About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
In a previous article I
suggested that our western democratic nations are beginning to undergo, or
will eventually undergo, God's judgment.
We thus need to ask; "How should a Christian live when his
nation falls by the hand of God's judgment?"
Much more can be said about this issue than what I'm about to say.
What I do say comes from my observation of how the Israeli prophet
Daniel lived after
was overthrown most Jews were either killed or exiled to
Once exiled Daniel
resolved not to defile himself by participating in the pagan practices of
his captors (Daniel 1:8). Like
Daniel, we should refuse to adopt the sinful practices of any culture.
We should decide in advance that we will stand for Jesus despite
the consequences, and like the Jews in Daniel's day, there will be
Daniel 2 describes how
Daniel interpreted the Babylonian king's dream.
Even though Daniel's Lord brought his nation down and sent him and
his fellow Jews into exile, Daniel wasn't angry with God.
Therefore, when called upon, God enabled him to interpret the
king's dream without fear. Like
Daniel, we should not allow judgment to strain our relationship with
Jesus. We need all the divine
guidance we can get during days of judgment.
Daniel knew, recognized,
and understood the prophetic signs in his day.
From Jeremiah 25:11 he understood that Israel's captivity would
last for 70 years and therefore he acted accordingly (Daniel 9:2).
Like Daniel, we need to know Biblical prophecy even if we don't
fully understand it. If we
don't know what the Bible predicts we won't recognize the predictions when
they come to pass, and, we won't be able to act appropriately when they do
come to pass. Jesus Himself
alluded to this thinking in John 16:4.
In Daniel 6 we see Daniel
being thrown into the lion's den. He
refused to compromise by surrendering to the pagan demands of his captors.
He was willing to die for his convictions.
Like Daniel, we must be willing to suffer and even die for Jesus.
That may sound severe but judgment is a serious matter.
Over the centuries Christians have suffered persecution,
imprisonment, and even death. We
should not consider ourselves so special that we would have a pass on
In Daniel 9 we see that
Daniel was a man of prayer despite his captivity. In
verse 4 he began his prayer with; "Lord, the great and awesome God,
who keeps His covenant of love …"
Despite his situation, Daniel was convinced of God's awesome
greatness. He knew God would
not forsake His covenant commitment to
In Daniel 12:10 the Lord
told Daniel that the wicked wouldn't understand the future events that had
been revealed to him concerning Israel
and the end of days. God told
Daniel that the wise would understand what was revealed to him when they
came to pass. May we be
counted among the wise as we maneuver our way through the days of
Daniel 12:13 says;
"As for you, go your way till the end.
You will rest (die) and then at the end of days you will arise to
receive your allotted inheritance."
Even though Daniel rose to political prominence for a while in
Daniel was a prophet of
God. Although many claim to be
prophets, not all are. That
being said, the ministry of the prophet is a valid and vital ministry
during the time leading to judgment as well as during judgment.
Some Christians today think this kind of talk is too depressing.
They want nothing to do with it.
They turn their backs and plug their ears.
They'd rather hear about good times ahead.
They don't believe God would ever judge our western nations.
They're like most Jews in Daniel's days who refused to hear the
prophets of God. Instead, they
gathered themselves around the false prophets who predicted good times
ahead. The sad fact of the
matter is that these people were far from prepared when judgment swept
over their land.
I believe that judgment
looms on our horizon. If I'm
right, we must know what judgment looks like and we must know how to live
during days of judgment. Amos 3:7 tells us that God doesn't bring judgment
on a nation without giving ample warning through His prophets.
I believe we're being warned. It's
our responsibility to respond accordingly.