A section of the members of Amazing Love Church Ministry Int’l and Senior Pastor Georges William Ntemi are in Israel on the Church’s annual pilgrimage to pay homage to the birth place of Jesus Christ. So, when his surrogate, Pastor Jean Paul Ntap took the pulpit to deliver the sermon on Sunday, expectations from the congregation were mixed. But, he did not disappoint.
Pastor Ntap grounded his sermon on the courage and bravery of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who defied King Nebuchadnezzar and refused to worship the graven image he had ordered everyone in Babylon to bow down to and worship at the sound of tolling bells. Predicating his sermon on the Book of Daniel 3: 2-26, Pastor Ntap noted that the valiant act of the three young men resulted in Nebuchadnezzar to challenge God.
The civil disobedience of the three young men incurred the anger and displeasure of Nebuchadnezzar, so he decided to throw them into a blazing furnace. Before a huge assembly, Nebuchadnezzar ordered heftily built sentries to escort Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to the furnace and cast them in. However, as soon as they came close to the furnace, the heat was so fiery that it incinerated the sentries, but the three were left unscathed.
The three young men walked in there as if they were walking into an air-conditioned room in the midst of a scorching and blazing heat. While in there, they were observed to be singing and praising God. A bemused and totally confounded Nebuchadnezzar confessed to the greatness of God, noting that he saw a fourth person in the furnace. The fourth person was, in fact, an angel God had sent to deliver Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the hellish furnace.
Pastor Ntap likened the uncompromising stance of the three men to the need for Christians not to yield to political correctness in the pursuit of justice and righteousness in the reality of Christ. “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were bound by the word of God,” said Pastor Ntap. “We live in society today where we are compelled to compromise our faith and belief on a lot of issues. In the case of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, they refused to compromise their profound faith in God. God’s words were their bond. They understood that they need God in their lives more than the positions Nebuchadnezzar had given them, so they refused to compromise.”
Pastor Ntap said that life is full of raging furnaces, and like Job, when those moments come, it is one’s belief in God that would be one’s saving grace. “If God is for us, who can be against us,” he quoted from Romans 8. “As far as our God is alive, He will deliver us from any calamity. Only trust and believe like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did. Only trust like Job did. However, sometimes, the problem is us because of our uncertain relationship with God,” said Pastor Ntap.
Because Nebuchadnezzar was an unbeliever, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to eat what he ate, and they refused to obey his decree to worship his graven image although they were in captivity. The three young men risked their lives for their fellow Israelites in captivity in Babylon to restore the dignity of the Israelites to the glory of the Lord.