Summary: THIS MESSAGE EXAMINES FIVE ASPECTS OF SHADRACH, MESHACH AND ABEDNEGO’S FAITH WHEN THEY WERE CONFRONTED WITH THE BURNING FIERY FURNACE
BUT IF NOT....
FIVE FACTS ABOUT FAITH
II. AN ENCOUNTER WITH FAITH
A. (15) Given a second chance - “If you be ready...”
B. “Who is that God that shall deliver out of my hands?”
C. (16) No second chance needed - no doubt, no wavering, no uncertainty - “We need not answer you...”
D. By this time many people would have found a just reason to bow to the image
-“God, you know its not really in my heart to do this, it’s only because I have to.”
-“God knows I have no choice”
E. This entire episode is a demonstration of faith. There are five facts about faith we find in these verses
FACT #1 (16 - WE ARE NOT CAREFUL TO ANSWER THEE...)
-We need a faith that cannot be threatened or intimidated by the world, that does not give in to pressure
A. The king was trying to scare them, intimidate them. They let the king know he didn’t shake their peach tree
B. This is the same spirit of fear and intimidation Goliath tried to put on David; Sennacherib (king of Assyria) tried to put on Hezekiah
C. God has given us victory over this spirit - “God has not given us spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind”
D. Our young people need a faith that does not bow to the pressures around them, adults need a faith that will cause them to stand for Jesus on the job, on the street, in public
FACT #2 (17 - IF IT BE SO...) - We need a faith that can stand up in the face of reality
A. You have the power to cast us into the furnace
B. Our faith needs to face the reality that we may go through the fire.
-Many preachers today want to convince us that nothing bad will ever happen to us, the enemy can’t touch us, everything we have is divinely protected. Many people walk around with their head in the sand believing nothing bad will ever come and when it does their faith isn’t strong enough to overcome it.
C. Satan was able to afflict Job, these men were cast into the fire and our faith must face reality - bad things will come our way
D. It takes a stronger faith to go through the fire and stand strong for God than it does to escape it altogether
-many people today have it turned around the other way
FACT #3 (17 - GOD IS ABLE TO DELIVER US FROM THE BURNING FIERY FURNACE) - We need a faith that is always subject to the divine will of God
A. Notice the use of the word ABLE - it means “He has the power, He can do it”
B. People don’t like to use the words “God CAN” because it sounds doubtful, unbelieving, weak
C. Our lives are always subject to the divine will of God -Illustration
- two pastors in a third world country are threatened with their lives - one is put to death, the other escapes with his life. Why?
-two Christian people are in two separate car accidents - one is killed, the other lives. Why?
-two Christian people are diagnosed with cancer - one dies, the other survives. Why?
-the outcome of every thing in our life is subject to the divine will of God
D. These three men knew God was able and we need a faith that knows God is able....but also realizes that our life is subject to God’s divine will and we leave it all in His hands ........... That takes faith.......
-this is not popular preaching
FACT #4 (17 - AND WILL DELIVER US OUT OF YOUR HAND...) - We need a faith that knows God will deliver us from the hand of the enemy
A. There is a difference between the furnace and the hand of the enemy
B. They first said “GOD IS ABLE” and then said “GOD WILL”
C. They had resolved that if God’s will took them into the furnace, He could deliver them but regardless of whether they survived the furnace or not, they would be delivered from the king
D. There is always a faith that gives sweet assurance that regardless of whether God delivers us from life’s fiery furnace we will be delivered from the hand of satan
-Phil 1:20-21 ...Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.... For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
-we are winners either way, whether we live or die
E. Regardless of what life brings our way we are always victorious over satan, more than conquerors.
FACT #5 (18 - BUT IF NOT....WE WILL NOT SERVE THY GODS) - We need a faith that will be committed to God regardless of the outcome