“Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the image which I have made, good! But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?””
Daniel 3:15 NKJV
“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.””
Daniel 3:16-18 NKJV
There was a time when I made an effort to fit in. I tried to sound different, less white, I tried to sound less smart, less offensive to my peers. I had grown weary of being bullied and marginalized. I found it all very tiresome and soon gave up. I was who I was. As I resolved to be myself, I gained strength to resist the untow of the status quo. I chose to jump into the furnace of unpopularity.
Living as a bible believing Christian in today’s world has placed me in a similar predicament, in that I don’t fit into the world. My values are an offense, and the impact that my faith has on my life, is viewed as increasingly repulsive. Many of us have given into the pressure, yielding the things that have made us God’s peculiar people, and have taken on the sound and the appearance of those who do not know the Lord.
In these perilous times, the world is careening toward the endless depths of depravity, and those who follow it are going down with it. Great Christian denominations have moved lockstep with the world, and pushed aside the authority of Scripture, running after doctrines of deamons in an effort to be relvant. We are seeing the great falling away. Many are at a point when they are unwilling to listen to sound doctrine.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nigo found themselves as ones standing against the times and refusing to worship other Gods. They were facing the threat of certain death, but were steadfast. They were not willing to foresake their faithful God, for the sake of survival. Even if God did not deliver them, they were not going to bow down to an idol.
There is coming a time, perhaps here now, when standing on the principles set forth in Scripture will place the believer at odds with the prevailing values of the society. We will be like ones poised before the furnace, forced to make the decision to follow Christ or not. I search myself regularly to remind myself whose I am. As a believer, I have the advantage of being one who has not been received favorably. For those who have been well received, it is a troubling decision indeed.
I believe there will be many events coming in the next days, weeks and months, that will force those who call upon the name of the Lord to make critical decisions that will have consequences. As I look forward to those times, I am deciding now that I will follow the Lord.
Brothers and sisters, decide today to be faithful to God. Be like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, and walk according to your faith. We know that we have a home in heaven waiting for us, and the worst outcome is the best outcome. Do not fear running afoul of the culture, for it is a culture of death, devouring life and gorging itself on the blood of innocents.
Let us testify with our lives, sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with boldness. The people need to know that our God does deliver. He delivers us from hell. Let them see the glory of Jesus in us, even in the midst of the furnace.
“Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.””
Daniel 3:24-25 NKJV
Like Nebuchadnezzar, they will be astionished, and will ultimately give glory to God. Dark days are coming, we must be about shining the light of the Gospel while there is still time.
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