Summary: A sermon on the three Hebrew children of Daniel; their faith, their courage, and their victory.
The “If” of Fireproof Faith. Dan. 3:16-18
Intro.: Tell story: The test 1-12
1. The statue: 1-7
2. The refusal to worship
3. The accusation: 8-12
The confrontation: 13-23
1. The King’s ultimatum: 13-15
2. The statement of faith: 17
3. The total commitment: 18
4. The price of commitment: 19-23
The victory: 24-30
1. The fourth man: 24, 25
2. Out of the fire: 26
3. Fire proof faith: 27
I. Their faith:
A. The quality of it
1. ILUS.: At one point in my early ministry, I was in the hospital emergency room with a Church family when a young man was brought in after a train wreck. His family refused to allow transfusions because or religious belief. He died while a court order was being pursued. They had trusted God to save him.
2. Trust in a favorable outcome isn’t Biblical faith.
3. Faith in God is not equal to trusting in faith. I.e.: “If you just have enough faith . . .”
4. Biblical faith is simple trust in God.
B. The source of it:
1. It comes from the Word. Rom. 10:17
2. They knew what Moses wrote: Ex. 20:4 You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God,
3. And what Joshua said: Joshua 23:7, 8: “Do not associate with these nations that remain among you; do not invoke the names of their gods or swear by them. You must not serve them or bow down to them. But you are to hold fast to the LORD your God,
4. They had long experience in the truth of God’s word.
C. The peril of it:
1. Sometimes we must stand for the truth in spite of danger.
2. ILLUS: underground Christians in China number 75 million. 100,000 battle hardened missionaries are taught how to witness to their executioners.
3. We fear getting our feelings hurt or being embarrassed.
4. How many people do you know who have quit the Church because someone hurt their feelings?
5. How does that compare to the threat of execution?
II. Their courage:
A. Uncompromising: though they could have justified compromise.
1. “What good will it do to get ourselves killed?”
2. “This is a foreign land. We should adapt to the culture.”
3. “We can just pretend to worship the idol.”
4. “We’ll worship just one time, then ask for forgiveness.”
5. “The king has been good to us. Let’s humor him.”
6. “Everyone is doing it.” the oldest rationalization.
1. There is no indication they even stopped to think about it.
2. Didn’t temporize with “we’ll pray about it.”
3. They had already thought it through and made their commitment to God. The issue was settled.
1. They could very well have kept quiet.
2. If they had just walked away they could have secretly done what they wanted.
3. But, their witness for the Lord would be compromised.
III. Their victory:
A. It came at a price:
1. It was complete surrender to God. They were willing to die for Him.
2. We may never be asked to face death, but we will be tempted to compromise our faith.
3. Victory comes when we are willing to surrender our will to God.
B. It was complete:
1. Notice the description of how they came out of the fire: v. 27
2. They also enjoyed fellowship with the Lord.
3. The victory Jesus gives is total and complete
C. It came from God Himself:
1. Only God could affect this.
2. Dan. 3:15 “Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?" Now the king’s question is answered.
3. God is able to deliver us from every enemy. He can do more than we imagine. Eph 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,”
CONC.: How fire proof is your faith? I doubt any of us will be asked to lay down our lives for God as these three youth were. Yet, we will all face our own fires in one way or another we are called on constantly to live out the life of Christ in front of others and be identified as a follower of Christ.
We will find ourselves in situations where it will be very difficult to live for Jesus without compromise. It is in just such times our faith in Jesus is really evident to others.
If we are willing to say, “No matter what, I will worship God and serve Him,” God will give us the victory.