Sermon Summary

 “1 King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold….you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. 6 And whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace….” 14“…Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up?” ”16…O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.20 And he ordered some of the mighty men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace….24King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He declared to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” “25…But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.” 29 Therefore I make a decree: Any people, nation, or language that speaks anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins, for there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way.”30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon. {excerpts from Daniel 3:1, 6, 14, 16, 20, 29, 30 (ESV)}

In this third message from the Book of Daniel, Pastor Chris unpacks the elements of loyalty practiced daily by the four devout young men from Judah. Daniel’s faithful companions, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego faced a fiery test of loyalty, when challenged to choose King over God. Yet, their daily devotion and spiritual discipline helped them stand firm. Instead of a ‘crisis of faith’ these godly men demonstrated a ‘conviction of faith’ in their moment of trial. Through them, God changed the King’s heart toward God and His people.

3 Questions to Ponder for the Entire Series in Daniel 

  1. Who or what is supreme in your life? 
  2. Does your life portray this? 
  3. What spirit are you following?

See: Revelation 17:5, 18:2

7 Truths about the Loyalty Test for God

  1. False King and Kingdom – an agenda that stands against God’s unshakeable kingdom; the spiritual root of rebellion began with the Tower of Babel, 1500 years before Nebuchadnezzar’s Kingdom of Babylon

See: Isaiah 47:10

4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves…” Genesis 11:4 (ESV)

  1. False Worship  – the king demanded worship of him alone by all the people (est., 300K), he built a gold statue (90 ft. x 9 ft.) to focus their attention and test their devotion (bowing)
  2. False Hell – the Jews in exile suffered the malicious accusations from non-Jews, a manifestation of the enemy of God’s people, Satan (lit., ‘accuser’); penalty for non-worship is a fiery furnace (false hell)

See:Galatians 5:15

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

  1. True Worship – honor given to the King in word, while their actions defied the King’s order; they did not react in fear or fury when the King became angry – at peace with whatever God chose to do
  2. The Way of the Exile – they could choose from two normal, human paths, or choose the way of God – how Jesus walked – honor God above all, even if it means losing your rights, or even your life
  • Revolt – the fighter shouting for their rights and refusing to comply; rooted in anger
  • Compromise – the comfortable, acquiescing and doing anything to stay that way; rooted in passivity
  • Honoring Subversion: The way of Jesus – the confident, humbly acknowledging that God comes first no matter the outcome

See: 1 Peter 4:12

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds…” James 1:2

  1. Loyalty Tested – Loyalty: “to be firm, be established, be steadfast, be faithful, be sure, be reliable, be fixed, be certain; to be ready, be prepared; to be determined … Signifies initial preparation or formation, actual preparation for a future event.”  This test, or trial, is an opportunity to prevail – not fail!

See: 1 Chronicles 29:17–19


  • If your goal is comfort and ease, eventually you will deny your God.
  • If your goal is to be faithful to Jesus hear Him say, “Well done, good & faithful servant!” then comfort or death are not your main concern.
  1. The Real King – passing the loyalty test means allegiance to God, the King of Kings – our options:

3 Responses to a Fiery Trial:

  1. Delivered from the fire. Result: Our faith is built
  2. Delivered through the fire. Result: Our faith is refined. 
  3. Delivered by the fire into Lord’s presence. Result: Our faith is perfected

See: Isaiah 43:2–3, Matthew 13:41–43, Romans 8:38-39

3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)

Pastor Chris pointed out that Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego exemplify for us how to overcome when we are tested. If our pursuit is comfort, we will capitulate. If our pursuit is godliness, we will stand firm. Our response reflects our priority.

Discussion Questions

  1. Putting yourself in these young men’s sandals, what do you understand gave them the conviction to stand against a ruthless king and counterfeit kingdom?
  2. What sort of tactics did the enemy use to try to undermine their faith? What does Satan use today?
  3. “God is able to deliver us, but if not we will not…worship the image…,” said the three. What would be your answer? 
  4. How do you suppose most people think about loyalty? What might loyalty to Christ look like in our current culture? 

Application Questions

  • For the 12 weeks of this series in Daniel, keep answering these questions from Pastor Chris:
  1. Q: Who or what is supreme in your life? 


  1. Q: Does your life portray this? 


  1. What spirit are you following?


  • Have you already answered the question in your own heart and mind about whether anything could make you turn away from Him? 
  • Could any circumstance (such as an unhealed disease, unanswered prayer, loss of a loved one, an incarceration in a country where Christianity is illegal, or other adversity) make you renounce your faith in Christ??