If College students in America today represent the future of our nation, we are in great trouble! Perhaps you have seen one of those “man on the street” interviews on a college campus where students are unable to provide even the most basic details of American History, the political process or current national leaders. It is simultaneously humorous and depressing to hear twenty-somethings unable to state the year of America's independence or one of the Founding Fathers. America’s future looks bleak when college students have such a poor educational background. The economic, political and moral crisis of our day is only bound to get worse.
America is reaping the full blossom of the destruction of morals that began in the 1960's.
We have turned away from God. A small minority of secularists in Academics, Entertainment and Politics have worked with great success to eliminate all public reference to God and portray Christians as ignorant, unscientific and intolerable.
Clayton NJ, is a neighboring town is in the cross-hairs of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. The town’s seal includes the phrase, “A good place to live and play, work and pray” and a picture of a Church with a cross on it. Clayton Mayor Tom Bianco says the seal represents Clayton’s history, and that the town does not endorse any religion, and that the seal will stay.
It is the atheists who are intolerant and aggressively indoctrinating people. Not the Christians. Not the Church.
All of this effort to de-Christianize America has left us with an increasingly pagan culture, and increasingly wicked leaders.
The consequences are already being felt.
lost our identity
lost our values
re-defined the family
re-ignited racial tension
burdened future generations with staggering debt
we have replaced education with social indoctrination.
AND the CONSEQUENCES are being felt by everyone - Christian and non-Christian alike. God warns us of the consequences of living in a nation that turns from God.
Proverbs 29:2 "When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan."
Ecclesiastes 10:5 "There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, as it were an error proceeding from the ruler:"
Q: What can I do when the consequences of evil threaten me and my family?
There is an example! DANIEL
In Daniel 2, wicked king Nebuchadnezzer issued an Executive Order to kill all of the wise men in Babylon.
The Hebrew and Babylonian Wise Men would all suffer!
Daniel 2:1–13 (ESV)
1 In the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his spirit was troubled, and his sleep left him. 2 Then the king commanded that the magicians, the enchanters, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans be summoned to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king. 3 And the king said to them, “I had a dream, and my spirit is troubled to know the dream.” 4 Then the Chaldeans said to the king in Aramaic, “O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.” 5 The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, “The word from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you shall be torn limb from limb, and your houses shall be laid in ruins. 6 But if you show the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor. Therefore show me the dream and its interpretation.” 7 They answered a second time and said, “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show its interpretation.” 8 The king answered and said, “I know with certainty that you are trying to gain time, because you see that the word from me is firm— 9 if you do not make the dream known to me, there is but one sentence for you. You have agreed to speak lying and corrupt words before me till the times change. Therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can show me its interpretation.” 10 The Chaldeans answered the king and said, “There is not a man on earth who can meet the king’s demand, for no great and powerful king has asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or Chaldean. 11 The thing that the king asks is difficult, and no one can show it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.”
12 Because of this the king was angry and very furious, and commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be destroyed. 13 So the decree went out, and the wise men were about to be killed; and they sought Daniel and his companions, to kill them.
Daniel’s response provides an example for us to follow.
GOD HAS AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR A CHAOTIC WORLD!
Daniel asks for an appointment with the King
Daniel 2:16 (ESV) And Daniel went in and requested the king to appoint him a time, that he might show the interpretation to the king.
Daniel did not yet know the dream!
Perhaps Daniel remembered JOSEPH, interpreting Pharoah’s dream!
But this was even more difficult, because the dream was not revealed!
Daniel’s immediate response seeking an appointment with the King is a reminder to us that GOD SPEAKS through US!
Daniel knew that God would have a message for King Nebuchadnezzar.
God uses his people to deliver his message. Amos 3:7 (ESV) 7 “For the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.”
In the Church age, every believer speaks as a prophet for God, revealing God’s message to the world. Colossians 1:25-27, ESV “I became a minister according to othe stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the Word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are rthe riches of the glory of pthis mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
2 Corinthians 4:7 "But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us."
God’s Message was for Nebuchadnezzar AND the entire world.
Daniel 2:4 "Then the Chaldeans said to the king in Aramaic, “O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.”"
Daniel 2:4-7: 28 was written in Aramaic, the trade language of the world at that time. Daniel’s message concerning Babylon and the nations of the world was for everyone to hear. God was using Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar to announce the future path of human government and world history.
But HOW did Daniel go about delivering this message? Daniel’s actions provide some excellent guidelines for Christians today, delivering God’s message in a secular world.
FIRST, Confident Messenger are Wise and Tactful
Daniel 2:14 "When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact."
The ESV translates these words “prudence and discretion”
Wisdom is the trait of judging wisely and objectively
Tact is knowing how to act in a particular situation
Daniel knew and understood his audience
We must make the gospel understandable to this generation.
Imagine a missionary interview in which following dialogue takes place:
Missionary Committee: Are you going to learn the customs of the people?
Missionary Candidate: NO
Missionary Committee: Are you going to eat what they eat?
Missionary Committee: Are you going to take time to understand their customs:
Missionary Candidate: NO Just give me some money and I will go and be a missionary
That missionary would not be very successful, and would not likely find any church willing to partner with him or her. But that is the same response that many Christians have when it comes to evangelism in our own communities! Our culture is a mission field! The people in post-Christian America think, act and live very differently than Christians who have been in the church for decades. We must learn how they think and connect with them im a meaningful way if we desire to reach them with the gospel.
We must engage our culture
We must find points of interest
Illus As you drive through an area with mountains, you will often see that a mountain was moved to make room for the road. Along the sheared face of jagged rock you will notice drill holes, where dynamite was placed to blast away the rock.
Think of evangelism in our culture in the same way. Engaging the culture is the bore hole. It requires skill and precision to know exactly how to connect with the culture. We must go where people are, we must speak in words that they understand and not Christian jargon. We must relate to them in a meaningful way. It takes time and being needlessly offensive will only scare people away and make them more apprehensive to the next gospel witness. But, eventually there comes a time in a well developed relationship when we can share the gospel. That it the dynamite! It has the power to move a person, but only if we have gained an audience to listen to the message.
If you bore the hole, but do not insert and blast the dynamite, you won’t move the rock. We must do more than JUST be relevant and understanding
If you don’t bore the hole, but instead blast the dynamite on the face of the rock, you get an impressive explosion but have not moved the rock. That is like the person who blasts away with their rhetoric without winning a hearing with the audience.
Jesus gave us this principle when he said, in Matthew 10:16 "“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves."
Paul adds to Christ’s admonition. 2 Corinthians 1:12 "For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you."
Second, Confident Messengers Trust God when the situation seems hopeless
In Chapter 1, Daniel and his friends are given three blessings by God
HEALTH Daniel 1:15 "At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king’s food."
INFLUENCE. Daniel 1:20 "And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom."
WISDOM. Daniel 1:20
NOW, ALL THREE are in jeapordy!
Some of us might be wondering, God - What are you doing?
But Daniel TRUSTED GOD
He asks to see the King even before he knows the dream!
THIRD, Confident Messengers win their battles in prayer. Daniel 2:17–18 "Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, " "and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon."
FOURTH: Confident Messengers know that We’re Just the Messengers! It is GOD’S MESSAGE
Daniel 2:20–23 "Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. " "He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; " "he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him. " "To you, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for you have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of you, for you have made known to us the king’s matter.”"
Daniel 2:27–28 "Daniel answered the king and said, “No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, " "but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in bed are these:"
April 10, 2016. The US Navy released stunning new photos Saturday that show the three castaways who were rescued from a deserted Pacific island after they used palm fronds to spell the word “help” in the sand.
The mariners were marooned for three days on the uninhabited of Fanadik. A Navy P-8A aircrew spotted the missing mariners Thursday waving lifejackets in front of their makeshift sign.
Our World is LOST and needs rescued! We have the message to deliver them!