What kind of faith do you have? The Bible tells us that in the end times many will deny the faith and give up on Christ. There will be an apostasy before the Lord returns, a great falling away from the faith in the last days, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” (2 Thess 2:3,4).
Living in perilous times, we can expect a lot of hardship and trials on account of our faith. When we suffer persecution, would our faith hold up? When Jesus Christ comes back, “shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). What can we do in trying times when our faith is sorely tested? We must remain steadfast in our faith and trust in our God and Saviour no matter what. We learn this from Daniel’s three friends—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. What did they do when a king makes himself God, and demands all to fall down and worship him? They exhibited a faith that was uncompromising, a faith we must have especially today.
Worshipping Only God
In Daniel 3, we find a true historical account on three young Jewish men in ancient Babylon. They teach us what it means to be loyal to the one living and true God and to be obedient to the Holy Scriptures. In Daniel 3:1–7, we find King Nebuchadnezzar setting up a golden image of himself and commanding all his subjects to bow to this golden image of his. Verse 1 tells us that this golden image is 60 cubits high and 6 cubits wide. 1 cubit is 1½ feet. So this statue was huge—90 feet tall and 9 feet broad. Nebuchadnezzar threatened all who would not fall down to worship his image with death in the fiery furnace.
What would you do if you were in the shoes of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? Would you find some justification in your mind how you can be both right with God and with man?I trust not, for Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matt 6:24). What we should do is remember the Scriptures, know the commandments of God, and obey them. And the commandments of God are clear with regard to idolatry. The first two commandments of the Decalogue say, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God” (Exod 20:3–5).
The decision that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had to make was very clear. They would not bow to the golden image of Nebuchadnezzar no matter what. They had determined in their hearts to fear God and not man. They had the courage to face the death penalty for disobeying the king. No compromise!
Unafraid of Persecution
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were appointed administrative officers of Nebuchadnezzar in the capital city of Babylon itself (Dan 2:49). There was probably a whole lot of jealousy among Nebuchadnezzar’s officers that these Jews should be promoted so fast and so high because of Daniel’s wisdom in the interpretation of the king’s dream about 15 years ago. It has been 15 years since, and they could find no headway to remove these three.
Daniel’s three friends must have been outstanding servants of the court. No doubt their exemplary conduct and excellent service were difficult for the enemies to attack. But now, they saw their chance to destroy them when they refused to participate in the worship of the king’s image. They were quick to accuse Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego before the king saying, “There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up” (Dan 3:12).
This is also what will happen in the last days. Jesus said, “They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” (John 16:2). We at the Far Eastern Bible College (FEBC) are seeing the prophetic warning of Christ fulfilled in our very own eyes and by our very own experiences. FEBC is teaching the truth that the Bible was not only 100% perfect in the past, it is also 100% perfect today without any mistake because God has singlehandedly and supernaturally preserved His inspired words as He promised (Ps 12:6–7, Matt 5:18). Those who persecute FEBC sincerely think that they are doing God a favour by getting rid of FEBC. They call the biblical doctrine of Verbal Plenary Preservation (VPP) a “deviant doctrine” and “heresy”. This is a false accusation, a malicious charge. But we testify like the Apostle Paul, “But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets” (Acts 24:14). We do not doubt the truth despite what men might say against it because our faith is grounded on God’s forever infallible and inerrant words (Matt 24:35) and in Christ our Saviour who is the same, yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8).
What is God’s word of comfort to persecuted saints? Jesus in His beatitudes said, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” (Matt 5:10–12).
Although we are persecuted by our enemies, we must love them nonetheless. Jesus commanded us to love our neighbours as ourselves (Matt 22:39) and that includes our enemies, those who hate us. People may try to hurt and harm us because of our faith, but as Christians we must never do anything that will hurt and harm others.
Ready to Die
Although Nebuchadnezzar threatened to throw them into the fiery furnace if they did not bow to his image, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not budge, but courageously stood their ground and would not deny the faith. Nebuchadnezzar even sneered at the God of the Jews, “and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?” (Dan 3:15). But the three answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter” (Dan 3:16). In other words, “We are not worried, nor do we think it necessary to reply to you.” No matter what, the three friends would never do as the king had asked, and neither would the king excuse them but put them to death.
The faith of the three friends was such that if they be thrown into the fire, “our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up” (Dan 3:17,18). They had the faith of Esther, “If I perish, I perish” (Esth 4:16), and of Job, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15).
FEBC was put through a fiery test. We were threatened with expulsion from our birthplace and home because we would not disavow the truth that the Bible today is 100% perfect without any mistake. The College was told not to teach VPP if she wants peace. The temptation to yield or compromise is great. If FEBC gives up the truth that the Bible is presently infallible and inerrant, her sole and supreme authority of faith and practice, she would have lost her reason to exist. We would have no inerrant and authoritative Bible to teach from, and we would have taken the Dean Burgon Oath in vain.
All we could say then was, “The Lord can deliver us and preserve our existence in our birthplace and home at Gilstead Road, but if He does not, let it be known that we will never yield to the unbelieving spirit of the age, nor bow to the scholarolatry of liberalism.”
I thank the Lord for the faith of the saints who love FEBC for the truth that she teaches. I have received many letters of encouragement in support of VPP and FEBC, and the faith expressed in all those letters must have ascended to God’s throne as “an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God” (Phil 4:18).
The Lord did deliver Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the fiery furnace. God showed His glory and His power. No one can fight God and win. Nebuchadnezzar himself praised God and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.” (Dan 3:28,29).
The Lord can deliver His people from danger, but even if He does not, we should never compromise our faith. We must never kowtow to the god of liberalism or modernism. We must never deny the integrity of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour and the authenticity of His forever infallible and inerrant Word which gave us the Reformation. “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” (Ps 12:6,7). JK
RESUMPTION OF PHYSICAL WORSHIP (LIMITED)
The weekly Lord’s Day Chinese worship and English communion services will be held at RELC Rooms 603/604 according to the following schedule:
English Communion Service I: 9.00–10.00 am
English Communion Service II: 10.15–11.15 am
Chinese Worship Service: 11.30 am–1.00 pm
Please register your attendance for the communion service beforehand at our church website: www.truelifebpc.org.sg.
Important Note: All English congregants should continue to participate in the worship service conducted online every week. The communion service supplements the online service until such time we can gather together more fully. The Chinese service is streamed live for those who cannot make it to RELC. We look forward to a full resumption of physical, corporate worship in time to come. In the meanwhile, let us keep watching and praying.
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