BOOK OF DANIEL – A Lesson for Us Today

Posted by on May 24, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on BOOK OF DANIEL – A Lesson for Us Today

A Lesson for Us Today

Were you amazed at the audacity of Nebuchadnezzar asking Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah what god could save them out of his hand if they did not obey his command and bow down to the golden image? Given the fact that the God of the three Hebrews revealed the king’s entire dream and its interpretation we can easily draw those thoughts of how stupid Nebuchadnezzar was in asking them such a question. I get the impression that when one reads about how great Nebuchadnezzar was and that God did indeed allow him to have such greatness that, if we are not careful, we could begin to think he was a likable character. If we do that then we are first, giving him far more credit that what he deserves and second, we are taking our eye off the real reason why Nebuchadnezzar was chosen by God to be the instrument who received the dream. You see, it wasn’t really Nebuchadnezzar’s dream – it was God’s. And it wasn’t even a dream but God’s purpose and plan for the entire history of the Gentile nations which the Jews also had a full role in. Remember, we have spoken how the Jews demanded an earthly king just like all the other nations had. They rejected God’s rule. When God provided them a Jewish king in the form of King Saul they still sinned and committed gross idolatry. From the first Jewish king to the last they all sinned against God in differing degrees. But eventually God called time on that Jewish rule and decreed that the Israelites would lose their land and it would be desolate for seventy years. This is what factually occurred beginning in 605 BC. By the Jews rejecting the rule of God and later Jesus Christ, they also fulfilled God’s purpose and plan. It was no surprise to God that all of this would occur. What we really see in all of this is the total depravity of man who is incapable of not only ruling themselves but also accepting God and Jesus Christ. Only through the unmerited Grace of God can a person come to Him. If you are of the persuasion that you can simply ask Christ into your life and automatically He will accept you then, I’m sorry, but you are deluding yourself and probably following a false gospel from some preacher who teaches the Arminian idea of salvation –  where we somehow co-operate with God in obtaining salvation. I, too, fell into that trap for a couple of years until my wife, through arduous study, strong prayer, and daily reading God’s word in depth, sought out teachers who affirm the truth of Scripture. Let me be clear. Your ONLY route to salvation is by Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone. Ephesians 2:8-9 bears this fact out saying, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (ESV) Before I get calls from disgruntled believers that “we exercise faith in Christ” let me answer that question, for it automatically comes up every time in contrast to those of us who believe the true manner of salvation. While it is certainly true that faith is something that we exercise, that does NOT mean that Christians bring this or anything else to the table when they are saved. Thinking that one can work up faith because of believing that we are born with such ability is a false view. Ephesians 2:8 proves that view is false for it says “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” Breaking that verse down, you have been saved by Grace through faith and that is not of your own doing. If Grace comes first then any faith we have has been given to us. We have not generated it. We act upon it by the Grace of God providing it to us. If you still disagree then how do you argue with Scripture that tells us in the same verse that “this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God”? It is true that we put our faith in Christ but it is only when God gives us that faith is it guaranteed  that we will exercise such faith toward our salvation. Without the work of the Holy Spirit, our hearts cannot be changed. Grace is defined as the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings. There is NOTHING in that definition that includes any part of us playing a part in the Grace given to us by God, who provides the faith that leads to our salvation through Jesus Christ. Finally, the doctrine of irresistible Grace is simply this. If God wants us, He will have us. Even if we resist His calling, and many have done that in their past lives, if God has chosen one to be one of His elect then His Grace will rest on us which will, in turn, generate belief and perseverance. The ironclad proof of this is our Savior’s words in John 6:37, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” (ESV) If we take the credit for our faith then we are wrong for it is not by our own will that we received that faith but by Grace alone. It is all God. It has never been anything else but God. We are incapable of believing, accepting, or adopting such faith in the belief and acceptance of God unless He gives it to us FIRST by His unmerited free gift of Grace.

 

That is why Nebuchadnezzar asked what god could save the three Hebrew men from his hand because he never had the Grace or the faith that would lead to his eventual salvation.