Description of ET Babylon – Rev.17-18; Matt.24; Mark 13; Luke 12, 17 & 21; 2 Th.2; 2 Tim.3-4; 2 Pet.2-3; Jude. All describe the ET culture before the Return of Jesus. Falsehood, deceit, perversion, indifference, licentiousness, pride, conflict, falling away from Jesus, etc. The ET culture intensifying with greater temptation & persecution over next 20+ years. Fear, compromise, apathy, anger increasing; demonic attack and strain upon believer’s faith, relationships, values, health, finances causing many to either walk away or live in defeat; some will rise above the circumstances & Babylonian culture b/c of conviction and courage.
Bob Jones prophetic encounter about believers living during the ET generation.
How can we be believers who do not compromise or give up our Biblical convictions?
Daniel and his friends are examples of how believers must live during the ET. They demonstrate how to live with conviction and courage in a corrupt and corrosive culture.
How did they become young men of courage and conviction?
Summarize last week’s message – Dan.1 – 6 and the stories of courage and conviction.
They’re teenagers and we know Daniel remained convictional throughout his life!
The moral and spiritual landscape in Judah – end of 2 Chron & 2 Kings; Jeremiah & Ezekiel. Broken, polluted, corrupt, perverse, idolatry, child sacrifice, etc.
They were part of the royal family and interacted with Jeremiah since he was priest before God.
They saw firsthand Jeremiah’s prophecies about Jerusalem fulfilled and this created an awakening within them to diligently follow the Lord.
They listened and followed Jeremiah’s words of Jeremiah 29.
Conviction is a firmly held belief that you will not give up during life’s most challenging times.
You don’t just become a person of conviction. Conviction is grown over time in your life.
I have watched Christians crumble underneath the arguments of atheist or instructors or friends who challenged or persecuted their Biblical convictions; I have watched Christians drop away from the Lord b/c of hardship or disappointment.
Please don’t equate passion or enthusiasm with conviction.
Four Ways to Cultivate Biblical Conviction
Begin with an example of patriotic people – family heritage; military service; immigrant of child of immigrant; studying American history. They love this country and are committed to her success.
As you develop Biblical convictions they come from the same sources.
Personal experience – over time you have watched the outworking of your faithful obedience or unfaithful disobedience; How God has either blessed your life or experiencing the negative consequences of living in disobedience to God.
Israel never returning to idolatry after the Babylonian captivity. It was a conviction born out of both negative and positive personal experience over the 70 years of captivity.
A former alcoholic never touching alcohol again. They experienced the negative impact and the positive results of sobriety over time.
Personal Encounters – suddenly moments for yourself
When God encounters Abr, Jacob, Moses, the Judges, some of the Kings, Peter & apostles on the Day of Pentecost, Saul, etc. These are intense moments or short seasons when a truth about God or a promise from God moves from “out there” to “in here.”
Salvation experience, answered, encountering God’s heart of love for me as a child!
Observation of Life
Reflecting and/or receiving from other people’s lives and life situations. As you look at and learn from the lives of others. I hear their stories and experiences of faith. God told Israel to retell the story of their deliverance from Egypt and His mighty works on their behalf.
This is where it begins with most people. You learn it from your parents, but eventually it has to become your own. My parent’s conviction about the trustworthiness of Scripture and over time it became my conviction.
One of the anchors in my life to remain faithful to the Lord is b/c of the positive life outcomes I see in the senior adults in my life who have remained faithful to God all the way to the end. FOR MY SAKE, REMAIN FAITHFUL. The teenager, 20-40 year olds may not think it’s such a big deal, but those in mid-life draw great strength from your faithfulness to God.
Christian leaders stories – Todd White & Finger of God; healing testimonies at Willow. These things build my faith!
Studying the Word and other resources on a topic of importance. This is the most neglected and the most needed.
My experience with evolution or creationism. Today with gender identity, the person of Jesus and God’s goodness and justice issues.
I think this is why there are so many young adults who were convictional as teenagers have lost that conviction. The Biblical conviction was passed on to them but they did not personally ground it in their heart.
My belief about God’s will to heal and now it’s a conviction. You cannot shake me from it.
Summary: We can see where Daniel and his friends had the personal experience of living obedient lives and how God protected and blessed them; we know they were studious and grounded in the Word; they observed how God fulfilled the prophetic words of Jeremiah to Jerusalem; they also had those God encounters (Dan.1 – 6) where God powerfully shows up and provides the answer or delivers them.
You cannot become a person of true Biblical conviction overnight; it takes cultivation in all these areas.
The Core Convictions of Every Believer
The Trustworthiness of Scripture
The Love and Goodness of God
The Person and Work of Jesus
Salvation and Eternal Realities
Biblical Morality & Sexuality
Our Identity & Responsibility as God’s Children
If we want to walk victoriously during the ET, we must be people of conviction and courage!!