Text: Daniel 12:1-3

 

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.  You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.  Psalm 91  There is something decidedly triumphant about those words.  Stones, snakes and lions, beware!  God’s people are on the march!

 

Daniel in the words today saw another something that was triumphant.  It was the presence of the angel Michael.  At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise.  Michael!  “Who is like God?”  (That’s what the name Michael means.)  Who wins like those who have Michael on their side and God on their side??!!  Does it sound like there can even be any question about this?

 

There has to be triumph.  If at the end of the year (and this is the end of the year), there is defeat, then…bad.  Second place is the first loser.  This day we call “Saints Triumphant Day” is when believers can get in the face of unbelievers and say, “We win…you lose.”  This is the time of triumph and triumph means beating enemies.  You don’t rejoice when you beat your friend.  You rejoice when you beat your enemies.  God has enemies.  Everyone who trashes his Son and his Son’s work is God’s enemy.  Even if they trash it with a yawn or a bored and indifferent look away.  It says in the words from Hebrews this morning, “Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool…”  There is the word…ENEMY!  The triumph part comes because this is the struggle against enemies.  And God’s Saints triumph!  They are triumphant.

 

THE SAINTS ARE TRIUMPHANT

1. Triumphantly written

2. Triumphantly wise

3. Triumphantly winners

 

1. Triumphantly written

But at that time your people---everyone whose name is found written in the book---will be delivered.

 

The cause for this day of triumph is something that has already happened.  Germans say, “Es steht geschrieben.”   Our literal translation of that German expression is our hope today. “It stands written.”  Something has been written down in a great book someplace that assures our great joy today.   Actually, the book we speak of is in heaven.  It is called the book of life.  Revelation tells how it will be and how God sees it already, “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened.  Another book was opened, which is the book of life…If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:12ff.)  This is like going to watch a great contest where you know the end result.  There is no question as to whether the saints are going to be triumphant.  They are!  It is an accomplished fact.  This does affect how we are going to be watching the struggle.  We watch it knowing that the person is going to win.  Do you see that Christian over there…that one who is struggling with debt or depression or demons?  That Christian is going to win.  That Christian’s name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

 

Bad times and hard times are going to come.  Jesus promised that it would be so.  “In this world you will have trouble,” he said.   Daniel saw the hard times and trouble too.  “There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then…now.”  But do not despair.  Do not doubt.  Triumph is yours.  Heaven is yours.  And what we hear the Apostle John say, we know to be true, “Nothing impure will ever enter (heaven), nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.  Revelation 21:27  And it was true in Daniel’s eye too.  “But at that time your people---everyone whose name is found written in the book---will be delivered."

 

Thieves can’t steal this book away.  It can’t be hurt by rain or mold.  No one can doctor this book.  No one can tamper or alter.  Es steht geschrieben!  God has put his wish and intention in writing.   It happened when you came to faith.  The book of Revelation says that angels even watch when a sinner repents and they rejoice.  This crowding around the book happened at your baptism too. That’s why we consider Baptism such a lovely and dear thing.  That’s when God wrote your name in indelible ink into his book of life.  You are safe.  You are saved.  It is about you that Daniel wrote his words this morning, “But at that time your people---everyone whose name is found written in the book---will be delivered.

 

How could you not be triumphant today?  Your name is written in God’s book of life.  You are triumphantly written.

 

2. Triumphantly wise

Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

 

Those who are wise…   A second reason for you to be triumphant this day is that you are wise…triumphantly wise.  

 

It didn’t happen by yourselves.  You didn’t acquire this knowledge because you were so studious or because you had someone who led you to a magic library or enrolled you in an especially good school.  Your wisdom came about through your God.  Remember what Romans 16:27 says, “…To the only wise God”?  That is your God!  He doesn’t have ignorant children.  All of his children are wise.  He makes them so.  He leads them to his wisdom.  He tells us with Timothy, “and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 3:15)  And we read about the only wise God, “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.”  It says there too that Jesus is “…Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:12)

 

It is very easy to know someone who is triumphantly wise like this.  You can see it.  You can hear it too.  “Jesus, loves me, this I know.  For the Bible tells me so.”  There you have it!  That person is the only wise person around.  That person knows the Bible which is able to make him wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  That person knows Jesus.  That person knows that Jesus is not only the power of God but also the one who brings him into this power of God too.  The person who knows Jesus is his Savior has a spiritual I. Q. that is off the charts.

 

There is something else you should notice about the words of Daniel.  He says, “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.  There is a connection between being wise and in leading people to Jesus…many of them.  There is no wiser way to spend your money or your time or your energy.  Be triumphantly wise!  Tell many people about Jesus---bring many people to Jesus.

 

3. Triumphantly winners

And thirdly on this day of triumph, notice that God’s saints are triumphantly winners. Saints Triumphant is about saints like you winning.

 

It does come down to this.  Life is simple.  Either you win or you lose.  There are no draws and no ties.  So that’s what is happening right now.  Either you are in the process of winning or you are in the process of losing.  Either what you are doing now and what is going on in your life is happening to make you a winner or what is going on in your life right now is happening to make you a loser.

 

There is no such a thing as a good loser.  You have to win.  In Jesus you do.  It is an absolute thing. Rest in it.  Rejoice in it.  Triumph in it.  Everyone whose name is found written in the book---will be delivered.  There are no poor losers among Christians because Christians win.  Believers in Jesus win.  There are no good losers among Christians because Christians win.  They don’t have to try and be good losers.  No need.  They win.  There are no poor winners among Christian believers either.  They are gracious about this fact of their winning because God was gracious in his actions with them that brought it about.  To God the credit for our winning.  

 

Thanks be to God who gives us the victory in our Lord Jesus Christ.  This the one who will one day call us from the dust.  This is the King who sits astride his charger.  This is the one with his Name written on robe and thigh.  This is the one who has his robe dyed red in his own blood.  This is the victor…the champion…the King.  This is the one who gives us the victory and makes us triumph.

 

We triumph because of our King Jesus.  You can’t have saints triumphant without him.  With him you cannot have anything but triumphant saints.  Amen.