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 4:00 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/5mxlovck695pgwm/sermon%2012%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
Today's Text: Daniel 6:1-28
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
Dan. 5:1-31 - Honor your God
Dan. 6:1-28 – Remember your home:
Dan. 6:1-28 – Show your loyalty:
Dan. 6:1-28 – Embrace your leadership:
Dan. 6:1-28 – Check your attitude:
Dan. 6:1-28 – Maintain your integrity:
Dan. 6:1-28 - Establish your consistency:

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The Passage Contents
Living in the Lion’s Den: The People of God in Exile.
In the dramatic narrative sections of Daniel (basically, chapters 1-6), we have about 9 dramatic days out of Daniel’s 80–90-year life. He was ready for these punctuated moments. In the book of Daniel, you have empires rising and falling, kings coming and going, but the one stable thing in the midst of all this change is Daniel himself. When a crisis showed up, Daniel was already prepared to meet it. The decision to risk the lion’s den was made years before Daniel 6. Today, we again look at one of the punctuated moments – one of these 9 dramatic days. In this chapter we spend a day in the life of the prime minister of the Medo-Persian Empire—Daniel the loyal and faithful leader.

***
Now, it would seem that this story took place in one day. That in the morning they brought the decree for the king to sign it, at noon they were already at Daniel's house watching him pray because that was the time that he did it (based on all the previous days of observation of this routine), and then by afternoon they had his death sentence signed, and that he was put in the lions' den by evening. No long legal process.

Warren Wiersbe outlines this chapter beautifully…
I. A Dawn of Devotion
II. A Morning of Deception (6:1–9)
III. A Noon of Decision (6:10–13)
IV. A Sundown of Disappointment (6:14–17)
V. A Night of Deliverance (6:18–23)
VI. A Morning of Destruction (6:24–28)

***
Embrace Your Leadership
Several Key WORDS that characterize wisdom and leadership lift off the pages of this punctuated day in Daniel 6. Daniel was a godly and capable leader because his first allegiance was to his heavenly King. He wasn’t primarily serving human rulers, but rather serving God (see Col 3:23). He had experience, wisdom, a sense of history, leadership, a good reputation, ability, a servant’s attitude, and revelation from the God of heaven. The people who plotted against Daniel are manipulative and jealous, care nothing for the truth, invade Daniel’s privacy, and partner with others to betray a good man.

***
What are these key characteristics in Daniel's leadership?
LOYALTY
ATTITUDE
INTEGRITY
CONSISTENCY
HUMILITY
LEGACY

***
Jesus in Daniel 6
Who does Daniel point to? I know somebody also who was thrown into a den. I know somebody who also had the stone rolled over him after betrayal and a death sentence was pronounced over his life. There is somebody else, who was also thrown into a tomb and sealed over with a rock and also came out. As Daniel was framed on a false charge by the Persian administrators, so Jesus was framed by the jealous religious leaders of his day. Daniel points to Someone we all need. Why don't you come to the Lord Jesus Christ today and find new, resurrection life amidst the lion's den of this world?



Dismissal Song

Jesus You Alone Lyric Video - Highlands Worship

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymMa0lN-QwQ

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