“2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” Daniel 12:2-3
Pastor Chris wraps up this journey through the life and times of the Prophet Daniel with a powerful message of vigilance and victory from the final chapter of this book. It is a continuation of the account of the vision which began in the tenth chapter. “5 I looked up and saw a man dressed in linen clothing, with a belt of pure gold around his waist. 6 His body looked like a precious gem. His face flashed like lightning, and his eyes flamed like torches. His arms and feet shone like polished bronze, and his voice roared like a vast multitude of people.” (Daniel 10:5-6)
As Daniel listens carefully to the thundering words that this supernatural man speaks, it is clear that the end of times will be one of extremes. There will be both woe and winning. God’s people will be delivered, but through a period of destruction. In the end, it emphasizes God’s sovereign power over all. In fact, for those in the church at that time (which could be soon) they will be part of the most unique, powerful, violent, and important generation in history. Still, it is a time that all of God’s people can look forward to!
5 Future Events that God Promises Every Faithful Jesus Follower can Look Forward To
- God Delivers His People – God’s ultimate triumph is rescuing His people through tribulation. His name is Jehovah-Mephalti: “Lord my Deliverer”
1 “At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. Daniel 12:1 (ESV)
- God Raises the Dead – His promise for us, and those believers who’ve passed away, is that He will resurrect the church as a final testament to woo the lost to Himself. Those who reject Him will face eternal death – separation from God forever.
2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. Daniel 12:2–3(ESV)
See also: John 5:28–29
What are some false views of the afterlife?
- Universalism – “all paths lead to heaven”
- Annihilationism – “at death, a person simply ceases to exist”
- Tom & Jerry heaven – “a cartoon-ish view of chubby cherubs floating around”
- Reincarnation & Purgatory – “a second chance at salvation after death”
- Soul Sleep – “at death, a person enters a deep sleep until the return of Christ”
- God Controls the Future – a sign of the end-times is that knowledge will increase immensely. Until 1900, human knowledge doubled about every 100 years. Now, scientific knowledge is doubling about every 18 months. Soon, due to the internet, human knowledge is projected to double every 12 hours! This deceives many into thinking humanity alone is in control of our future.
4 But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” 5 Then I, Daniel, looked, and behold, two others stood, one on this bank of the stream and one on that bank of the stream. 6 And someone said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream, “How long shall it be till the end of these wonders?” 7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream; he raised his right hand and his left hand toward heaven and swore by him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time, and that when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end all these things would be finished. 8 I heard, but I did not understand. Then I said, “O my lord, what shall be the outcome of these things?” 9 He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end. Daniel 12:4–9 (ESV)
See also: Romans 10:17
F.A.I.T.H. – Forsaking All I Trust Him
- God Refines the Guilty – in the end of days there will be an increase of defilement, an unclean culture, which will dominate society. This means the gospel will be the answer for those who want to come clean. God is ready to redeem!
10 Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand. 11 And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days. 12 Blessed is he who waits and arrives at the 1,335 days. Daniel 12:10-12 (ESV)
3 There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, 4 and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. 5 In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! Romans 5:3–5 (The Message)
See also: 1 John 1:8–9
- God Rewards the Faithful – Daniel’s life is the central point of this book. He was faithful. The visions and warnings serve to reveal God’s promises, but these were only revealed because he immersed himself in his relationship with God and was seen as a good and faithful servant!
13 But go your way till the end. And you shall rest and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.” Daniel 12:13 (ESV)
6 For a child has been born—for us! The gift of a son—for us! He’ll take over the running of the world. His names will be: Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness. 7His ruling authority will grow, and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings. He’ll rule from the historic David throne over that promised kingdom. He’ll put that kingdom on a firm footing and keep it going with fair dealing and right living, beginning now and lasting always. The zeal of God-of-the-Angel-Armies will do all this. Isaiah 9:6–7 (The Message)
- What is something you have planned that you are really looking forward to?
- What are you most looking forward to in the end-of-days, as prophesied in Daniel?
- What is something new that you’ve learned and applied in your life from the example of Daniel?
- What might be some signs of end-times in our current generation? How do you suppose we should respond?
- Thank God for the promise of rescuing you from eternal destruction! Ask Him what you can do in response to the example of Daniel, a human like you, who directed his every thought to trusting God.
- This Christmas, ask God to show you how to be “wise [and] shine like the brightness of the sky above” (v. 3). Carry this action into the New Year by bringing hope to a hopeless world!
3 Questions to Ponder for the Entire Series in Daniel
- Who or what is supreme in your life?
- Does your life portray this?
- What spirit are you following?