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 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

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
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:
Dan. 7:1-28 - Define your reset:
Dan. 8:1-27 - Improve your serve:
Dan. 8:1-27 - Continue your faithfulness:
Dan. 9:1-23 - Own your mess:
Dan. 9:24-27 - Strengthen your (prophetic) backbone:
Dan. 10:1-21 - Spiritual warfare (is) your context:

Daniel 10
Living in the Lion’s Den: The People of God in Exile.
Do you like to know what is going on behind the scenes? Daniel 10 is a window into the unseen. There is what we see on the surface, but then there is this whole unseen arena. Daniel has been through a deportation. His life has been threatened multiple times. He’s endured the Lion’s Den, Nebuchadnezzars madness, apocalyptic nightmares, and a 490-year history prediction for his people Israel. The captivity is over for Daniel’s people, but behind the scenes, all is not well. Human lives are affected by “behind the scenes” events that resist God’s providential control. One of the most intriguing and graphic illustrations of the significance of the spirit world is found in the book of Daniel.
Spiritual Warfare
Daniel’s answer to prayer was interfered with for three weeks. It wasn’t his lack of faith that delayed things. It was interference from a demonic power. There are things happening behind the scenes in the supernatural realm; behind the scenes of physical reality. And certainly, there is a supernatural world; the realm that angels and demons dwell in. You are in a major conflict. A battle is raging for some of you that are here right now. The devil doesn’t want to let you go. But people have been praying for you. And God is at work.
Secular Worldview
People laugh at this today. If you talk about a multiverse, a plurality of universes, and possible life in outer space, all the scientists will love you. Yet if the Bible suggests that this may not be the only world or universe, and that there are other beings out there and maybe in here (our hearts), it’s declared preposterous and an outdated, archaic book.
Daniel 10 - Setting the Stage
God’s people are not in this conflict alone. No longer does Daniel see an image or visions of beasts or weeks of years. He sees a certain man. What I can tell you based on my study, is that Daniel prayed, and angels went to war. They didn’t say “Boring - change the channel” or “Let’s play our harps.” “A son of Adam is praying! Armor up. Let’s go.” Prayer is how we insert ourselves into the spiritual conflict between the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness. God wants to carry out his will through human agents who choose to love and obey Him. Some of you have been puzzled by delays in life. I think we can say that “Delays are not denials.”
Daniel 10 - Seeing the Context
Daniel 10 introduces us to the fourth and final vision of Daniel. Chapter 10 is the prologue, chapter 11 is the actual vision of conflicts for the nation of Israel as predicted, and chapter 12 is the epilogue. Daniel 10–12 includes the book’s final apocalyptic vision and concludes the book. It provides further detail on the oppression of God’s people depicted in earlier visions. The section recounts Daniel’s vision of a divine messenger (chap. 10), the messenger’s revelation of future conflict between the kings of the north and the south (chap. 11), the promise of judgment and reward (chap. 12), and the command that Daniel seal up the vision for a future time (chap. 12).
Spiritual Warfare
The predominant worldview of Biblical authors is a spiritual warfare worldview. Biblical authors have a general assumption that there are cosmic beings that can and do rage war against God, and wreak havoc on His creation, and endeavor to bring all manner of ills upon humanity. God’s good creation has been seized by hostile, evil, cosmic forces that are seeking to thwart God’s plan and will. Scripture depicts Jesus’ death and resurrection as an act of war. On the cross and through the resurrection, God was overthrowing sin and the devil (Rom. 8:3; Heb. 2:14; 1 Jn. 3:8; Col. 2:13-15). Christ “disarmed”, “drove out”, “tied up”, “condemned”, and “destroyed” the “god of this age.” War terms. The world is enemy occupied. The world looks like a warzone because it is a warzone. But this battle is not just “out there.” Good and evil are embedded in the fallen human heart. Jesus treats us as casualties of war when he dies to rescue us from our plight. All of his exorcisms and miracles have a warfare motif. But he wins over all of them and wins the whole war, striking a decisive deathblow to death when He died on a cross and rose again. He confers on you resurrection power and authority to take back enemy-held territory by seeking Him first.
So you know people that are not yet believers. Keep praying for them. The devil does not want to release that individual that you are praying for. So maybe when you pray and you don’t see your prayer answered it just means you should keep praying. Because it might come 21 days later. Or 31 days later. Or 21 years later.

You know that our country needs a spiritual awakening. Keep praying for it. Daniel 10 implies that there are demons assigned to nations.

You know that God is going to open up opportunities for you to get the gospel out. Pray for those opportunities.

What if Daniel had given out and stopped praying? He might have missed out on this great blessing. We need to keep praying.

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