Christians Can Thrive in Babylon

by Joseph Franks

Do you find yourself greatly troubled by your culture?  Do you find yourself shocked by the blatant disregard for decency and morality?  More and more, are you feeling like a resident of Sodom and Gomorrah?  Are you concerned for the direction of your country and the future of your children and grandchildren?  Are you bothered by political correctness, troubled by socialism, and angered as your personal freedoms are being taken away?

Well, I have good news for you.  Despite communism, the church thrived in twentieth century Russia and China.  Despite Romanism, the church thrived in sixteenth and seventeenth century Scotland and England.  Despite despotism, the church thrived in the Persian, Greek and Roman empires.  All hell may break loose, but ultimately the gates of hell shall not prevail.  Corporately, the church is still in very strong and good hands, and Christians can thrive, even in Babylon.

I take this devotional thought from one verse found in Daniel:

Daniel 6:28     So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

In Daniel’s day, the visible church was somewhat pathetic.  Prophets and priests were immoral.  The Word of God was forsaken.  Sinful syncretistic worship was the rave, and the church building had long been abandoned by God and his people.  A more bleak spiritual picture is hard to imagine.

In Daniel’s day, the family unit was falling apart.  Believers married unbelievers, and children suffered due to the hedonism and idolatry of their parents and grandparents.  Abortions and murders were commonplace.  Widows and elderly parents were forsaken by their upwardly mobile descendants.  The family, as God intended, was a rare commodity.

In Daniel’s day, the “one nation under God” was in dire straights.  At first God harmed their economy, then he took away their national sovereignty.  Ultimately their country was completely overwhelmed and devestated by forces from the Middle East.

It looked hopeless.  How could the church rebound and grow?  How could a young person find his way in this maze of iniquity?  Daniel was growing up apart from a godly household, apart from a thriving church, and all while being completely immersed in a pagan education system.

However, as we have been walking through the book of Daniel, we have seen him thriving during the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar and Belteshazzar.  And more recently, despite opposition, slander, injustice, persecution and a night in the lion’s den, Daniel is presented as prospering during the reigns of Darius and Cyrus.  Kings come and go, and Daniel thrives through them all.

Friends, I do not know what God has in store for the United States of America.  I still pray for national revival.  I would like to see a moral majority.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see our culture once again focus on the family.  I would like to reclaim America and see her return to her Christian roots.  Oh, to truly be one nation under God.  However, God gives and takes away, and if national revival is not in the eternal plan of God, blessed be his name.

Additionally, I do not know if you are a Premillennialist, Amillennialists or Postmillennialists.  I do not know your views on the tribulation and the kingdom of Satan; I know not where you stand regarding the kingdom of God.  But this I know — wherever  you are in your eschatological view, you cannot be depressed and hopeless.  Oh, you can be sad.  You can be angry.  You can be a culture warrior, and you can be a realist who is preparing for increased tribulation and persecution.  However, you cannot be a defeated pessimist.  Jesus sits on the throne; rulers and governments are in his hand; and the church is his bride whom he will never forsake.

So stay on your knees like Daniel.  Pray for yourself, your family, your church and your nation.  For in the midst of Babylon you can thrive, for God is here.

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Scripture Reading Plan: 

Friday, December 6 – Daniel 5-6; 1 John 4

Saturday, December 7 – Daniel 7-8; 1 John 5

Sunday, December 8 – Daniel 9-10; 2 John 1

Monday, December 9 – Daniel 11-12; 3 John 1

Tuesday, December 10 – Hosea 1-4; Jude 1

Wednesday, December 12 – Hosea 5-8; Revelation 1

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