Summary: When we are faced with the opportunity to compromise, we must stand firm.
February 15, 2009 Morning Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: When we are faced with the opportunity to compromise, we must stand firm.
Focus Passage: Daniel 3:13-31
Supplemental Passage: ’Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. (Revelation 2:10) (Church at Smyrna)
Introduction: I want to tell you the story of the forty martyrs of Sabaste. These forty soldiers, all Christians, were members of the famed Twelfth Legion of Rome’s imperial army. One day their captain told them Emperor Licinius had sent out an edict that all soldiers were to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. These Christians replied, "You can have our armor and even our bodies, but our hearts’ allegiance belongs to Jesus Christ." It was midwinter of A.D. 320, and the captain had them marched onto a nearby frozen lake. He stripped them of their clothes and said they would either die or renounce Christ. Throughout the night these men huddled together singing their song, "Forty martyrs for Christ." One by one the temperature took its toll and they fell to the ice. At last there was only one man left. He lost courage and stumbled to the shore, where he renounced Christ. The officer of the guards had been watching all this. Unknown to the others, he had secretly come to believe in Christ. When he saw this last man break rank, he walked out onto the ice, threw off his clothes, and confessed that he also was a Christian. When the sun rose the next morning, there were forty bodies of soldiers who had fought to the death for Christ.
I. Contrary Command
a. Commandment # 1 says, “"You shall have no other gods before Me. (Exodus 20:3)
b. They were faced with choosing between obedience or compromise
II. Definite Decision
a. They were given the opportunity to change their minds.
b. They said, “EVEN IF”.
III. Extraordinary Example
a. By not giving in, Neb. gave glory to God.
b. Estimiated over 70 million martyrs for Jesus; 37 million in 20th Century alone.
Hananiah, i.e., the Lord is gracious, received the name Shadrach, the origin of which is wholly unknown; Mishael, i.e., “Who is like God?”, was called Meshach, a name yet undeciphered; and Azariah, i.e., the Lord helps, had his name changed into Abednego, i.e., slave, servant of Nego or Nebo, the name of the second god of the Babylonians