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REMEMBER THE REFORMATION!

 

The month of October (called "Bul" in the Bible) is full of interesting things.  In October, the nation of Israel along with their king, Solomon, celebrated their success in finishing that grand and magnificent temple we know as "Solomonís Temple" wherein they would worship the Lord God for over a thousand years:

And in the eleventh year, in the month Bul, which is the eighth month, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it.  So was he seven years in building it," (I Kings 6:38).

The first nation to be founded on Biblical principles under God was established approximately one thousand years before Christ under the kingship of David, father of Solomon.  Less than 100 years later the greater part attended a great feast at which the worship of a calf was initiated.  King Jeroboam who broke away from the Davidic dynasty, inaugurated, shortly after he began to reign, a kind of worship "which he had devised of his own heart...."1

Less than 100 years ago the people of this nation who worshiped the Lord, our God, recognized that we were a people whose heritage went back to the time of David, Moses, Abraham and, long years later, to the time of the heroes of the "Reformation."

The circumstances that brought about that great event occurred in Germany, Switzerland, Scotland, and England: four countries; four outstanding Christians.  The men were Wycliff of England - "Morning Star of the Reformation"; Martin Luther - of Germany, who, on October 31, 1517, fastened his "95 Theses" (outlining truths from the Scripture) to the door of the Wittenburg Castle; John Knox - Scotland, who gave his whole life to evangelization and the exposition of the Word, and John Calvin - Switzerland, whose "Institutes of the Christian Religion" influenced the whole world, including our country.  Today, many still celebrate "Reformation Day" on October 31.  Many?

Just as, in the days of Rehoboam and the people of the 13th-15th centuries Christians had forgotten true religion, so, it seems, we in the 19th and 20th centuries have forgotten the words: "I am the Lord thy God who brought you out of the house of bondage."  As in bygone days there were those who worshiped false gods, so many today have forgotten our heritage and celebrate a day of revelry in much the same way.

In October folks with widely differing points of view celebrate widely differing events.  Some celebrate Hallowe'en/All Saints Day with its emphasis on goblins, witches, and other such beings.2  Those who celebrate the Reformation honor saints as defined by Scripture: "...the saints and faithful in Christ which are at Colossi..."3.  One of those saints/Christians was Professor Martin Luther.  What did he have to do with us that we celebrate October 31st as "Reformation Day"?

One hundred years after God used Wycliff to awaken men to the realization that the Word of God should be the foundation for men's lives rather than the proclamations of the Church of Rome, another man, this time a German priest, Martin Luther, arose to refute the heresy that men's salvation came through the church and "good works" rather than "by grace through faith and that not of ourselves."

Luther, too, translated the Word of God into the language of the people.  In 1522:

Three presses were employed in this labour (of reproducing the Bible), and ten thousand sheets...were printed daily... (then) three thousand copies...  Every German might henceforward procure the Word of God...(it) recalled the mind of man, which had been wandering for ages in the labyrinth of scholasticism, to the Divine fountain of salvation.4

Luther's works and those of his students spread throughout Europe greatly aiding the reformation of man and church.  Indeed, the bold challenge of his 95 Theses on October 31, 1517, sparked the Reformation.

The work of these men illustrates the labors of others: Tyndale, Jn. Knox, Fox, Calvin, Huss, Zwingle, whom God used to spread His Word and Truth throughout Europe thus laying the foundation for the pilgrimage of those Christians who founded the Christian colonies of New England.  The Reformation in Europe/England, therefore, has great implications for us who still enjoy the freedoms which the propagation of the Gospel brings.

Let us not forget that great milestone in history/His-story: the Reformation.

Let us remember on October 31st that God produced the Reformation wherein the Scriptures and Scriptural truth brought spiritual freedom to Europe and both spiritual and civil freedom, to America-to you and me.


Footnotes:

1. I Kings 12:28 Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.  (Back to article)

2. The next time you see goblins, witches, demons strolling about the streets of your city, think about this.  "There shall not be found among you any one that...useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. Deuteronomy," 18:10  (Back to article)

3. Colossians 1:2  (Back to article)

4. J.H. Merle d'Aubigne, "History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century," Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan-49506, page 337.  (díAubigne wrote in a most marvelously interesting manner. Every home should have a copy.)  (Back to article)


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