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
  • Ligonier, IN
    151 W Stones Hill Rd, Ligonier, IN 46767, USA
    Saturday 1:00 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

The Way of the Exile

By the Bible Project

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

PowerPoint Message Slides
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:
Dan. 6:1-28 – Welcome your humility:
Dan. 6:1-28 – Seal your legacy:
Dan. 7:1-28 - Quiet your panic:

The Passage Contents
Living in the Lion’s Den: The People of God in Exile.
In Daniel 7, Daniel has a nightmare of a scary primeval sea with roaring wind blowing over it and with monsters that come up out of the sea one-at-a-time. Daniel also sees a throne, a ruler on that throne, millions of attendants, and he sees the most ferocious monster of all judged and defeated. What is God’s plan for dealing with the monsters? Ultimately, all of history is leading and taking you to one place – the feet of Jesus. Until then, beasts are going to rise up out of the seas; it’s your job to stay faithful to the King and resist the allure and trickery of the beast.
I see a beast rising with a dangerous worldview. I also see a Savior who’s already risen. He came to earth “like a son of man,” where the powers of evil were strong. He became like us, representing us as he faced the monsters of life head-on.
People have been predicting the end for a long time. God has not told us through scripture everything about the future we’d like to know – but it does tell us everything we need to know, to get ready for it. The question remains, have we been given anything in the Bible that allows us to anticipate the end of the world? Daniel, the first wise man of Babylon would answer yes.
In Daniel 2 and Daniel 7, we’re given a progression of world empires, beginning with Babylon that would rule much of the world and ending with a revived Roman Empire near the end of this current age. The time at the end of history’s final empire is called the Tribulation, and it will be a time more horrific than one can imagine. Eruptions, tsunamis, epidemics, famine and food shortages, contaminated water sources – it all converges on planet earth - gradually, then suddenly. And I think man will create much of this mess. But it will be God who has the last word.
I See a Beast Rising
Daniel talks about the Antichrist in the final stage of human history. The Antichrist rises up and dominates the world. There are several things happening currently that appear to be setting the stage for what might could become history's final hour.
Globalization: World government is not a conspiracy theory. Many government officials everywhere want it and are pushing for it. Something really strange is going on in the realm of global governance. A beast is rising. There are real spiritual forces at work in this world that are beast like in nature.
World Economic Forum
The WEF - a famous organization made up of the world’s political, economic, and cultural elites that meets annually in Davos, Switzerland - is a conglomerate of people from around the world – from the entertainment industry, from global political arenas (US congress members), from the super wealthy. This “Great Reset” will require the deconstruction of the existing national agendas and push the “reset” button for a global agenda. The goal is to shape, reset, national agendas into one global agenda. The WEF is going to implement Economic Warfare to ensure their Agenda continues; it's not just policy and politics. The end game is control; to see everything fall apart and reshape it like they want. They push fear and pedal tragedy and a host of other things in their worldview:
Climate Change
Social Justice
Digital ID
Privacy Invasion
Social Credits
Hijacking Religion
Smart Cities & the Surveillance State

(The sermon will elaborate on each of these things.)

How Should We Respond to the Great Reset?
Refuse the Great Reset. The Great Resist. Own your things. Be self-sufficient. Drive your car. Eat meat. Marry and have a family. Homeschool your children if corporations go woke, even after you try to turn the tide. Have full privacy. Love God. Refuse to live in fear. Refuse to panic. Refuse to be told what to do. Refuse to be brainwashed. Refuse to be divided. Refuse the cashless society. Refuse the digital ID system. I DON'T want a digital ID. I DON'T want a social credit score. I DON'T want an electric car. I DON'T want a 'great reset'. I DON'T want to eat bugs. I DON'T want to be locked down. I DON'T want to rent my home. What I do want is to honor Jesus. By identifying the darkness … we can be lights and not taken in by it all. Those who support the Reset want everyday Americans to be divided, fighting over things, so we don’t see the big picture, and the much more important forces at work to radically change the world. The Great Reset is a corporate takeover of global governance that affects our food, our data and our vaccines. The Great Reset is the global elite’s plan to instate a new world order by abolishing private property while using COVID-19 to solve overpopulation and enslaving what remains of humanity with vaccines. It means giving corporations more power over society, and democratic institutions less. And that’s what makes it dangerous. This transcends politics. It’s a global, corporate, wealthy elite group that will use any mean necessary to permanently alter the world. If you call this out, or stand for God’s truth, be prepared to be labeled radical, racist, bigoted, hateful, ignorant, greedy. It’s life in the Lion’s Den.
Quiet Your Panic
So a beast is rising. Are you worried about the future? A God who can map out the future is a God who can more than handle your present. Are you ready for God’s court? The court was seated, and the books were opened. (v.10). When your life is evaluated, where will you stand? The beast is in the heart of each one of us. But a “son of man” rides a cloud to the rescue of those who are oppressed by the beastly human kingdoms. But we know of the Son of Man, who is at the same time the Head and Shepherd of the fellowship. The shepherd sees the lion coming, and the bear, and the leopard, and the Fourth Beast, and does not flee.

Dismissal Song

Paul Oakley - Ever Faithful God

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