Go

Contact Us

  • Phone: (509) 747-3007
  • Email:
  • Meeting Address:
    115 E. Pacific Ave., Spokane, WA 99202
  • Office/Mailing Address:
  • 608 W. 2nd Ave, #101. Spokane, WA 99201

Service Times

  • Sunday: 10am
  • Infant through 8th grade Sunday School classes available
  • FREE Parking!

Sermons

FILTER BY:

Back To List

Apr 14, 2013

Overcoming Under Siege: Triumphing in a Pagan World

Passage: Daniel 1:1-21

Preacher: John Repsold

Series: Daniel: Overcoming Under Siege

Keywords: siege, pagan, overcoming, testimony, pressure, hostile, secular, daniel

Summary:

This message looks at the life of Daniel as he is taken prisoner from Jerusalem and forced into the circles of power and paganism in Babylon. His refusal to compromise and accommodate the pagan influences arrayed against him in education, religion and the arts is a powerful example of what to do when the secular world presses in. This is especially important for the generation of young adults coming up in the church today in America.

Detail:

Overcoming Under Siege: 

Triumphing in a Pagan World

Daniel 1

April 14, 2013

 

INTRO:  What would it do to your faith in Christ if you woke up tomorrow and North Korea was in charge of America?  That’s the premise of a movie remake called Red Dawn filmed here in Spokane and released last year (2012).  While that scenario is creepy enough, try this one on for size.

Imagine that, on the day North Korea took over the West Coast, you were selected to be part of a group that was then flown back to N. Korea for the rest of your life.  Upon your arrival there, you were housed at the Presidential Palace of crazy Kim Jong-un, issued a military uniform, reeducated for 3 years, given new Korean names and I.Ds., were required to learn and operate completely in Korean, and never had the opportunity to see your family again. 

 

It’s impossible to imagine all the different ways your life would change.  And it is frightening to think of what a huge challenge it would be for any child of God to hold onto your faith in Christ while being pressured every day in dozens of ways to abandon your belief in God who had allowed your homeland to be overrun by a nation of atheistic fascists and who were now constantly reminding you of the failure of your God to come to your aid and the superiority of their communistic world-view to conquer you. 

 

While that may seem pretty far-fetched, this next scenario is something most young adults in this room live out virtually every day.

You wake up every day to find yourself living in a world of conflicting beliefs, values and world-views.  You are a follower of Jesus.  Your belief in Christ and relationship top God is the driving center of your entire life.  You know that God has a call on your life and you are trying desperately to live that out in corner of your life.

Every day you spend the majority of your day being taught a world-view that is diametrically opposed to your faith in God.  In science you are taught that the world around you and your own body, mind and thoughts are merely the result of chance chemical and biological interactions.  Your existence has no ultimate meaning, your survival and success is totally dependant upon your ability to surpass the people around you. 

Your peers and all the media you see every day tell you that morality is whatever you want to make it.  What you do with your sexuality and your own body is totally up to you.  Furthermore, you are a fool and possibly a freak of nature if you don’t charge hard after every possible sexual encounter and experience imaginable. If you are a woman, you are constantly told what you must wear, how it should make you feel and what you must do to attract the attention of men.  If you are a guy, throughout every day, whether you are on-line, watching TV or waiting in line at the cafeteria, you are encourage to view and treat women as sex objects there for your own personal satisfaction.

You live daily in a culture that, on the one hand condemns acts of real violence, and yet on the other voyeuristically glorifies murder and mayhem in most of its entertainment.  The attractiveness of your physique is far more important than the depth of your soul.  Everyone around you demands that you be open minded, non-judgmental and totally accepting of every religion, world-view and personal opinion…despite the fact that your own, Christianity, is the one unacceptable in public life.    

In the classroom, your belief system is regularly attacked and belittled.  In the dorm, your morality is ridiculed and shamed.  In your chosen field of study, you are told that if you want to get anywhere in life, you will have to make it your primary focus in life.   

You are encouraged to spend far more than you earn, to go into debt to finance everything from transportation to education, and to expect to carry your fair share of tens of trillions of dollars of public spending for programs you will never personally benefit from.

And when your core Christian values, beliefs and ethical norms are violated by the culture and the government, you are told to sit down, shut up and play along. After all, you are standing in the way of progress and far too influenced by an archaic and outdated morality and spirituality. 

 

But at least it’s not the gulag of North Korea!

 

While this may sound like a long way from the book of Daniel that was written some 2,500 years ago, it is actually not.  Daniel, at the time chapter 1 opens, is probably in his early teens. 

Daniel 1:1ff--In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God.

            Sounds like boring history, right?  Wrong!  Daniel had grown up during one of the greatest revivals in the history of the southern kingdom of Judah.  The king was Josiah, the first good man to sit on the throne in fifty-seven years.  (Politics could be a lot worse!)  Josiah came to the throne when he was only eight years old.  When he was a teen, he began to seek after God.  When he had been ruling for 12 years, he brought about some radical reforms.  Judah had become a land of false idols; the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had been replaced with the worship of heathen gods.  Josiah was so convicted about the terrible condition of Solomon’s temple that he brought in some master builders to restore it to its former glory. 

            The Scripture says that while the workers were refurbishing the temple, they came upon a very important book:  the Book of the Law.  This was THE most important document of the entire nation.  (It would be like coming across the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the U.S. if it had been neglected for 100 years.)  The Book of the Law contained the commandments and covenants that the Lord had given to Moses.  Eight hundred years before Josiah came along, God had given his people his laws to set them apart from other nations. 

APP:  Interesting how over time the blessings of God become less and less important to people who have known nothing but years of God’s goodness.  This thing we call “the American experiment,” a government “of the people, by the people and for the people” was a completely new form of government never tried in human history before our forefathers did so just 237 years.  We have experienced the greatest wealth, the greatest freedom, the greatest spirituality and missions endeavors the world has ever seen. 

            But it is becoming painfully evident that the values are shifting.  People now value leisure more than work. We value individual rights more than community and family responsibilities.  We prefer to let go of our rights to defend ourselves in exchange for another government promise to protect us…as long as we do what they say we should do. 

            This has, sadly, been the cycle of history for thousands of years.  Rather than value the freedom to make a life for ourselves that we dream of through hard work and toil, we have now become a nation that would prefer to surrender that opportunity for the promise of the government taking care of us from cradle to grave—our food, our housing, our health care, our retirement, our transportation, our education, even business now.  It’s become hard to think of an area of life Americans aren’t looking to government to do for us rather than allow us the freedom to do for ourselves.  This is really nothing new. 

            No longer esteeming the kind of values our forefathers paid dearly for, we find ourselves in a not-too-dissimilar situation to that of Josiah.  And the American church seems to being going the same route with the word of God.  Whole denominations and groups of self-professing Christians no longer stake their teachings or practice on what God has told us is the truth.  Huge swaths of religious Americans seem deeply offended when we bring up the teaching of the Bible in regard to sexuality, marriage, divorce, heaven, hell, absolute truth, God’s righteousness and justice, the value of people regardless of age or disabilities, etc., etc. 

            What Josiah did when he discovered how far he and his people had strayed from the Word of God was to call a national assembly.  Everyone “from the least to the greatest” came and heard the king himself read all the words of the book of the Covenant.  That had to be hours of reading.  And the people really listened.  When that was done, the king “stood by a pillar of the temple and renewed the covenant in the presence of the Lord—to follow the Lord and keep His commands, regulations and decrees with all his heart and all his soul” (2 Kings 23:3). 

            What followed was what tens of thousands of God’s people have been praying for in America the last 30 years—a full-blown revival.  But sadly it lasted only as long as Josiah was alive.  His heirs—Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Zedekiah, and a grandson by the name of Jehoicahin—turned in just the opposite direction.  And men like Daniel would end up having to bear an awful lot of the very high price that rebellion against God inevitably brings.  But by then, Daniel had apparently been personally marked at a fairly young age by the power of genuine revival. 

            This vs. 1 in chapter 1 tells us that Nebuchadnezzar as king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.  Babylon was the fast rising international star of that day.  It had come on the geopolitical landscape rather rapidly, sort of like China in our generation.  Jehoiakim was on the throne in Judah and he was a bad apple of a guy spiritually.  So God used the Babylonians to judge the apostasy of His people.  It would be akin to God using North Korea…or China…or the Islamic states of the Middle East to carry out His plans for judgment on our nation’s godlessness.  It didn’t seem fair that God would use pagan peoples to judge His people. 

            The year was 605 B.C.  Nebuchadnezzar was doing a little summer war maneuvers against Jerusalem.  Then, all of a sudden, his father passed away and Nebuchadnezzar decided to return to Babylon to secure his throne.  But not before besieging Jerusalem and seizing both loot and prisoners to take back to Babylon with him.  Enter Daniel, one of the young men taken hostage from his family, friends and nation to begin an entirely new life in a foreign country with about 70 other young Jewish men and women. 

            Scholars believe that Daniel was probably a teen, somewhere between 13 and 20.  He would have to have been that old to be taken hostage and trained in the arts and sciences of Babylon.  And since we know that he was around at the end of this 70 years of captivity, he would not have been much older than 20 when he was hauled off to Babylon.    

 

We pick it up at vs. 3. 

Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility— young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians. The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.

Rabbinic tradition holds that Daniel and his three Hebrew friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were descendants of King Hezekiah, based on a prophecy in Isaiah 39:7.  In that verse Isaiah speaks these words to King Hezekiah:  “And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the King of Babylon.” 

We’re honestly not sure whether or not Daniel was made a eunuch when he was taken captive or not.  This Hebrew word sa-ris is usually translated “eunuch” but can also mean “officer” or “official.”  The NIV translates vs. 3 when talking of Ashpenaz, the one the king put in charge of Daniel and his 3 friends, “Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials”.  But many versions (NKJV, ESV) keep the term “eunuch.”  It is entirely possible that Daniel was either made a eunuch or remained single for his entire lifetime in this foreign city. 

Can we be honest here?  Daniel was obviously a deeply spiritual young man with some very deeply held convictions.  He had gone through war in his homeland, been taken prisoner, ripped out of his family, taken off to a foreign land that spoke a foreign language, never to see his homeland again.  He was singled out because he was good looking, intelligent, a quick learner, gifted and possibly from the nobility of Israel.  (Sometimes being and having everything isn’t such a blessing.)  I don’t know about you, but if I had gone through all that in my teen years, I wonder if my faith in God would have survived. But what if you add to all that upheaval and dislocation being turned into a eunuch???  Do you think that would have strengthened your faith or destroyed it? 

“God, why do I have to suffer because of my nation’s sins?”

“Didn’t you promise to take care and protect your own?”

“How can this possibly be just and fair?  I’ve clung to You all the days of my youth and now I have to face a lifetime of service to pagans, years being indoctrinated in their educational system, thrown in with men of magic arts, and to top it all off, have my manhood stolen.  God, how can you possibly be in this?” 

 

When God allows judgment to fall on a nation, the days of easy-believism are over.  When God uses nations more evil than His own wayward people to judge our sin, it will not be easy.  It will try our souls to the core.  It will test our walk with God as metal is tested in fire.  It will mean that the day of comfortable Christianity is over and the hour of costly Christ-following is upon us.  It won’t be about going to entertaining worship services or fun youth groups.  And my guess is that most of us will have a severe crisis of faith.  But those who “persevere” and “endure” as the Scripture says, will receive a crown of righteousness that will never fade. 

 

Daniel was one of a small handful Old Testament saints that seems to have maintained a rock-solid and steady walk with God his entire life. He wasn’t sinless but he was definitely steady.  He played a hugely significant role in the administrations of 3 separate Babylonian kings over the span of 65 years. (Nebuchadnezzar II [606-560B.C.], Nebuchadnezzar III [555-539B.C.] also called Nabonidus, Belshazzar [553-539].) 

And his experiences with God and visions of things to come put him on one of the highest peaks of biblical prophecy of all times.  What God revealed left him awestruck and speechless.  But here is a man who, as a young man, paid a VERY high price to serve the Living and True God of Israel.

 

APP:  We will only know how deep our faith truly runs when we are put in situations that take from us pretty much any or every thing that can be taken externally.  It may be our homeland, our mother tongue, our freedom, our education, our family…so much.  But if God should deem it best for this generation to be the one that suffers the righteous judgment of God upon our rebellious nation, then that experience will raise up a new crop of Daniels who will both see God and see the sovereignty of God over nations in amazing ways. 

 

The next section of this chapter highlights a couple of ways in which the world will try to reshape the people of God during times of domination spiritual decline.

When the powers of this world rule over the people of God, they will do everything in their power to rename you, reshape you and reeducate you.  Vs. 4 tells you that one of the first things they did with Daniel and the other Hebrews was to try to change their thinking.  Asphenaz “was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians.”  Imagine the influence these pagan Babylonian teachers had on these teenagers.  Babylonian literature promoted their worldview, their view of man, their view of the gods, their view of sin, their view of values—all of which were directly opposed to everything these young teens had been taught to hold to when living in Israel.  They would also have been taught the Babylonian art of divination.  In Mesopotamia, omens were considered the primary way by which the gods revealed their will and intentions. 

            Though Daniel and his friends went through the classes, they apparently resisted the pressure to change their thinking, as we shall see in coming weeks.  Being immersed in pagan or secular educational systems doesn’t mean you have to drink the Cool-Aid.  Yes, it will be tough.  Yes, it will demand tact and tenacity.  Yes, you will be the odd person out, ridiculed, made fun of, made to look foolish and perhaps even penalized.  But never forget that “the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom” (I Cor. 1:25) and that “the person without the Spirit [will never] accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but [will forever] consider them foolishness” (I Cor. 2:14). 

            Brothers and sisters, we need to be doing everything we can to pray for, encourage and educated biblically our young people.  For some, that will mean paying the price to send them to Christian school or do home schooling.  For others it will mean taking the time to equip them with the truth and knowledge necessary to stand up to the secular foolishness of the day. 

  • Family devotions that do more than give simple devotionals but also stretch the mind and heart.
  • Doing on-line courses that equip us to engage intellectually the “wisdom” of the day.
  • Doing whatever we must to prepare kids to face the gauntlet of secularism in college [Encourage Summit Ministries.]

 

Another thing the Babylonians sought to do to God’s leaders in the next generation of his people was to change their identities. 

Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.

            The names of each of these Hebrew young men was directly related to their God, Yahweh.  So their pagan masters changed every one of their names to reflect the gods of their culture

  • Daniel means “God is my judge.”  But the pagan court change his name to Belteshazzar which means “May Bel protect his life,” or “Keeper of the hidden treasure of Bel.”  Bel was the supreme Babylonian deity and another name for pagan Baal. 
  • Hananiah means “God is gracious.”  His name was changed to Shadrach, linked to the Babylonian moon god, meaning “Aku is exalted.” 
  • Mishael means, “Who is like God?”  His name was changed to Meshach meaning “Who is like the moon god?”
  • Mishael means, “God is my helper”  which was changed to Abednego meaning “The servant of Nebo,” the Babylonian god of wisdom. 

 

It’s interesting that even the pagan Babylonians understood that if you are going to do away with one concept of God, you will need to replace it with another. In their culture that was pagan deities.  In our culture that “other” has become anything from self to nothing at all (atheism). 

But as G.K. Chesterton has said, “When a man stops believing in God he doesn’t then believe in nothing, he believes anything.” Malcome Muggeridge echoed, “If God is dead, somebody is going to have to take his place,” and that somebody else is usually man himself.

You see, THE most important question of our identity is not who we are; it is who the god we serve IS.  A. W. Tozer has aptly said that “a culture will not rise above the level of its concept of God.”  The same is true of the individual.  People will not rise above the level of their concept of God…their “ultimate point of reference,”… their constructed “sense of meaning.” 

If self is your god, then you are stuck with being that proud, petty, self-serving person you know yourself to be in your heart of hearts.

If science is your god, then you are stuck with only the cold, empirical, heartless laws of nature.

If pleasure is your god, then you are stuck with that sickening emptiness that comes when you know that last pleasure, great though it may have been, will never ultimately triumph and will, in fact, fade rather quickly, leaving you often with a very bad, very empty after-taste. 

 

But when the God of all creation, Redeemer  of mankind and Maker of every one of the billions of mind-boggling and massive galaxies in this impossibly-large-to-comprehend universe, then who you and I are is intimately linked to a Being whom we will never exhaust, never outthink, never outrun and always have more universes of knowledge and experience waiting for us in knowing Him. 

God is my judge (Daniel)…God is gracious (Hananiah)…Who is like God? (Mishael) and God is my Helper (Azariah)…these young men knew that their only hope of “finding themselves” rather than losing their center was to hold unswervingly to the knowledge they had been given over the past few years that their greatness lay in their relationship with the Living God. 

 

APP:  This is why “to know Christ” must be our constant battle cry.  Nothing else in this life or the next comes remotely close to filling the void sin has left in our souls.  The sages of this age can call us all the stupid names they can think of—delusional, simpletons, anti-intellectuals, fanatics.  But no god they will every try to put in the place of the only Living and True God will ever hold a candle of hope to the One we know, as Daniel, Hananiah, Mischeal, and Azuriah’s God—our gracious judge, helper, one to whom there is no comparison. 

            And one more thing about our God.  When we find ourselves in any experience where paganism or false religions holds the temporal power over us as Christians, we need to grow into a theology that is big enough for the judgments of God.  Because God may be purging sin and disciplining even His children through the despotic leadership of lost people doesn’t mean He has forgotten us or abandoned us or is powerless to save.  It means we have been given the unique, time-bound and temporal opportunity to know God IN suffering, not OVER or AWAY FROM suffering.  Everyone else will rail against suffering; we are called to encounter God IN it, just as we shall see these amazing young men of God did. 

 

So Daniel and Co. were not only pressured to change their identity and change their thinking; they were pressured to change their God-given convictions.

The rest of this chapter deals with one particular conviction God had called Daniel not to compromise on:  food offered to idols.  The N.T. makes it clear (Rm. 14 & I Cor. 8-10) that that O.T. prohibition is not universal.  In other words, it was a conviction God wanted for a particular group of people for a particular time in history, not for everyone forever. 

            But here is the important thing about God-given convictions.  We can probably come up with a hundred reasons why we should be able to do something God has asked us not to do (or visa versa).  But that doesn’t change the fact that God has told us what to do and we are compromising our God-given convictions if we do.  Success never depends upon compromise when God has already told you what to do.  Everywhere you see a compromise in the Bible from something God had asked someone to do, you will also see a loss.

  • Adam compromised God’s law and embraced his wife’s sin more than God’s call.  He lost paradise and innocence.
  • Abraham and Sarah compromised God’s promise and bore Ishmael.  We lost peace in the Middle East.
  • Esau compromised for a meal with Jacob.  He lost his birthright.
  • Aaron compromised his convictions about idolatry.  He lost the privilege of seeing the Promised Land.
  • Samson compromised righteous devotion as a Nazarite.  He lost his hair, his strength, his eyes, and his life.
  • David compromised the moral standard of God and committed adultery with Bathsheba and murdered Uriah.  He lost his child and his kingdom for a time.
  • Solomon compromised his convictions and married foreign wives.  He lost the united kingdom. 
  • Ahab compromised and married Jezebel.  He lost his throne.
  • Judas compromised his love for Christ for money.  He lost his eternal soul.

Vs. 5 tells us that, “The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.”  Starting in vs. 8 we are told why that was a problem for Daniel.  According to the Mosaic law, some of that meat would undoubtedly have been unclean.  It wasn’t that Daniel was a vegetarian or vegan.  We know from Daniel 10 (vss. 2-3) that he normally both ate meat and drank wine.  God had called His people to a standard the rest of the world didn’t have to keep. 

            But in addition, there is a verb used twice in vs. 8 that tells us there was some sort of religious/spiritual issue at stake here too.   That verse tells us, “Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.”  The Hebrew word ga’al denotes spiritual defilement.  This was probably food offered to idols, a line too far for Daniel to cross. 

           

Reminds me of one of my favorite Academy Award wining movies, Chariots of FireEric Liddell refused to run in his best event, the 100 meter qualifying heat for the 1924 Paris Olympics because it was to be run on Sunday.  He ended up getting bronze in the 200 meter and gold in the 400.  It was an American Olympic Team masseur who slipped a piece of paper into his hand the day of the big race as he headed to the track.  In it was a quotation from 1 Samuel 2:30 that states, "Those who honor me I will honor." 

            Just as miraculous as Liddell’s win in 1924 at an event he had never been anything but mediocre at, was the result in Daniel and his friends’ lives for eating just vegetables and drinking water for 10 days.   They ended up looking better and performing better than their peers who at what was probably a more balanced diet.  It wasn’t the food that made the difference; it was the faith! 

Holding onto our convictions will require more faith in God.  It will demand that we believe that God is working where we cannot.  It will lead us to deal respectfully with godless leadership and come up with creative alternatives to open defiance. 

Read Daniel 1:8-15

 

God has a way of working through the faith of those who hold to their convictions that will never happen when we compromise those God-given convictions.  Look at vs. 16-- 17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.  18 At the end of the time set by the king to bring them into his service, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service. 20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.

 

God blessed Daniel’s personal decision of holiness in 3 specific areas:

1.)    Vs. 15-- Daniel’s body:  it “looked healthier and better nourished” than their peers. 

2.)    Vs. 17—his spirit17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.”  God granted Daniel a sensitivity of spirit that translated into a unique ability to discern what God was trying to say to people in the deepest and sometimes darkest recesses of their minds.

3.)    Vs. 20—his mind:   In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.”

Body, mind and spirit…God knows how to reward those who honor him through strong convictions.  And He can do it physically, mentally or spiritually. 

 

ILL:  Dr. Bryan Chapell tells a story of the wife of a full-time student at Covenant Seminary.  Like the wives of many seminarians, Karen was earning money to keep her husband in school and food on the table.  In her case, Karen made her living as a quality-control inspector for a major pharmaceutical company. 

            One day, through faulty procedures, the automated machines produced a large order of syringes that became contaminated and therefore failed inspection.  Karen reported the problem to her boss, but he quickly computed the costs of reproducing the order and made a “cost-effective” decision. 

Because of certain federal regulations, only Karen could sign the compliance forms. If she did not sign, the syringes could not be marketed.  The boss urged and threatened, but Karen would not budge.  The impasse between Karen and her superior led to a visit from the company president.  He, too, had computed the costs of reproduction and issued his decision:  The forms must be signed.  Karen would have the weekend to think over whether or not she would sign the clearances.  The president told her that if she was still determined not to sign the forms on Monday, her job would be in jeopardy. 

More than her job was in jeopardy.  This was the family’s only means of income and it was a well-paying job.  Randy’s education and their family’s future were severely endangered.  Dr. Chapell, the seminary’s president, commented that “For this young couple, all the theological jargon and doctrinal instruction about consecration, righteousness, and holiness suddenly came down to this one concrete decision:  Could they afford to remain undefiled from the contamination the world of business practicalities urged Karen to approve?” 

In the end, Karen refused to sign the clearance forms for the contaminated syringes.  She lost her job as a result of failing to compromise her convictions.  But something unexpected happened as well.

Because she refused to sign the forms, the order was not delivered to the customer on time.  Officials of that company investigated the delay and discovered how Karen had protected them from contaminated syringes, even at the cost of her own job.  That customer then hired Karen and increased her pay! 

 

I can’t guarantee that God will spare you from the negative effects of people in this world who would rather punish your Christian convictions than change their unchristian demands.  We’re living in a state that has one of the least-friendly track records when it comes to penalizing Christians for deeply held Christian convictions.

  • You will have your pharmacy license revoked if you do not fill certain contraceptive prescriptions request of you that you may find to be immoral based on your religious beliefs.
  • You will find the Attorney General of WA (Bob Ferguson) taking you to court as is the case this month for a florist in the Tri-Cities (Richland)  who has been slapped with a lawsuit for refusing to serve as the flower supplier for a same-sex wedding.

This is only the beginning. 

 

“Overcoming Under Siege” is more than a sermon series title.  It’s the reality that Christ-followers world over will be invited to enter into the closer we draw to Jesus coming.