499th Anniversary of what, you might ask? On October 31st Protestants around the world will celebrate The Reformation. Some of you may be saying and what is that? In a nutshell, on that day in 1517, Martin Luther nailed a list of 95 points that the Church was ‘out in left field’ on, to the door of All Saints Church in Wittenberg, Germany. I’ll include some of them below, but most importantly it launched the evangelical church as we know it. In the years since the Resurrection, it is probably the most important and far-reaching event in Christian history.
Luther’s theses are engraved into the door of All Saints’ Church, Wittenberg. The Latin inscription above informs the reader that the original door was destroyed by a fire, and that in 1857, King Frederick William IV of Prussia ordered a replacement be made.
There were some interesting practices in the Church during that time period. And Luther’s 95 Thesis address them. I’ve included some of the most interesting and applicable to my belief’s below. If you want to read them all, in modern English, Check them out here.
2. Only God can give salvation – – not a priest.
4. Sin will always remain until we enter Heaven.
37. Any Christian – dead or alive – can gain the benefit and love of Christ without an indulgence. Indulgences are prayers and pay-offs to the Church for the person who has died. The belief is that a person can be paid or prayed into Heaven. Several of the Thesis Points cover this concept but I think 46 sums it up… A Christian should buy what is necessary for life not waste money on an indulgence.
62. The main treasure of the church should be the Gospels and the grace of God.
94. Christians must follow Christ at all cost.
What is most interesting to me is that the Word of God then, and now, is interpreted in ways that benefit those who are ‘in leadership’. Check out Paul’s words in 2 Peter 3:16
His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
Some will choose to distort the scripture to meet their own objectives and get others to do what they want or to believe as they do. This is not acceptable in any way and Peter clearly says it will lead ‘to their own destruction’. If our ‘treasure’ is truly ‘in the Gospel’ (see #62) then we have all we need when we know and keep ‘His Word in our heart’ (Psalm 119:11).
I truly hope that all of my readers understand that we cannot buy our way into Heaven through indulgences and the prayers of others. (see #37) Eternal life is secured by our belief in Jesus, the One and Only Son of God. And that is all that matters!
Blessings to you and yours!