Good Morning Beloved,
What a wonderful honor and privilege
it is to be here with all of you today
Thank you for joining us
Many today, are affected by what's taking place in our world today
we pray that You will draw near to them, comfort them
Father, give them Your peace, a peace that surpasses understanding
Lord we thank You that we can come to You
in the times of life that are difficult for us to handle,
and we thank You for the power of Your amazing grace
a grace that sustains us in the time of our need
Father, I pray that You would especially be near to those who are yet lost
that they would be able to discern this Word today
the meaning of life and eternity the significance of Christ
and the power of His resurrection, that they might also come to know eternal life
a life that comes only through faith in Your Son Jesus Christ
Lord, I pray that as we gather today,
You would open our hearts, open minds and ears,
that they might not be listening to my human voice
but that they might hear You speak
All for Your praise and Your glory
In Jesus' name
Today's text is from Daniel 3.
This text that we read is perhaps one of the most familiar texts of the entire Bible.
It tells the story of Daniel’s friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, when they refused to bow down to the image that Nebuchadnezzar had put up.
There was something that had gotten into these young men’s hearts that attributed such an action to idolatry.
"Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.
Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with wrath, and his facial expression was altered toward Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. He answered by giving orders to heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated."
Beloved, I have to confess to all of you today
that this thought developed weeks ago when I was working on another message..
In a culture where we are so experience driven, the Word of God speaks to us with the clarity.
And there is nothing else that can speak so clearly to us when we need to hear it the most.
That is because the Word of God has some characteristics about it that no other book ever written has.
It is alive, Hebrews 4:12 The Word of God is alive and active.
It is infallible, Psalm 19:7 This means it is perfect.
It is inerrant Proverbs 30:5-6. This means that there are no errors in it.
It is complete Revelation 22:18-19. This means that we do not need anything else.
It is authoritative Psalm 119:89. This means that the Word is final.
It is sufficient 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
Over the years, time and time again.. and again
I have been drawn to the value of what takes place when we study the Word of God.
It is literally the food for the soul... mine and yours.
And whenever you read it systematically, devotionally, topically, and in places of worship, there are great things, powerful things that are added to ones soul.
Anytime that I look to God's Word there are things He adds to my soul.
And again, I confess, it has become over the years, such a huge part of who I am,
I have become, as some have so kindly stated, "obsessed" with studying His Word,
I admit, I cannot go even a single day without His Word .. it has literally saved my life.
I just want to tell you, it can do the same for you!
But first, I want to share a story I had heard some time ago, it was about a man who, who being a very religious man, had decided that he would purchase a statue of Jesus Christ for his home.
He purchased a statue of Christ, brought it home, and decided that he would set it in the center of the coffee table in the living room.
Now his wife was somewhat frustrated, feeling it didn't exactly compliment the room decor, so she moved it to the den. Upon discovering this, her husband moved it again to another area of the house, which finally prompted their two-year-old child to say, “Can’t you decide what to do with God?”
I believe, this is a very profound question... for all of us today.
What are we going to do with God?
There are a lot of people in the world today, who just can’t decide what to do with God..
And I'm trusting that the Spirit of God, will in a very special way, make known to you the truths that are here as we go deeper into today's message.
In Daniel 1, we saw a very severe and stressful situation which Daniel and his three friends were able to meet with their great faith in God, and we likewise see the same thing happening in chapter 3.
This chapter comes on the heels of Daniel’s warning to Nebuchadnezzar. He had been warned that Jehovah would judge and destroy his empire but apparently he forgot that very quickly. So he built this statue covered with gold so that his subjects could bow down and worship it.
His kingdom was well organized and well structured as we note in Daniel 3:3.
In an effort to add to it a sense of decorum of worship, Nebuchadnezzar also added a great company of music. There are six different instruments noted in Daniel 3:5 but there were many beyond it because of the addition of "all kinds of music." Nearby was already the roar of the furnace for those who refused to bow.
Man, basically is a religious creature. It is either the worship of the One True God or a false substitution, considered to be a god. That’s very, very obvious as you go around the world.
And whenever man does this, he will worship the creature, not the Creator.
Whenever, man invents, concocts, or prescribes, or defines his own god, he makes him into the kind of god he wants him to be. And he usually becomes like his god. Therefore, what we have here is man making the god that he wants to exist, and then becoming like that god that he himself has manufactured.
Scriptures tells us "God created man in His own image." But man creates gods in his own image, the ultimate rebellion, to accommodate his own vile sinfulness.
I'd also like to take this opportunity to point out, that there will be many similarities between
Daniel 3 and Revelation 13, when the final Babylonian dictator, the anti-christ, who will attempt to enforce idolatrous worship on all, imposing a death penalty for those who refuse to give him their allegiance. He will use the number six in connection with that worship. And in Revelation 14:9-11, you will notice a call to the tribulation saints to resist the idolatrous worship and even risk death to be delivered from eternal death.
The difficulty for many, is when you worship the One True God, is you have to face the reality of your own inadequacies and your sinfulness. So if you reject that, you invent a god who is a lot like you, and it’s a lot easier to live with that kind of a god.
"Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error."
It's all about worship! Our worship is either going to be focused on Heaven ... or Hell.
Idolatry is always an abandonment to an immoral standard. Idolatry in the Old Testament even goes under the name of a whoring. It says Israel went whoring. It says Israel committed adultery, because that kind of prostitution was so integral to idolatry.
God always has His faithful few, a remnant that refuses to bow down to the demands for idol worship. They are often in the minority and they will often have to stand against even their own families and friends because they are folding under the pressure.
Even as death was staring them in the face but could not disobey.
Their peers said they were stubborn and stupid for not conforming.
Everyone is watching you and you will not escape the fire.
You are trading off your high office, royal favor, and even your life for the sake of Jehovah.
It does not seem to register with some, but what we have to understand, there are some who see the real value of the soul and refuse to trade off the shallow things of this life for the greater value of the one to come... Eternal Life!
Beloved, I have come to realize, that I'd rather be holy in everlasting life than to be comfortable and happy in this temporal life. This world is only here for but a short time, then it shall pass away. But eternity, now that's forever! You see, I have come to see everything, from a God viewpoint, even it that means I have to suffer temporarily in this life, even whether in dishonor or loss.
Nothing or no one is worth losing the peace, the hope and the life that I have found. And believe me, anyone who truly knows me, knows that I dearly, dearly love my family.. but even they, do not come before my relationship with God.
I am honored to take up and carry my cross daily, for His sake.. to make my decisions based upon Him, His glory, and eternity rather than my own self-serving wants and desires.
Immediately when these spiritual men refused to bow, some of the king’s "tattle tails" ran to him and told him sneeringly that there were "certain Jews" who refused to bow down and worship. It was used in the tone of voice that you would expect a degrading comment and racial slur to be used.
And so Nebuchadnezzar went out of his mind with fury and ordered that these offenders be brought in immediately!
That the thing about worship, it is serious business. Especially who we choose to worship!
And the devil doesn’t like it one bit when we refuse to worship the objects of his kingdom to worship those of the Lord. That beloved, is why you need to let your worship be directed God-ward and not earth-ward!
These three men refused to bow!
Now we come to Hell's Worst Mistake:
Hell made a huge mistake that day. The first mistake hell made was to let these three fellows get together. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
Let me just remind you of something here,
"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."
The devil doesn’t care how much we preach. . .
The devil doesn’t care how much we sing. . .
The devil doesn’t care how anointed we are. . .
The devil doesn’t care how much doctrine we have. . .
The devil doesn’t care how much prayer we have. . .
The devil doesn't care how many churches we build...
The devil doesn't care how big those structures are....
But what the devil DOES care about is... just don’t let them get together!
And guess what... Hell has made a huge mistake by letting you come to hear the Word of God today, a God fearing community of Bible believing Christians, full of the Holy Spirit!
Because on that day, three men who got together ended up ruling the day.
You need to know that when two or three get together, Someone will show up in the midst of the fire!
There are some of you out there who are dying inside, to find the kind of peace that we Christians
have found, yet you keep bowing down to the image.
And some of you really want to worship but you are suffocated by a grudge against someone you just can't seem to forgive and let it go..
There are some of you really want to shout to the Lord but your voice is silent because you won’t have a change of heart towards the sibling or parent.
And so the devil tells you to just sit there and act dead. . . because you are dead, Spiritually Dead!
Oh you think you're alive, you can make your own decisions, you don't need anyone to tell you what to do... You're in control! You just don't need God!
Idolatry, is the corruption of true worship!
Let me ask you this, how's that working for you now?
In light of all the changes from the COVID-19?
And believe me, I'm not trying to be offensive or rude, I'm seriously asking..
If you can't see it now, you likely never will... We have no control over anything!
God is in complete control! Thinking that we have any control is just an illusion..
From the beginning of time, man has set up for himself false gods, and as such, set himself up for conflict between worshiping his false god, and the One True God.
Beloved, idolatry is the most basic of issues in terms of the life of man in which God is most concerned. How do I know this to be true? Because Scripture says so..
"You shall have no other gods before Me.
“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain."
Over and over Scripture forbids idolatry, forbids it. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego knew idolatry was unacceptable to God. They knew they could not please God by bowing down to the gold image,
because the Word of God is so explicit about it. Though they did not have the revelation that we now have, they knew enough to know it was not only unacceptable, but forbidden by God.
Scriptures gives us quite a bit of information about this. Here is some of what I have found in Scripture: Bowing down to images, worshiping images, worshiping other gods, sacrificing to images, swearing to other gods, serving other gods, speaking in the name of other gods, walking after other gods, looking to other gods, fearing other gods, sacrificing to other gods, worshiping the true God by an image, worshiping the hosts of heaven, worshiping angels, worshiping devils, worshiping dead men, setting up idols in the heart, covetousness, sensuality. Because all of these things change the glory of God to an image.
Idolatry is described as, in Deuteronomy 7:25, it is an abomination of God; in Deuteronomy 16:22, it is hateful to God; it is vain and foolish, Psalm 115; it is bloody, Ezekiel 23; it is defiling, Ezekiel 20:7; it is abominable, 1 Peter 4; it is unprofitable, Judges 10:14; it is irrational, Romans 1.
Are you beginning to get the picture? Here's something else to think about.. the Bible says it is punishable to judicial death, banishment, exclusion form heaven, eternal torment. That's some pretty serious punishment to think about.
Yet, the king says, "If you don’t bow, you’re going to burn!"
Somewhere in your life, you are going to have to learn how to worship. Most likely it will take place in a situation of confrontation. There are some people here who have allowed an image to get set up in their life and are bowing down to it. Some of you have let the images of this world choke out your spirit. You have to defeat that spirit today! If you don’t speak back to your enemy, he will literally wear you out.
I ran into a lady I used to work with the other day and she stated that over the years she has been very active in her church. Then she was telling me that she had never seen a time when there was so much apathy among the people in her church as is today. She said, "It is like they don’t even care about God anymore, it's all about them! They have no desire for the Word and to pray! They just want to be entertained."
Beloved, we all had ought to be praying for every church in this city, this state and this nation! That the Holy Spirit will cleanse any and all unclean spirits from those places. It can be turned around, but we must collectively pray!
If you are waiting to get a perfect set of circumstances to give your life to Christ, to pray, to worship the One True God, it will never take place. What are you waiting for?!
I would like to give you the opportunity if you are ready...
"If you don't ... you're going to burn!"
And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
Now and forever, in Jesus' name
Brian Monzon Ministries