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Thriving in Babylon

(2)

Sermon shared by Gary Stebbins

August 2009
Summary: How do we live fearless lives as Christians? God’s heart is that we not just survive, but thrive (adapted from a series taught by Pastor Larry Osborne, North Coast Church.
Denomination: Charismatic
Audience: Believer adults
Sermon:
Thriving in Babylon

Daniel 1:1-1:21
Fearless Pt 1- Thriving in Babylon

Introduction
New Series- Fearless (adapted from a series by Pastor Larry Osborne from North Coast Church).

Many things to worry about and be afraid of today.

What is it that causes you to toss/turn at night
-economy, health, job,
-not having- family, oh my gosh I have a family

There is- appropriate place Biblically for fear/concern.

However there is a
-ROCK we can stand on,
-a spiritual stability we can enter into,
-that enables us to face fear properly.

Premise of what I want to share is this question
How do we survive and even thrive in a culture that is accelerating towards darkness?

Survive- to remain alive or continue to exist.
Thrive- to grow vigorously, to gain, to progress.

Daniels Story

Look at someone- thrived in a culture darker than ours
Dan 1:1

Judah- represents Gods people- (originally 12 tribes)-

-10 tribes-rebelled/carried away/never to return,
-2 tribes-faithful on/off-at this time-disobedient

Dan 1:2

Here is the picture- Gods people- were
-inconsistent in their obedience to God-
-there were God fearing Jews in the land, and
-in contrast- wicked country/King- attack/win,
-righteous suffer along w/unrighteous.

Hard fact- who delivered Jehoiakim over- the Lord.

Dan 1:3-4

Take- best young men into captivity- serve the King.

Challenge to young people- Daniel- 15/16 yr olds- had great knowledge- gave himself to learn.

The literature/language they had to learn had much to do with astrology/occult.
Babylon originated much- dark magic/occult.

Dan 1:5-8

The diet of Babylonians consisted of many things forbidden by the dietary laws of the OT
-they did not bleed their meat, and
-offered their food to their gods/idols.

Daniel asked-chief official-is there a way to avoid this

Dan 1:9-10

God gave Daniel favor- but- commander was afraid.
Does Daniel get angry/upset? How would we act?

Dan 1:11

Daniel appeals to- man- commander placed over him.

Dan 1:12-17

God gave them understanding in all areas.

Dan 1:18-21

God gave them grace even when they had to study what you and I would consider to be demonic.

Young men- had a solid foundation in OT scriptures- interpreted knowledge in light of their worldview.

As the story goes on- Daniel lived in Babylon- 70 yrs.
He rose to the highest positions of power in the nation and influenced the nation for the Lord.

He not only lived in a godless culture, he thrived in it.
Daniels Story- The Culture of Babylon

What would it be like to be 15-16 yrs old in Babylon?
Babylon is the personification of evil

Rev 18:1-24

The Lord is about to return, it has been a difficult time on the earth- just come through- Tribulation.

Angels shouting- it is over, evil will be destroyed.

Rev 18:1-2, 5, 10

Babylon is as evil and anti-God as a culture can be.
Nebuchadnezzar raided Gods temple/put the holy things on display in a demonic temple.

He was saying- your God- puny compared to our god.
Astrology and the occult was the government sponsored religion and teaching in- schools.
We get frustrated with our educational system, but it is not yet nearly as dark as Babylon was.

My children- BCC- class on world religions
My kids- able to interpret in light of their world view.

Daniels Dilemma he
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