Sunday, October 10, 2010
So often these days, many Christians look at world events in light of Bible prophecy. We see prophecy
that was foretold thousands of years ago being fulfilled. It is an exciting time to be a Christian, a servant of Jesus Christ.
The book of Daniel, along with many others, is filled with prophecy relating to the end times. It is important not only to study the prophecy of Daniel. It is important to understand the life of Daniel, for his story is documented for a reason.
Daniel was a well-educated young man when he was forced into captivity, made a eunuch and taken to serve King Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. Daniel 1:4 “Children in whom was found no blemish, but well-favoured, and skillful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the kings palace and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.”
We know that Daniel and his friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, were Jewish and well-aware of the laws given them by God. Daniel found himself in a predicament. He was a captive of a ruler known for brutality, extreme brutality. Yet, when presented with food unacceptable for his consumption according to his faith, young Daniel had a choice to make that could've meant his life.
How often are we faced with problems in our daily lives that might cause us to compromise our faith? It seems as if it would be easier to just “go along” than to choose God's will. Daniel and his friends were dedicated to God, so they knew the right decision to make and they didn't feel they had a choice. They chose God.
We are told in Daniel 1:8 “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore, he requested that he might not defile himself.” After presuading the prince of eunuchs, Daniel and his friends prevailed and they ate beans and water. Daniel stood firm and demonstrated great dedication to God and to keeping His commandments.
We see young people today who are over-indulged by parents, demanding, spoiled and selfish. Society, in general, is self-centered. In Daniel, we see an example of a young person who didn't give in to the temptation before him. For this, God gave Daniel and his friends, “knowledge and skill in learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” Dan 1:17
Because Daniel was obedient, he put himself in a position to be used by God. His visions and dreams are recorded as a record of prophecy that covered many future events. We look to Daniel frequently because not only was the Apostle John given a glimpse of the future – even our future, but Daniel saw as well.
God's Word is true. We can be sure He will, and is bringing all promises and prophecies to pass. God wants His children to be obedient. When we are, we are placing ourselves in a position to be used by Him, according to His plan for our lives and for His kingdom. What an honor!
There are numerous examples of obedience in the Bible. They are inspiring and teach us not only of God's love but of how we can please Him. The words that God inspired, the Bible, are more relevant today than ever in history.
Recently, I was told that one shouldn't take the Bible literally because it is so old, those rules don't apply and things have changed. This was stunning to hear. And how untrue! Where could someone get such an idea? Satan!
Another example of deception is that Christians shouldn't read the Old Testament because they either believe or are told that it doesn't apply to them! Nothing could be further from the truth. Those words are put there for a reason, for many reasons. God's Word is a wonderous miracle. There are no inaccuracies in it, no conflicts from book to book (as some claim). It is all wrapped up beautifully with the Book of Revelation, which is all about Israel and how God will bring His chosen people back to Himself.
God is giving humanity time to serve Him, to get to know Him and soon that chance will be no more. The “time of Jacob's trouble” as was revealed to Daniel is upon us. God wants none to perish. I am reminded of how Abraham asked, “Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?” Genesis 18:23 speaking of God destroying Sodom. Abraham questions God and at last the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.” Genesis 18:26
We know that Abraham fervently asked of God not to destroy the city if just one righteous one was found. In the end, Lot and his family were the only ones and God did destroy that city because it was so evil.
Many people today say “their God” won't send them to hell. They say, “he is a God of love so he won't do it.” They are correct. God doesn't do it, their choices will determine where they will spend eternity. Just as the wicked before the flood and just as Abraham fervently looked for just one righteous person, God is looking. Those who reject Him will reap the fruit of their choice.
When the Body of Christ, those who believe in Him, live for Him and follow Him, are taken away from this world, nothing and no one will stand in the way of the unbridled evil that is soon and sure to overcome this earth. As Jesus said, “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also be the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:37-39
Choose carefully where you will spend eternity. Your Heavenly Father is calling one last time.
When countless people suddenly disappear, with no trace or warning, don't believe whatever rhetoric is used to explain this occurrence away. Know that the Lord Himself summoned them to be with Him during the seven-year tribulation. Know this as well: the world (humanity and the planet) as you once knew it will cease to be. Evil-pure evil will rule. At the end, those who rejected God and His son will face eternity in hell. It is a real place.
Those who scoffed and rejected Jesus shall go away into everlasting punishment. But the righteous into eternal life.