Daniel: How to Live in a Shifting Culture

Dec 02, 2018 | Thad Key, Senior Pastor

How to Live for Eternity in a Shifting Culture

Living for eternity begins with living your life today to forever impact eternity.

How to Live for Eternity…

Secure Your Future(12:1-2)

The devolution of culture into an anti-God stance will lead to dangerous times of “trouble” for believers (12:1; Mt. 24:6-7).

“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.”-Jesus in Matthew 24:21

In a hostile culture, God promises to rescue everyone who is in “the book”-the Lamb’s book of life (Lk. 10:20; Phil. 4:3; Rev. 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:15; 21:27).

“Rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”-Jesus in Luke 10:20

In a world where culture is collapsing, God promises to “rescue” his people in the end by bringing them safely into his heavenly kingdom (12:1; 2 Tim. 4:18).

When Jesus returns, believers’ bodies will be raised to an eternally transforming resurrection that fits their bodies for “everlasting life” (12:2; Jn. 5:28-29; 1 Cor. 15:51-58; Rev. 20:12-13). 

The bodies of those who reject God by rejecting Jesus will be resurrected to eternal “shame and everlasting contempt” as they are cast into the eternal “lake of fire” where “the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever and they have no rest, day or night” (12:2; Rev. 14:11; 20:14-15).

Living for Eternity Requires…

1)  Knowing You are Eternal

“He has put eternity into man’s heart…”-Ecclesiastes 3:11 

“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal...It is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit-immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.”-C.S. Lewis in The Weight of Glory

2)  Obeying the Gospel of Jesus

Everyone is going to live somewhere forever. 

“When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might…”-2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 

How to Live for Eternity…

Choose Purpose in the Present(12:3-6)

In this shifting culture, God’s will is for you to “turn many to righteousness” through living and speaking Jesus’ gospel (12:3; Ps. 126:5-6).

“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and the one who is wise saves lives.”-Proverbs 11:30

Those who “shine” the light of Jesus on earth as witnesses will “shine” forever reflecting the glory of Jesus in eternity (12:3; Jn. 8:12).

To “shut up” and “seal” means the word of God is authenticated and preserved until future fulfillment (12:4; Isa. 8:16; Jer. 32:11, 14).

Your purpose in the present is to “go” to those “here” and to “go” to those “there” with the aim of eternally transforming lives with Jesus’ Gospel (12:4).

“This gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”-Matthew 24:14 

Living for Eternity Requires…

1) Living Every Day Giving Everything

“The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded...”-1 Peter 4:7 

Your life will never make an eternal impact until you live every day understanding the end is near (Ps. 90:12; Eph. 5:14-16).

2) Seeing Your Opportunity

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”-1 Thessalonians 5:17

God wants to get you to a place where you do not fear the culture but you live by faith seeing your unique opportunity to transform the culture.

How to Live for Eternity…

Run Your Race(12:7-13)

Cultures are moving toward a “shattering of the power of the holy people” when the world’s cultures will violently persecute Christians (12:7; Mt. 24). 

“Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”-Jesus in Matthew 24:13

God’s will is that you not worry yourself with the “when” and the “what” but rather “go on your way” and live your life in light of eternity (12:8-9).

The shifting of culture in a secular direction is a prime opportunity for God’s people to “purify” and be “refined” in holiness (12:10).

Jesus described the “abomination of desolation” as the final season of persecution of culture that will usher in the “great tribulation” (12:11-12; Mt. 24:15-28).

“Go your way till the end” means to live out God’s mission for your life (12:13).

Living for Eternity Requires…

1)  Living Your Life’s Mission

“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…”-Hebrews 12:1 

God has a race “marked out” for your life that you are called to live (Phil. 3:12-14).

2)  Living for Heaven

“So we fix our eyes not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are temporary, but the things that are unseen are eternal. For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”-1 Corinthians 4:17-5:1

The life lived for heaven is the life that can rescue others from hell.

 Challenge: Am I living today to forever impact eternity?

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