Stones Hill Community Church
Living in the Lion's Den: The People of God in Exile
What is happening to our world? You and I are witnessing at warp speed the devolution of a nation. If things move toward a “post-Christian nation” and some are now arguing that this is the case, then how should the people of God operate when relegated to the cultural margins? What is the way forward in a hostile world? Welcome to the Old Testament book of Daniel!
Locations & Times
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  • Ligonier, IN
    151 W Stones Hill Rd, Ligonier, IN 46767, USA
    Saturday 2:00 PM
We welcome you to Stone's Hill today!

A typical Stone's Hill service has:

* music (so feel free to sing out);

* some announcements (things that are upcoming that you can be a part of);

* a message out of the Bible (God speaks to us through his Word);

* and an opportunity for you to respond to the message (either immediately in the case of a decision that needs to be made OR in the future as you live out the message in your daily life.)

So relax and enjoy your morning! We're so glad you are here!

Overview of the Book of Daniel

By the Bible Project

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cSC9uobtPM

The Way of the Exile

By the Bible Project

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzWpa0gcPyo

Living in the Lion's Den: The People of God in Exile

PowerPoint Message Slides

https://www.dropbox.com/s/c08k6dsofh773cl/sermon%209%20-%20daniel_series.pptx?dl=0
Living in the Lion's Den: The People of God in Exile
Post-Christian Culture
It has been said that our world is becoming a “post-Christian” world. Post means after. Christian means an era of time when Christ and His teachings were a dominant influence in society. Culture means the way we think and value things. This means that, over the course of recent generations, there has been an observed decline in the Church’s influence in society. In a post-Christian culture, the dominant worldview is no longer founded on Christian principles — or at least we can no longer assume that they will be.

As the church enters this time of exile from the center to the margins, we must have a vision through the unique challenges that are presented. As a Christian, in a hostile environment where the dominant values run counter to one’s own, you now experience exile while you REMAIN in your homeland. Just demonstrate that you are unwilling to conform to the tyranny of majority opinion, and you’ll know exile while still at home – forced removals, cancellations, disenfranchisement, job losses.

The Way Forward
What is the way forward in a hostile world? Discerning the meaning of the present moment requires sobriety for no one knows how hostile it may become. Eventually, a post-Christian society moves from assuming Christian values to ignoring them, to resenting them, to repressing them, and eventually to persecuting them. What was once Christian and is now post-Christian will eventually become anti-Christian, led by those who actively destroy it.

Strangers, Aliens, Exiles
God’s people do their best work when in exile. We always have. Exile infuses communities with new creative energy that rises to meet the challenges of new cultural circumstances. The way forward is to look around and understand our context, to look back and gather the resources the Word affords to us, and then to look forward with a clear vision of how we can function as the Lord’s people in a time of contemporary exile.

That’s why we have transitioned to “A Biblical Worldview Church.” It’s a vision for how to do life in cultural exile and it empowers you to come together with a game plan that will prepare your family to live in this world rather than just integrate with dominant culture. It’s the local church that can form a vibrant counterculture.

Exiles on Assignment
How do we build biblical worldview communities within our condition of internal exile, and under increasingly hostile conditions? Can we live with joy and confidence though marginalized? If you’re caught between a host empire you cannot embrace and a church that has no worldview mission, where do you go?

For much of recent history individuals and Biblical Worldview institutions could plan, execute, and flourish with their visions of a better world. That may no longer be the case in a few years. But don’t despair. For in the midst of the chaos of a crisis comes opportunity. The history of the church tells us that crisis always precedes renewal, and the framework of renewal offers us new ways forward. A Non-Anxious Presence shows how that renewal happens and offers churches and leaders strategic ways to awaken the Church and see our culture changed for Christ.

The question is: How? How can we engage a post-Christian society? How can we influence a culture which is desperate to press you into it’s mold? This is not to say that God isn’t at work in dominant culture. He has his “Daniel’s” strategically placed to do His bidding in the “Babylon’s” of the world. There are others who are being prepared to become “Esthers” (in Persia) and “Jonahs” (in Ninevah) and “Josephs” (in Egypt) – those who bring a biblical worldview to the culture, but within the culture itself.

So our primary job is not to make everything “Christian” in culture. Our job is to live out a Biblical Worldview wherever we find ourselves and bear witness to the truth. But, there’s no room for neutrality. The corrosive soil and polluted air of a secular worldview will have to be breathed by your children. You will face marginalization for living out a Biblical Worldview.
























Living in the Lion’s Den: The People of God in Exile
Daniel 4:1-37
Daniel gives these incredible insights as to how we can live in a post-Christian culture, a secular age that wants to push a Biblical Worldview to the margins, if not completely out of the picture. So far, our sermons in the Daniel series can be succinctly stated:

Jer. 29:1-14 – Live your life
Dan. 1:1-7 – Stamp your child
Dan. 1:1-7 – Draw your line
Dan. 1:8-21 – Stand your ground
Dan. 1:8-21 – Love your people
Dan. 2:1-23 - Face your crisis
Dan. 2:24-49 - Know your prophecy
Dan. 3:1-30 - Trust your Savior
Dan. 3:1-30 - Understand your culture
Dan. 4:1-37 – Guard your mind
Dan. 4:1-37 – Surrender your pride

******************
The Passage Contents
Living in the Lion’s Den: The People of God in Exile.
Daniel 4 begins and ends with Nebuchadnezzar praising the Lord, Daniel’s God (4:1–3, 34–37). In the intervening verses Nebuchadnezzar related a personal experience through which he came to a greater realization of God’s sovereignty and learned the dangers of pride. This story is also a reminder that the further a government drifts from God and seeks to become its own god, the more it sets itself up for heavenly political action. It got so bad for the king that he lost his sanity and authority. Unfortunately, Daniel's warning becomes reality.

***
Daniel speaking at the top of our text today says, “God is coming. He is coming to humble you Nebuchadnezzar.” Daniel says, “Therefore, be pleased to listen to me. Change. Turn. Repent. Humble yourself, and maybe this won’t happen to you. To stay with the tree analogy, God is coming to cut you down to size. God is coming to show you that you are not a master of the universe but that you are weak and you are lowly and you live only by his will. The king mentally broke-down.

God is also coming to show you in this text that He picks up those who are fallen if they will allow Him. God addresses the emptiness inside the human heart. Amazingly, God pursued the Babylonian king through his mental illness. Daniel 4:34 At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. He looked to God and that’s when the healing came.

***
Application
Out of our right mind, the focus in life is "me, me, me, me…" In our right minds, it’s "God, God, God, God…" When I know who God is, then I now know me because I’m made in His image. Looking to God for your identity, you can then give attention to your spiritual, mental, physical, and relational health.

***
Closing
It took a vision of four kingdoms, three Jewish boys and a furnace, a preincarnate appearance of Christ and living like an animal for Nebuchadnezzar to surrender his pride and mental illness and turn to God. What might it take for you? Why don't you come to Christ today?




Dismissal Song

Out of Hiding (Official Lyric Video) - Steffany Gretzinger & Amanda Cook | The Undoing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFkDqQtfs0w

The Story of the Bible

The Bible Project

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_CGP-12AE0&t=29s

The Entire Gospel in Five Minutes

The Story Film

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0gfIvN9zv4

Online Sermon Archive

Stones Hill Community Church Sermons

https://www.youtube.com/c/StonesHillCommunityChurch/videos

Ask a Question

A place to ask Pastor Joey questions anonymously.

https://shccpastor.tumblr.com/ask