Bruce Collins, Evangelist

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Can People become Believers by Legislation?

Then Darius the king wrote to all the peoples, nations and men of every language who were living in all the land: "May your peace abound! "I make a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom men are to fear and tremble before the God of Daniel; For He is the living God and enduring forever, And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed, And His dominion will be forever. (Daniel 6:25-26 NASB)

The Political Intrigue

Darius had been tricked by those who were serving under him.  They plotted against Daniel and used the pride of man to convince Darius to restrict prayer for thirty days to him alone.  I wonder if he really though he could answer the prayers of his people.  Anyway, he signed the legislation and then found out he had condemned the best and most loyal administrator in his kingdom.  Daniel was about to become his second in command and now he was forced to recognize that Daniel was not going to obey his legislation. He was forced to throw him into a den of lions.

Did Daniel Do Right?

Throughout scripture we are told to pray for and honor and obey those in authority over us.  But there seems to be an exception.  When obeying those in authority causes us to be disloyal or disobedient to the God that we love and serve, we should obey God and not man.  Peter and John faced this dilemma in their ministry: “So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. (Acts 4:18-20 NKJV).’”  Daniel also put his worship of the Living God above the command of Darius. He likely knew this was a plot by others in the administration to eliminate him.  God honored his loyalty, Darius seems to have been changed from calling God, Daniel’s God, to proclaiming Him as the God all should worship.  I suspect Darius “got saved” when Daniel was thrown into the den of lions.

But Did Everyone Become a Believer in the Kingdom?

Obviously not!  You can sign up to be almost any religion in the world except true Christianity.  In order to become a Christian, there must be a work of the Holy Spirit that convinces us of sin and of righteousness and of judgement.  There must be a change of mind about the things that cause us to keep from trusting in the Lord.  Ultimately, becoming a Christian is a heart matter.  We must believe with all our hearts, that is we must believe without any reservation.  We can legislate Christian principles, but we cannot pass legislation that makes people Christians.  They can be called by that name, but they are still lost unless they come to a personal realization of their own sin and of the value of the death of Christ on their behalf. 

Was Everyone that was Saved from Egypt a Believer?

Obviously not.  Jude says,”But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe (Jude 1:5 NKJV).”  Salvation for the nation did not equate into salvation for the individual, even for the nation of Israel. 

Wars have been fought to force Christianity on others, legislation has been used for force Christian principles on others, but all these techniques fail to realize that the present Kingdom is spiritual and is entered by a spiritual birth. 

How Do We make Believers Today?

We do it the same way Daniel did.  We show our personal loyalty and obedience to the Lord that we SAY we love.  We respect the rulers of this world and the laws of the land when they do not require us to be unfaithful to the Lord.  Then we take pride in the fact that we have a God who answers prayer in a miraculous way. No doubt people will ask us, “What is your beloved More than another beloved, O fairest among women? What is your beloved More than another beloved, that you so charge us (Song of Solomon 5:9 NKJV)?”  When they ask that we will be able to tell them. Our beloved is the chiefest among ten thousand.  He is altogether lovely.  This is my Beloved and this is my friend.

I hope you have come to trust Him.

Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of December 8, 2019
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