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 10:00 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.

Daniel 12
Living in the Lion’s Den: The People of God in Exile.
Daniel 10–12 includes the book’s final apocalyptic vision and concludes the book. 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. These three closing chapters can be summarized: 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).[1]
Summarization: If I were to summarize Daniel 11: This section traces the history of the world from the time of Daniel under the kings of Persia through the age of the Greeks up to the time of the Jewish persecutions under Antiochus Epiphanes. Then it skips ahead to a final world ruler who will be the Antichrist.[2] It’s an era of history filled with assassinations, betrayals, blackmail, and brute strength – and Israel is caught in the middle of it. Even though Israel stages a successful Maccabean Revolt around 160 BC, their freedom is short-lived when the Romans come to town. But then, Daniel jumps to the end of history, where we learn of the rise of a king who will seize the world by intrigue (11:21).
Daniel 12 - the Verse Breakdown
Rescue of the People 1
Resurrection with two phases 2-3
Revelation of events is sealed 4-9
Reward/results of the faithful 10-13
Why does God tell us about the future?
First of all, God tells us about the future to authenticate His Word. The Bible predicts the future accurately.
Secondly, God tells us about the future in order to reveal His sovereignty. He wants us to know that He is charting the course of human history.
Thirdly, I believe that God tells us about the future in order to both motivate and comfort His people. The story resolves. We survive. The underdog ends up taking it all.
Fourthly, I believe God reveals the future in order to admonish the rebel … to warn them of coming judgment.
Fifthly, I believe God shows us the future to remind us of our identity – who made us, who we belong to, what our purpose in life is, and who we want to honor with our lives. We have been entrusted with the story of the world and that shapes who we are as a people.
Now, all of these purposes have been seen remarkably in the book of Daniel. We have seen God give history before it happened. We can look back and see that it all came to pass exactly as He said it would. We have seen that God is sovereignly controlling all of history. We have seen God make great effort to comfort and also motivate His people Israel through these prophecies as well as to warn the rebel. And time-and-time again, Daniel is reminded of his true identity in a foreign land. Danny-el – God is my judge. When this book closes, he’s still called Daniel – Danny-el. They never broke him.

Are you that firm in your identity in God?

Dismissal Song

Sovereign over Us · Kathryn Scott

The Story of the Bible

The Bible Project

The Entire Gospel in Five Minutes

The Story Film

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