Now is the time
About 2400 years ago while the Jews were in captivity in Persia
A young girl was taken from her home and chosen to be a consort to the King…
Her life, traditions, family, and all that was familiar to her was taken away…it didn’t seem fair, it didn’t seem right, it didn’t seem like God but it was….
An enemy was raising up in the Persian empire that was plotting to kill all of the Jews, no one knew but God, this young woman had her life turned upside down, she laid down her life to choose to trust God. Despite not understanding, not having a clue why, not even having hope of a future, but her trust of God opened the door for her to become queen. However, even as queen, she was once again called to lay down her life for the Lord.
The plot was revealed that the Jews were all to be killed, however the King was unaware that his queen was a Jew, if she went to the King without being invited, she could be killed. If the King felt she had betrayed him by not making her heritage known she could be killed. Her older cousin, who had raised her pushed her to go before the King with this statement.
Esther 4:14 For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
The Roman Empire was not destroyed by outside invaders but by corruption within, they had forgotten the principles that made them great
Edmund Burke a British, philosopher in observing the French revolution stated “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
I believe as a nation every election has the potential for blessing and the potential for degradation.
In America we have a rare privilege of electing our officials, something that used to be without threat or coercion. As you watch the news, you see that is changing the division and general divisiveness are becoming more pronounced…This election is for the heart of our nation…do we remember who we are or where we came from.
It is our time, as people of faith to do something, we were created and born for such a time as this.
while America did not have a Christian Founding in the sense of creating a theocracy, its Founding was deeply shaped by Christian moral truths.
Each of the original 13 colonies have in their founding profound Christian tenets and roots. Our own state of Pennsylvania chiefest among them.
If you research you will find many documents by our founders proclaiming days and times of prayer, thanksgiving, and prayer and fasting such as this from George Washington’s famous Thanksgiving day proclamation in 1789
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor…
I do recommend…the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be….And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our national government a blessing to all the People….
I obviously don’t have the time to go into everything, and as an American, our schools should be promoting our true heritage rather than tearing it down and you should also research and understand the truth of our Ethical and Tenets of our founding Father’s even the basis of our revolution was as King George of England called it, the Presbyterian Revolt
But then some might say what about Thomas Jefferson’s famous quote about a “wall of separation between church and state.” If it was meant to be interpreted the way, as Justice Hugo Black did in 1947 which has caused all the controversy we have today, then Thomas Jefferson would have never
- issued calls for prayer and fasting as governor of Virginia, and in his revision of Virginia’s statutes,
- he drafted bills stipulating when the governor could appoint “days of public fasting and humiliation, or thanksgiving”
- to punish “Disturbers of Religious Worship and Sabbath Breakers.”
- As a member of the Continental Congress, he proposed that the nation adopt a seal containing the image of Moses “extending his hand over the sea, caus[ing] it to overwhelm Pharaoh,” and the motto “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.”
If you have a greater interest in a discussion about America founding as a Christian Nation I would recommend a quick read In the Heritage Foundation (heritage.org) by Mark David Hall called “Did America have a Christian Founding?” https://www.heritage.org/political-process/report/did-america-have-christian-founding
Having discussed all of that, I need us to look at one of the points today where we are losing our Christian heritage and Ethic and how it is important to vote for this ethic rather than against it
A very big issue with this election is the economy and where do we go from here. What is the Biblical guidance for the care of the poor and the distribution of wealth?
The Bible is very clear about a mandate to care for the poor.
We see part of the reason for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was their lake of care for the poor.
Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door. 50 She was proud and committed detestable sins, so I wiped her out, as you have seen.
A couple other points the Bible makes about care of the poor
1 John 3:16,17
16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
Sounds like it is our responsibility to care for the poor but how are we supposed to do that? Does the Bible spell it out?
All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.
43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. 44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need.
All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all. 34 There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them 35 and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need.
Wow does that sound great, those with more, freely giving to those in need. Why did it work? It did but only for a short time!
- They were daily meeting together, studying the Word, praying, sharing in the daily work of caring for everyone…such community worked, government was not involved, there was no bureaucracy like that have in Russia, Sweden, Germany and other socialist countries.
- Everyone was aware of exactly what everyone else needed and there was accountability for the expenses
- The people had a great reverence for the Lord and the leadership of the church community
Yet even with having all of this, greed and laziness eventually set in. People stopped pulling their share and became selfish to where Paul
2 Thessalonians 3:6-12
And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received from us. 7 For you know that you ought to imitate us. We were not idle when we were with you. 8 We never accepted food from anyone without paying for it. We worked hard day and night so we would not be a burden to any of you. 9 We certainly had the right to ask you to feed us, but we wanted to give you an example to follow. 10 Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.”
11 Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business. 12 We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living.
Some had found that with receiving handouts all of the time they didn’t need to work, to be productive to add to the value of the community. This is simply human nature. In Cuba, everyone basically gets the same salary, regardless of how many hours they work so guess what, it can be hard to find a doctor, dentist, shopkeeper that is open regular hours because they get the same salary.
In America our ethic of hard work and winning because of that hard work is what has made us and exceptional nation. That is being forgotten and in its place the view that we can’t do anything on our own and that the government needs to hand us everything. That has been one of the break downs of the family. We have built into the fabric of who we are to be productive to supply for the people we love and when that is robbed from us, so is our soul.
But aren’t there those who really do need help? The answer is yes and the Bible addresses that too! Our pure and undefiled religion as James says it is to care for the widow and orphan. What did he mean by that?
1 Timothy 5:3-4,
Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her. 4 But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God.
The first line of care and defense for widows, the disabled, the poor in general is the family. We are always responsible first for our families, the government is not and neither is the church. However, if there is no family…
5 Now a true widow, a woman who is truly alone in this world, has placed her hope in God. She prays night and day, asking God for his help. 6 But the widow who lives only for pleasure is spiritually dead even while she lives. 7 Give these instructions to the church so that no one will be open to criticism.
Now it is the churches responsibility to care for those widows who have been faithful to serve in the church year after year, that have no family
8 But those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers.
Wow, that hurts and some may be saying, I could never afford to care for my relatives. Most of you would be right but that comes down to another thing you need to think about when voting. Your money should not be going to programs where the bureaucracy is wasting most of your money. You should be taxed less so you have more money in your pocket so you control the expenses of caring for the poor in your family where you will be accountable for their actions their work, productivity and care. Not taxed so some government program full of waste will waste your hard earned money.
9 A widow who is put on the list for support must be a woman who is at least sixty years old and was faithful to her husband. 10 She must be well respected by everyone because of the good she has done. Has she brought up her children well? Has she been kind to strangers and served other believers humbly? Has she helped those who are in trouble? Has she always been ready to do good?
If they have been faithful to serve, proving that they will be good stewards of all they will be given, because they know what it costs people to give, then the church will take care of them. Once again it is not government waste and it is people who know people and hold them accountable and the tax structure is such that people can give more to help the poor, the disabled, the widows and orphans…that is how you should think where your vote should go to where that will happen…less waste and better care…but human nature will prevail in many cases…
11 The younger widows should not be on the list,…..13 And if they are on the list, they will learn to be lazy and will spend their time gossiping from house to house, meddling in other people’s business and talking about things they shouldn’t.
If people are left to their own devices and are not trustworthy both men and women will get caught up in meddling, laziness, and selfishness and if they do this, they should not be given any help because if they don’t work they shouldn’t eat.
- I believe the Bible encourages us to be reliant on God and the gifts he has given us first (our work)
- I believe a government that allows businesses to create jobs will also help those who want a job but who are unable to find one. Lower unemployment is part of the path to helping the poor, disabled, widowed, and the orphan. If most of the jobs are based on the government then the government has more control over the family.
- I believe the only way we can accomplish the helping of others is to be taxed less and leave the programs and care of the poor to family first and the church second
- I believe it is human nature that if a person can work and they are given a hand out for a long period of time, they become lazy and a busybody rather than a person that is productive for the good of society…if a person can work, they should
- I believe there are times when everyone needs a little help or hand up and families and the church should be funded enough through low taxation, the ability to invest wisely and independently so they might be able to do that
- I believe that if a person has been faithful to serve the Body of Christ and has no other means of support, it should be because of lower taxation that the church is supported well enough to care for the family of God
I believe as a Christian we need to discover which party is in the best position to make that happen.
Now is our time to do something, we were born for such a time as this…our nation is in your hands…what are you going to do to help us move forward toward the exceptionalism we once were known for? What will you do to truly help the poor?