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 7:00 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 7:1-28
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:
Dan. 7:1-28 – Resist your (rogue) government:
Dan. 7:1-28 – Worship your God:
Dan. 7:1-28 – Protect your space:

The Passage Contents - Part 2
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.
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.
Why is Daniel 7 so important?
It’s An Encouragement. This vision of history would be an encouragement to a Jewish person who felt forgotten in the cogs of history and wondered about the future of their nation and people.
It’s A Warning. This would be a warning to Gentile nations – “Don’t get cocky. You’re only allowed to rule for a period of time."
It’s A Reality-Check. The answer to our human dilemma is not found in the political. It’s as if Daniel invites us to incorporate the doctrine of total depravity into our politics.
It's an Exhortation. Stay faithful to the Son of Man no matter what. This is an exhortation to believers in the cultural “lion’s dens.” Stand in readiness, do not be surprised or discouraged, and remember these words: “The court shall sit in judgment.” (v 26).
The point not to be missed here is: God wanted Daniel to know that God’s ultimate victory over evil would be a long time coming (Daniel wrote in 550 BC). Daniel is seeing that God’s kingdom rule won’t arrive in a consummated way with the close of 70 years in exile. Rather, another ungodly kingdom, and two more after that, will strut upon the world’s stage before the thrones are set, and a sentence is handed down. Yet this much is certain: fire will fall from heaven. Righteousness will prevail. The Ancient of Days will kill the beasts, even as their powers are said to exist for a season. Salvation will come. Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5). Open your life to him today.

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