Faithlife Sermons

The Fiery Furnace: When Worldviews Collide

Notes
Transcript
Handout
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Intro

Getting New Glasses.
The lenses we see through determine the steps that we take.

Tell the story

Back Story

Around 605 BC King Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem and took over Judah.
Around 605 BC King Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem and took over Judah.
Daniel Taken to Babylon
After taking over he began to bring groups of people from Judah into Babylon, including young men.
1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.
The young men would be educated for 3 years, given the “king’s diet” and were given new, Babylonian names.
We find out in chapter 1 that Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were of those chosen.

Verses 1-7

Nebuchadnezzar commissions the building of a 90 foot golden statue for everyone to worship
He calls together everyone important in Babylon
He commands all the people that at the sound of any type of music they should “fall down and worship” the golden statue.
If they choose not to they would face death in the fiery furnace.

Verses 8ff

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are turned in by some jealous folks.
Once confronted by the King, they refuse to bow to the idol
The King has them thrown into the fire.
But the King looks in and see that the three men are walking with a forth and none are injured
Seeing the power of God to save the men, the King declares that everyone should worship the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

7 Worldview Questions

(James Sire “The Universe Next Door”)
Every worldview must answer

1) What is really real?

a) To this we might answer: God, or the gods, or the material universe.
b) If we were to know all there is to know who or what would we need to know about?

2) What is the nature of the world around us?

a) Here our answers point to whether we see the world as created or autonomous, as chaotic or orderly, as matter or spirit.
b) What forces created the world we live in and how does it exist?
i. Is the universe just a swirling mix of rocks, metals and gases spinning out of control into nothingness?
This is a question of origin and identity
ii. Or is it made up of many gods that govern all the things we see around us.
iii. Or was the universe created by one supreme, all-powerful God that set it into motion and holds it all in His hands?
Where did we come from and who are we because of that?

3) What is a human being?

Everyone believes we came from somewhere
a) To this we might answer: a highly complex machine, a sleeping god, a person made in the image of God, a naked ape.
b) Where or whom do we come from and what are we made of?
Either we were created by a divine being or beings
i) Are we created by God and made in His image;
Or we have always existed
ii) or are we products of the Big Bang and have developed into our current state through evolution;
Or we came from some force whose origin is yet-to-be-determined.
iii) or were we created by the gods and our bodies and souls are linked with them so that we must appease them in order to get what we want?

4) What happens to a person at death?

for an atheist it is the universe or nature
Where do you come from?
a) Here we might reply: they are buried and become dirt,
b) or they transformation to some higher reality, or reincarnation, or departure to a shadowy existence on "the other side."
c) Or maybe they enter into either an eternal paradise, joined again to the One who created them; or into eternal punishment, separated forever from the Creator.

5) Where does truth come from?

for
a) Does truth come from trial and error over the course of millions of years and scientific study?
b) Or does it come from an all-knowing God who has revealed Himself to humanity both in His Word and through His Son?

6) How do we know what is right and wrong?

The
a) Again, perhaps we are made in the image of a God whose character is good,
b) or right and wrong are determined by human choice alone or what feels good,
c) Or what appeases the gods all around us so that we can get what we want or avoid what we don’t want.

7) What personal, life-orienting commitments are consistent with this worldview?

a) It is to realize your personal potential for experiencing life, or to do as much good as you can for others, or to live in a world of inner peace in a world of social diversity and conflict.
b) Or is it to fulfill the will of God, or to seek first the kingdom of God, or to obey God and enjoy him forever, or to be devoted to knowing God or loving God.
b) Or is it to fulfill the will of God, or to seek first the kingdom of God, or to obey God and enjoy him forever, or to be devoted to knowing God or loving God.

Responding to Differing Worldviews

The statue pointed to what the culture found most worthy of their attention and allegiance.

1) Secular Worldview - God is Dead

Atheistic relativism- there is no God, or at least God is not important.
Self-actualization is of primary importance for the individual
We intermingle
being your best self - successful, healthy, connected, fulfilled...
Unity, peace, prosperity are the values of the culture.
This worldview has effects on our culture. Look at the books we read, the shows we watch, and the music we listen to.
Claims toward truth are rejected as intolerant or hateful.
Christians are ridiculed and mocked for our faith, since faith in a secular/naturalistic world is foolish.
So we are left with the question: How do we respond to secularism?
It was what the cultural elites (starting with the King) deemed most important.

2) Deistic Worldview - God is Withdrawn

It was what they deemed most ultimate= allegiance to the King and perseverance of the culture.
If you go against the King or oppose the majority there will be consequences
Tipping our hat to God
Belief that God created everything, but then He withdrew and doesn’t engage, interact, or intervene in creation.
It is the worldview of our forefathers, a belief that God created everything and there is a order to creation, but that He is not a personal being that we interact with or have any “personal relationship” with.
Deism is comfortable with the existence of God, but not in His interaction with or intervention in the affirms of life.
Biblical Christian’s belief in miracles (including the resurrection of Christ) are shunned or laughed at since that doesn’t make since in a closed system.
Many “Church people” live functionally deistic lives as they declare faith in Christ, but God is a distant, impotent being that has little significance in their lives.
So we are left with the question: How do we respond to Deism?

3) Pluralistic World view - God is Many

4) Biblical Worldview - God is the Holy One

As we face these questions and come to the realization that we are at odds with differing worldviews, we must figure out how we are to respond.
There are three main ways we respond to conflicting worldview issues.

Responding to Differing Worldviews

1) Syncretism

The merging or accepting of certain aspects of one worldview with another.
The merger of Christianity with voodoo is a clear example of Syncretism
But is also shows up in merging cultural ideals about money, sex, success, or family with Biblical ideals.
We see it in the compartmentalization of our lives.
We have our spiritual life, our work life, our fun with friends life—all lived by differing values and ideals. SYNCRETISM

2) Separatism

Rejection of and hostility toward opposing worldviews
An opposing worldview is viewed as an enemy to be avoided than a people to be engaged with.
We create things within our world that are designed to separate us from the culture at large and shield us from its potential threat.
God Tube and SocialCross.com (both of which you can sign into with your google or facebook accounts)
Holy Yoga “an experiential worship created to deepen people’s connection to Christ.”
Anti-missional and anti-Gospel
God doesn’t want us to embrace the world and its ways, but He also doesn’t want us to separate from it.

3) Faithfulness

The middle is where God wants us to be
Rather than seeking to be accepted or merge with the culture around us
Or separate into an opposition culture that shuns the world around us.
God wants us to be faithful to His Word and His ways WITHIN the World we live in.
()
Jeremiah 29:1–14 ESV
1 These are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders of the exiles, and to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. 2 This was after King Jeconiah and the queen mother, the eunuchs, the officials of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen, and the metal workers had departed from Jerusalem. 3 The letter was sent by the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. It said: 4 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. 6 Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. 7 But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. 8 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream, 9 for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, declares the Lord. 10 “For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
These are the words of God to His people in captivity in Babylon
Jeremiah 2
These words probably would have been on the minds of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. 6 Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease.

Live your lives there, don’t separate or become stagnant.

7 But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.

Seek the WELFARE of the city. Do good, be active, participate...
Embracing God’s Word and His ways.
Some will be offended, others will be angered, while still others will be struck by the beauty of the Gospel.

On Being Faithful

1) Be wholeheartedly committed to God’s Word.

Read it, study it, memorize it, rely on it for all wisdom and guidance.

2) Expect scorn, ridicule and rejection.

It is a promise that you will experience persecution.
We are cutting against the grain, moving against the current, there are bound to be people who ridicule us.

3) Expect favor and impact.

With all the rejection we can rest assured there will be seasons of favor because of our faithfulness to God.
God will use our lives to make an impact on the watching world.
,

3) Rest in the promises of God.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego rested in the face that regardless of whether God protected them in the fire or not that His promises were true.
(Jeremiah 29:11)
They probably would have remembered
Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

4) Embrace the Mission of God.

God wants to use your witness for His glory.
See your life as a part a God-sized vision.
The faithfulness of the three men leads to the King declaring their God as Lord.
Related Media
Related Sermons