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Themes from Daniel

July 3, 2016 | Pastor Mark DuPré | From the series: Swimming Against the Current

The Old Testament prophet Daniel was taken to Babylon at an early age. His experience in a foreign and ungodly culture is similar to what we are beginning to experience as Christians in America. This sermon shows some of the lies that have infected our culture, and what the Scriptures say about those issues.

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Sermon Notes

The great battles include Gettysburg, Waterloo, and Battle of Tours. One predicted by Habakkuk was the 605 BC Battle of Carchemish, when the Babylonians defeated the Egyptians. What happened after that was important for us: the Babylonians then went south and conquered Jerusalem. The conquerors brought temple treasures back to Babylon, as well as the best of the young men. That included Daniel and his three friends.

Imagine the culture shock, pulled from their homes and thrown into the care of an influential administrator working for the king. The Babylonians worshiped many gods, and it was a culture filled with magic, sorcery and astrology.

We don’t live in Babylon – yet. But we are living in what is more commonly called a post-Christian society. We started with such a strong Christian background that our fall is felt more by Americans than those in other countries.

Ministers used to be respected and looked to as examples. Now they are generally portrayed as hypocrites and predators on TV and in films. Christians in general are portrayed as stupid, naive and prejudiced. People are moving from a respect for our beliefs and behaviors to a feeling that we are even dangerous and hurtful.

We are like Daniel in Babylon, and need to understand the culture we are in, and ask how deeply false ideas have taken root in our hearts and minds. Then we need to get rid of them and replace them with truth in the light of God and His word.

We need to go beyond the more obvious disagreements about sex, marriage, abortion, etc., and talk about the beliefs underneath those disagreements.

Here are some of the lies now imbedded in our society:

  1. There are no absolutes! (Saying there are no absolutes is an absolute, which only proves the logic of the fact that there are absolutes.)
    • This in one simple move gets rid of the idea of God, and accountability, and sin. If there are no absolutes, then there are a few other logical assumptions:
  1. There is no truth. There is just perspective, and truth is whatever we think it is. Truth is individual, so there is such a thing as “my truth” and “your truth.”
    • Truth: Truth is found outside of us, is bigger than us, and demands to be found and acknowledged, and when we finally see Who is behind it, bowed to. It’s not within us.
  1. God is not the center of everything; the individual is. (“Man is the measure of all things” quote.)
  1. People are basically good.

Truth: Man is made in the image of God – thereby man has dignity

Yet, also, we’ve all sinned. We can never totally erase the image of God in us, but we all have sinful tendencies.

Truth: God made us male and female – His decision. Now we are calling it a choice. Society is trying to remove all sense of God’s authority in our lives. He made this call. Even if you say nature did it, it goes against reality to think we can change our gender.

Truth: Marriage is between a man and a woman. Gen. 1:27 and Matt. 19:4-5. When Jesus repeats a principle from the Old Testament, that settles the issue.

Bottom line: There is truth. There are absolutes. Jesus is the beginning and the end of everything. The OT and NT agree, and Jesus confirmed it – marriage is from God, and it is between one man and one woman. Everyone has been created in the image of God, and carries that dignity. Everyone is also a sinner, in need of forgiveness, which weighs us down here and sends us to hell at death if we don’t accept Jesus’ sacrifice.

We need to remind ourselves that we don’t really belong here. We are strangers in a strange land, just by virtue of being a Christian. Our real home is in heaven. Our primary identity is as a son or daughter of the King!

For now, the question is, do we know Jesus, and do we believe what He says in His word?

Are you a member of society, or a citizen of the Kingdom of God? In Europe, and increasingly over here, the highest group identification some people have is being a member of society. They don’t understand anything larger.

We are citizens of heaven who happen to live in society.

Let’s settle within ourselves that we are His people on this earth, and cling to Him and all He reveals in His word.