’s truth, whatever the cost.”
The stakes are high for Christians today, and the temptation for many is to bury their heads in the sand. But believers in Jesus must be careful not to fall in this trap.
“The message of the kingdom of God won’t win any popularity contests. But it is the truth, and we need the courage to defend God’s truth boldly and without compromise,” Dr. Youssef says. “We are in a battle for the future of our children and grandchildren. We fight this battle with prayer and obedience to God’s Word. We don’t believe in silencing our opponents. We believe in fighting bad ideas with better ideas. And the best ideas of all are found in God’s Word.”
In “Hope for This Present Crisis,” Dr. Youssef encourages Christians to see these times of crisis as opportunities for revival. He also provides practical action steps for Christians to take to see spiritual renewal in America:
- Christians should morally and spiritually purify themselves — turning from sin and turning to God for forgiveness and restoration. He has promised, “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 I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chron. 7:14).
- Christians should pray for our nation. Dr. Youssef urges believers to thank God for our country and ask Him to send revival. Pray for God to turn every church and home into a house of prayer; ask Him to purify His people so that the bride of Christ would be faithful and holy; and ask Him to set us apart as His followers, consecrated to His service and the preaching of His Gospel.
- Christians should persevere in sharing the Gospel with everyone around them. Whether people receive the good news with joy or reject it, never give up. Never stop witnessing.
“[The apostles] could have prayed, ‘Lord, stop these evil men! Silence them! Defeat them! Thwart their plans!’ But that was not the prayer of Peter and John,” says Dr. Youssef. “Instead, they prayed, ‘Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness’ (Acts 4:29). They prayed for boldness! . . . The time is now upon us when we must pray for boldness rather than safety. We must obey God rather than human beings.”
At a time when many are becoming discouraged by the spiritual climate in America, Dr. Youssef encourages his readers that “In any contest of ideas, whether we have the First Amendment and Supreme Court on our side, or our rights have been stripped from us and the entire world has risen against us — God’s truth will prevail.”
Dr. Michael Youssef is a pastor, bestselling author, and internationally respected Bible teacher. He was born in Egypt and lived in Lebanon and Australia before coming to the United States and fulfilling a childhood dream of becoming an American citizen. He holds degrees from Moore College in Sydney, Australia, and Fuller Theological Seminary in California, and has a Ph.D. in social anthropology from Emory University. Dr. Youssef is the host of the popular TV and radio broadcast Leading The Way with Dr. Michael Youssef, which airs more than 13,000 times every week, reaching audiences in nearly every major city in the world. He has authored more than 40 books, including his bestselling book “Saving Christianity?” and his new book “Hope for This Present Crisis,” published by FrontLine, an imprint of Charisma House.