Thursday, September 27, 2007

TFA 07: Looking to the future

In the same way that the middle session was based on 1 Corinthians, this last session, looking t the future, was based in the book of Daniel. So how can good theology, especially from Danile help us today?

God is our only hope.

Daniel explodes the myth of the Godless world, and because of that, we will never be without hope. God is kind, faithful and soveriegn, thats how Daniel survived. No other God can save Daniel in the way of 3:17-18. In Chapter three the worlds power seems to be at it's greatest, but then it's used by God and for God, but then Nebuchednezzar is proud again, so God humbles him again in chapter four. Then the King of Babylon realises that Israel's God rules over him as well. He ruled for a long time, but God is eternal. God is our best hope always, we are never along with His Word, an when we exhaust our own strength, then we are in the best place.

You can survive.

Don't believe the scaremongering about the death of the Biblical church. We should be inspired by Daniel. It is incredible that he survived for as long as he did as close to the king. Daniel was not impressed or scared by Belteshazzar, a man who neither knew nor feared God. He continued to translate his dreams. Belteshazzar did not survive. Daniel did. Where our treasure is there our heart will be...let our trasure be the Gospel.

You will face opposition.

Daniel exposes the myth of the moral world. The world will only be moral at it's best, but it's hardly ever at it's best. Would we cope like Daniel, who was in captuvuty for more than sixty years? There is no utopia, not for Daniel, not for us, even in obediance to Jesus. In fact, it is because of our obediance to Jesus...look how he was treated. But the message of the second half of Daniel is simple: God wins! But we see in this chapter that His people often look defeated: in 7:21 they are being warred upon, in 8:10 they are suffering, in 12:7 we see that many will lose their lives. Real Christianity doesn't promise to deliver us from suffering in this life, but to God in the end. Our current lack of suffering in unusual, politics will not save the saints, only the Gospel will do that.

Good theology is important because it informs our hearts and sets our expectations. Daniel suffered for decade upon decade, and he didn't even know what we know. We need to store the Word, and good theology up in our hearts so that when days' like Daniels arrive, we know that God hasn't deserted us. Our lives are, and must be, living testimony to the fact that life in Christ is better than an easy life without Him.

1 comment:

Craig said...

I must say that this has been encouraging for me, especially as some one who has spent the last year trying to get confidence in what I have learnt in my faith. I will soon return back to Guildford having to totally change communities and cultures(I am in the bible belt) again and stand firm in what I know.