Text: Daniel 5:1-31
Introduction: The King gave a party and invited all of his friends. When we want to do something we like to have those of like interests around and with us; those who will approve of our conduct or behavior. At this party the forces of evil had a field day. There was much corruption and riotous living. It was at the height of the party that Belshazzar called for the vessels of God that Nebuchadnezzar had taken from Jerusalem. While they were drinking from these and praising pagan gods something began to take place. Prior to this time the King and his friends were “living it up.” As the world says, “It doesn’t get any better than this.” Then all of sudden the King’s face grew pale and terror came to his heart. We might say he was “as white as a sheet as if he had seen a ghost.” But we know that it was more than that. The Most High God was making His presence known. He did something that would make them stand up and take notice.
What did Belshazzar do? The same thing that Nebuchadnezzar did, he called on his wise men to tell him what was happening. These counselors could not come up with the answer. It is foolishness to think that the world can have the right answers. Then a familiar tune; Daniel is called in. He read the writing; it was a judgment. (Daniel 5:18-24) What did the inscription mean?
- MENE: God has numbered the days of your reign brought it to an end.
- TEKEL: You have been weighed in the scales and found wanting.
- PERES: Your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and the Persians.
It happened just like God said it would. That very night Babylon fell. There are a number of lessons to be learned from reading this account.
I. Sin Is Not Static: What do I mean by this statement? The one who sins never remains on the plateau. The path of sin always leads downhill. (James 1:13-15)
A. In many cases we do not learn from experience who God is and that he is the Sovereign God in control of the universe. Belshazzar fell into this category. He knew that God had dealt with his grandfather Nebuchadnezzar; he went farther and blasphemed God by desecrating the vessels. The pattern is clear in Romans 1:21-24; 26, 28.
II. Sin Puts Up To Sleep in Regards to Sin. We think that we are living all right lives, that we are in control of our destinies; we don’t even think we are sinning.
III. God Is Not Static: There are times in history when sin abounds and God does not seem to intervene. We must not think that just because God has postponed judgment that He will forget. He will pour out His wrath against sin. We say that there are only 2 sure things in life, “death and taxes.” Death is certain. “And it is appointed unto men once to dies, but after that the judgment.” By reading this verse we see that there is another certainty for mankind-Judgment.
The Final Destinies of Mankind. We see a foretaste of the final days here. All sin will be judged. Each of us has to make a decision whether to follow Christ or not. Those who have followed Him will be “caught up to meet the Lord in the air,” as recorded in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
What about the unbeliever? Read Revelation 20:11-14. It will be a time when “every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord.”
But for the unbeliever it will be too late. People think they have plenty of time to be saved. Where will you spend eternity? The choice is yours! God tells us of the destiny of the wicked so that we might turn from sin to salvation. It is God’s desire that all be saved. (2 Peter 3:9)
If it were not for the long suffering of God we might not have had the opportunity to become Christians. The Lord may have come and we would be lost.
Judgment is coming! To those outside of Christ the three words on the wall have meaning today.
- MENE: God is going to number your deeds to show that you have failed to achieve His standards. At the Great White Throne books are opened. All the evil you have done will be poured out on one side of God’s scales.
- TEKEL: All the lies, hypocrisies, all the self-seeking, all the evil you have done. You will be weighed. As you stand there the scales weigh down to condemnation.
- PERES: The Greek word for judgment means “divided.” There is a path that leads to eternal life for those who have accepted Christ. But at this judgment it is too late for that.
Conclusion: What will you who are lost say to God on that day? You cannot say you did not know or that the Gospel was not preached to you. Perhaps you will say you have lived a good life. You must choose to serve Jesus. To be a Christian and thus ready to “meet Him in the air,” and avoiding the judgment in Rev. 20 you must:
- Believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
- You must repent of your sins.
- You must confess Him.
- You must be baptized for the remission of your sins in order to receive salvation and the Gift of the Holy Spirit
If you do not do this you are lost no matter how much you rationalize you are not. You may be in the pews every time the church doors are open, but unless you have obeyed the Gospel you are lost! It is because we love you and do not want to see you miss heaven that we continue to preach the Gospel.