Summary: To stand up for Jesus simply means that you will not be ashamed of him as your saviour and Lord.
STANDING FOR JESUS
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Conform= to take on the pattern, through pressure ( to be pressed into the mold)
Like the 3 hebrew children we live in a foreign land, a hostile environment.
God never intended that we would fit in or blend in. But that we would stand up and stand out.
As Christians we are of an entirely different nature than the world.
The worlds nature is darkness, The Christians nature is light.
Eph 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
Eph 5:13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
Darkness cannot over power the light, The only way darkness can prevail is for the light to refuse to shine.
Therefore satans strategy is to convince you to put out your light,
How does he do this? Peer pressure To make you feel like what you are standing for is foolish, and that you are all alone.
They separated Daniel and the 3 Hebrew children from their own land, houses and families.
Then they changed their names:
Why? Because their names tied them to their spiritual heritage
Their names defined their destiny in God.
Hananiah= God has favoured (changed to- (shadrach)
Mishael= Who is what God is (changed to- (meschach)
Azariah= Jehovah has helped (changed to- (abednego)
Satan hates our spiritual heritage, satan hates the Holy Ghost, There is nothing that grieves the devil more than to see our young people, filled with the Holy Ghost shouting and dancing and speaking in other tongues.
#1 There was pressure from their enemies. (but Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the kings meat).
This is the easiest battle to win, It’s natural to fight against our enemies.
#2 There was pressure from their friends.
This is where our commitment is really tested, There were many of those who were carried into captivity who were of daniels brethren (heritage) yet they were content and happy to surrender their names and their identities in order to fit in and be accepted.
#3 There is the pressure from within
This is the most dangerous and destructive of all. ( all the other pressure was from without) but this is internal.
This is when like nebuchadnezzar we set ourselves up an image of God, (That is we create in our minds the kind of God we choose.
We know worshippers of the image by words like these.
Everybody’s doin it.
I don’t see anything wrong with it.
It’s nobody’s business but mine.
I don’t feel any conviction over it.
It’s not hurting anybody
What is happening here? We are bowing to the God of our own making,
This is the greatest danger of all.
When satan failed to defile the 3 hebrews through outside pressure his next move was to get them worship the image of man.
But even to this the 3 hebrews refused to bow.
The music played- The music today is playing, it’s seductive and destructive, it leads to self will and rebellion, and to perversity and violence.
The kings wrath was kindled – For anyone who dares to stand for God, there will be criticism.
When you turn down that cigarette, that beer, that joint. When you turn down that invitation to a party.
When you purpose in your heart that you will keep yourself pure, and maintain your virginity. When you refuse to listen to and laugh at dirty jokes.
When you won’t look at the filthy pictures that others are looking at.
There will be criticism
But you never go through the furnace alone.
Didn’t we throw 3 men into the fire? But I see four men loose, walking around, and the fourth is like unto the son of God.
Young people you are not alone, Jesus said I will never leave you nor forsake you,
If you will stand up for Jesus, he will stand up for you.
But it is also true that Jesus said:
Mk 8:38 If you are ashamed of me and my words, in this wicked and adulterous generation then I will also be ashamed of you when I stand before my father and all the holy angels.