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Promotion
  • Aug1

    Within the modern Institutional Church today it seems that when a person mentions the need for Christians to be involved in politics, that person has just committed the unpardonable sin. No area has been more sidelined from a pastor’s teaching than in arena of politics. How sad that we have become so myopic we don’t think we ought to engage in this topic in a meaningful and reasoned way.
    Let’s consider for a moment the covenant keeping godly people of old who boldly entered this arena in their day:

    — Elijah confronted King Ahab and Queen Jezebel over issues, such as the unjust use of eminent domain and religious persecution (1 Kings 18:18; 21:1-24).

    — Azariah (along with eighty other priests) confronted King Uzziah for usurping religious practices through an improper expansion of government powers (2 Chronicles 26:16-21).

    — Ezra gave counsel on marriage measures (Ezra 9:1-3; 10:2-12), and Governor Nehemiah implemented that counsel into public policy (Nehemiah 8; 13:23-31).

    — Paul provided civil leaders with guidance during times of impending disaster and natural calamity (Acts 27:9-44).

    — Isaiah provided guidance on national security issues and foreign policy to King Hezekiah (Isaiah 37).

    Charles Finney, a famous minister in the Second Great Awakening, warned:

    “The Church must take right ground in regard to politics…. The time has come that Christians must vote for honest men and take consistent ground in politics… God cannot sustain this free and blessed country, which we love and pray for unless the church will take right ground. Politics are a part of a religion in such a country as this, and Christians must do their duty to the country as a part of their duty to God. It seems sometimes as if the foundations of the nation were becoming rotten, and Christians seem to act as if they thought God did not see what they do in politics. But I tell you, He does see it, and He will bless or curse this nation according to the course they take.” – Charles Finney, Lectures on Rival of Religion, (New York: Leavitt, Lord and Co., 1835), pp. 274-275, “Lecture XV: Hindrance to Revivals.” Look to the Founder’s Bible article titled: The Key To Good Government pp. 987-992.

    In view of the latest ruling on gay marriage from the Supreme Court, I would suggest that you go to your church and ask the leadership to have a voter turn out campaign in your church for the 2016 election, preparing God fearing people to get out and vote and get their friends to vote. Encourage them to vote according to their Biblical conscience and vote for the candidate that is closest to the Biblical standard. If the Pastor of your church refuses to initiate a voter emphasis, withdraw your giving or tithing to that church and let the leadership know that you are doing so. There are so many wonderful ministries that you can invest in. The only way a church will change is when they lack the resources to finance their staff salaries, and buildings.

    In Christ,

    Dale

    Dale@DaleEbel.org

  • Jul28

    “Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people” – Proverbs 14:34 NASB

    America’s Founding Fathers were concerned not just about their own generation but also about posterity—about future generations. In fact, when they wrote the U.S. Constitution they candidly acknowledged that they had done so in order to “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” Reflecting this concern in an Election Sermon preached to the Connecticut legislature, the Rev. Mathias Burnet admonished citizens and leaders:

     

    “To God and posterity you are accountable (for your rights and rulers)… Let not your children have reason to curse you for giving up those rights and prostrating those institutions which your father delivered to you.”

    - Matthew Burnet, An Election Sermon, Preached at Hartford on the Day of the Anniversary Election, May 12, 1803.

    He reminded citizens that while they would give an account to God for whether or not they had preserved the rights He had entrusted them, they would also answer to posterity (the next generation).

    Now let me just ask:

    When was the last time you heard from your pastor that you and I –  as the present congregation – will be held accountable to God for the legacy we are leaving our children… not only as individual families but also as churches and how we are making an impact on society?

    There was a godly understanding among our Founding Fathers that they were responsible for leaving a legacy that would not only provide a better society, but one in which future generations could look back and thank their parents for protecting our schools, government, churches and civic institutions.

     

    “Patrick Henry held identical sentiments. When he passed away in 1799, his personal legal documents and his will were opened and publicly read by his executors. He also included an original document of the 1765 Stamp Act Resolutions (early precursors to the American Revolution) passed by the Virginia legislature, of which Henry had been a member. On the back of those resolutions Henry penned a handwritten message, knowing it would be read at his death.” (This paragrah taken from The Founder’s Bible, page 957.)

     

    “Whether this [the American Revolution] will prove a blessing or a curse will depend upon the use our people make of the blessings which a gracious God hath bestowed on us. If they are wise they will be great and happy. If they are of contrary character, they will be miserable.

    Righteousness alone can exalt them as a nation (Proverbs 14:34].

    Reader!—whoever thou art, remember this!—and in thy sphere practice virtue thyself and encourage it in others. P.Henry.” – Patrick Henry, Patrick Henry life, Correspondence and Speeches, ed. William Wirt Henry (New York: Charles  Scribner’s Sons, 1891), Vol. I. pp. 81-82.

     

    Whether or not America will prosper into the future depends on its righteousness today. But how is national righteousness measured? Dozens of Bible passages (Deuteronomy 28; 1 Kings 18; 1 Chronicles 21) affirm that the righteousness of any nation is defined by its public policies and how well they conform to God’s standards.

     

    As Samuel Adams affirmed, only God-honoring policies can exalt a nation:

    “[Divine] revelation assures us that “Righteousness exalteth a nation.” Communities are dealt with in this world by the wise and just Ruler of the Universe. He rewards or punishes them according to their general character.” – Samuel Adams, The Writings of Samuel Adams, ed. Harry Alonzo Cushing (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1907, Vol.III, p. 286, to John Scollay on April 30th 1776.

     

    So, I guess public policies do matter! I think the only solution in the future for our country is more than a spiritual revival, it is an awakening of Christians to elect men and women to office that have the moral fortitude and devout courage to place righteousness above economics into the policies of our day. I don’t doubt that God will help us, it is whether we will be obedient to exercise our freedom for righteousness.

     

    Ask your pastor if he’d be willing to give two or three election sermons about two months prior to the 2016 Election.

    We must start changing our churches. Also, start your own website and write teaching articles about various subjects. Suppose three hundred new website appeared with healthy Biblical information on them week after week? Let’s get the information out there!

    For Righteousness Sake,

    Dale

    Dale@DaleEbel.Org

  • Jul22

    Many believe that the main premises of our Declaration of Independence – ideas such as “all men are created equal” – were derived from the Enlightenment Period and have no biblical origin. This is simply not true.

    In 1926, on the 150th anniversary of the Declaration, President Calvin Coolidge gave a speech attributing the meaning of the Declaration’s key phrases to two books published in 1710 and 1717 by John Wise who was the Congregational pastor in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Coolidge called these books a “textbook of liberty for our Revolutionary fathers.” According to the Plymouth Rock Foundation e-News article written by Dr. Paul Jehle, congress used many of the ideas for the Declaration from a pamphlet by Pastor Wise titled, Vindication of the Government of New England Churches.

    Wise’s ideas included: 1. the laws of nature and of nature’s God, 2. all men are created equal, 3. governments secure rights but don’t provide them, and 4. that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.

    Written sixty years before the Declaration, John Wise’s books are considered among the finest colonial expositions of democratic principles. He wrote that God is the author of both reason and revelation, or to put it another way, the light of nature and the law of God. The scriptural basis for both phrases are found in Romans.

    The light of nature:

    “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” – Romans 1:20 NIV

    The law of God:

    “For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law.” – Romans 2:13-14 NIV

    Both the Bible (His inspired revelation) and a man’s conscience (natural revelation) convict man of sin. Thus the phrase “law of nature and of nature’s God”—or the law of God seen in nature and the law of God in the Bible—leave every person without excuse. That is why the truths are self-evident.

    Wise wrote that God created all men equally free as well. This was not external equality, but equal position before God and the law. Equality was clearly articulated to mean equal rights, not equal possessions or abilities.

    The parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 is a great illustration of differing abilities. Jesus Christ considers all people equal before God, yet knows that each person has a different capacity for producing. It is not about equal fruit, but about being responsible stewards of what one has been given.

    Jesus Christ, in his parables of the talents and the minas (Luke 19:11-27), never disparages profit but always holds His servants accountable and rewards the servant based on the profit they have earned.

    Wise wrote that the individual is directly under the government of God, and thus church and civil government can only secure or protect these rights, they can’t provide them. The primary form of government for both church and state is self-government because, as Wise put it, each individual is a “free born subject.” Though no church (or state) should function as a pure democracy, the self-government of the individual is the heart of Christ’s government.

    Pastor Wise understood the imposition of the State Church as Reverend John Robinson did with the underground church in Holland. Both men knew that God’s plan was for individual families and societies to function with the freedom of conscience in regard to all manner of life, especially in one’s preference in worship.

    The life lessons, and the time spent searching the Scriptures, were how Pastor Wise as well as other godly men and women have come to the conclusion about how a government and state ought to relate with one another.

    Having withstood the test of time, the glorious ideas captured in the Declaration and the Constitution were not only conceived by the brilliance of Thomas Jefferson and the Framers, but these ideas were also birthed in the womb of the churches of New England and in the Word of God itself. Godly men and women of previous generations searched the Scriptures,  proclaimed it’s truth in pulpits, and later allowed its inspiration to guide our founding documents.

    I am humbled and motivated to search the Scriptures, not just for my own individual walk with Christ, but to better understand what God’s Word says about how we are to function within a society. This is utterly profound! We MUST start to look at Scripture as pertaining to every avenue of life!

    Will you join me?

    In Christ,

    Dale

    Dale@DaleEbel.Org

     

     

     

  • Jul17

    “Duty is ours, results are God’s”

    –  John Quincy Adams

    A Psalm of David. “LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? … 4 In whose eyes a vile person is despised, But he honors those who fear the LORD; He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;” – Psalm 15:1, 4 NKJV

    The above verses are from the short but powerful Psalm 15. The psalmist is describing the character qualities of those who will be in heaven, or in the presence of the Lord. Notice the last phrase as it is so convicting to all of us who are attempting to live a godly life in Christ Jesus, (2 Timothy 3:12).

    The life motto of John Quincy Adams is cited above.

    His entire career was given to the service of his country including as a diplomat, secretary of state, U.S. senator, U.S. President, and finally a U.S. congressman. In the latter position, his primary objective was to bring an end to slavery in the United States. Unfortunately, he entered Congress at a time when it was unwilling to consider the subject, so the antislavery measures he introduced were regularly defeated; nevertheless, he persisted. In fact, because he kept the issue of slavery in the forefront at a time when the subject was so unpopular, death threats were frequently made against him. He lamented, “The best actions of my life make me nothing but enemies.” John Quincy Adam, Memoirs of John Quincy Adams, ed. Charles Francis Adams (Philadel[hia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1876), Vol. IX , p. 26, entry for October 25, 1833.

    In 1835, Congress even passed a “gag order” to prevent him from talking about the subject, but he refused to relent. – William H. Seward, The Life and Public Services of John Quincy Adams (New York: Miller, Orton, & Milligan, 1856) pp. 300-303.

    Adams regularly invoked Luke 4 and Isaiah 61 as the motivation for why he worked so relentlessly against slavery.

    “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,” – Luke 4:18 ESV

    For his unwavering opposition to slavery, he became known as “The “Hell Hound of Abolition,” and for his rousing defense of the antislavery cause, he was called, “Old Man Eloquent.”

    On a handful of occasions across his seventeen years in the House, a few of his efforts did succeed.

    In 1841, with bad eyesight and trembling hands, Adams used his skills as an attorney and orator to defend fifty-three Africans who had been kidnapped and made slaves. He delivered a speech before the supreme courts that lasted for nine hours and spanned three days. He won the case and this story is told in the Hollywood movie Amistad.

    John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the U.S., was a man that lived the reality Psalm 15:4 “… he that swears to his own hurt and does not change.”

    What about you? Is there some area that you need to continue your commitment even though it “hurts?”

    The next time your child or grandchild hears from a schoolteacher that our Founding Fathers were “for slavery” or that they were not as moral as we have been told, have them tell the story of John Quincy Adams. Practice with them ahead of time even now to recount the story so they are prepared.

    In Christ,

    Dale

    Dale@DaleEbel.Org

     

  • Jul14

    8 “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” – Joshua 1:8 NASB

    One of the most wonderful promises in the Bible appears in Joshua 1:8. God certifies that for those who will take His Word, immerse themselves in it, and apply it and its principles to every aspect of life then those individuals will enjoy prosperity and success. Numerous of America’s Founding Fathers personally experienced these benefits and repeatedly affirmed the truth proclaimed in this verse:

    “Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited…What a Utopia—what a Paradise would this region be.” – John Adams, Signer of the Declaration, The works of John Adam, ed. Charles Francis Adams (Boston: Little Brown and Company, 1865), vol.II,pp.6-7 diary entry for February 22, 1756.

    “The Bible is the best of all books,  for it is the Word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts.” – John Jay: The winning of the Peace. Unpublished Papers 1780-1784, ed. Richard B. Morris (New York: Harper and Row Publishers, 1980), vol. II, p. 709, to Peter Augustus Jay on April, 8, 1784.

    “Christianity is the only true and perfect religion; and …in proportion as mankind adopt its principles and obey it precepts, they will be wise and happy.” Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration. Benjamin Rush, Essays, Literary, Moral & Philosophical (Philadelphia: Thomas & Samuel F. Bradford, 1798), p. 93, “A Defense of the Use of the Bible as a School Book.”

    A Home Church Idea:

    Get your family together around the kitchen table and read aloud Joshua 1:8. Participation is so important so parents let your kids look it up in their bibles and underline the verse or any other marking they might choose. Read it out of a few translations and let them discuss what the passage says and means. Careful parents let the kids talk!

    Go on the internet and copy a picture of John Jay, Benjamin Rush, and John Adams. Lay the pictures out on the table and let them draw one or more of the Founding Fathers. Some might do it free hand and others might trace the picture. It doesn’t matter. Don’t squelch their creativity.

    Under the picture have them write out a brief summary statement of what each man said, and why it is important to them and to us.

    Once again every person draws their picture and stands up and explains their drawing.

    Perhaps each child could write up a brief paragraph to give to their teacher when they come to school describing what they learned over the Summer!

    In Christ,

    Dale

    Dale@DaleEbel.Org