22 Nov Reformation 500 (1517-2017)
“Therefore, since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also get rid of every weight and entangling sin. Let us run with endurance the race set before us, focusing on Yeshua, the initiator and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2a Tree of Life Bible
We are fast approaching five hundred years when on that defining day, October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of Wittenburg. His was a quest to reform Christianity to its roots and return the believer to be living authentic lives that men would read as open books and see Christ in them—the hope of glory.
One of our Founding Fathers, Thomas Paine, said of the American crisis of his place in history at the beginning of the revolution: “These are times that try men’s souls”. We also are living in times such as these.
But God has always had a remnant who has not bowed their knee the spirit of the age. Whether it be the seven thousand during the days of Elijah or Daniel and the three Hebrews—God can use those whose hearts are loyal to Him in advancing His cause as citizens of heaven living on earth in the face of fierce opposition.
We owe so much to so many! We stand on the shoulders of those in Scripture and history for our inherited estate. We are God’s answer to this present generation. Our National Pledge is: “One Nation under God, Indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”. We are a “holy nation” called “to show forth the excellence’s of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9 NASB)
As Pastor Rusty Nelson shared, both in church and online prayer, last week that, “our unity, where God commands His blessing, is in the communion of the saints at the table of the Lord.”
Our rights are inherent, derived from our Maker—we hold these truths to be self-evident according to the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God, which are the only sure foundation to the God-given rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These are fundamental truths on which our nation was formed then but now stand in need of a new reformation.
God positioned us to live at this point of history to be change agents just as Luther. This presents a great opportunity for the church to preach the Gospel of Peace and become the peacemakers Jesus taught about. (Matt. 5:1-16)
This is the time, not to doubt, fear, or be hate filled, but to be bold and courageous and stand as those who came before us did. The following is an excerpt from one of A. W. Tozer’s writing. It reaffirms our position in Christianity as anchormen who will carry the baton passed to us across the finish line to win the prize of Christ! Tozer calls us “covenanters”.
THE COVENANTERS STOOD, A.W. Tozer
Read history and see how the covenanters stood and died rather than give up to the enemy. Are we satisfied to be degenerate sons of great fathers? Consider A. B. Simpson who walked the shores of the Atlantic Ocean with cardboard in the soles of his shoes because he did not have money to buy new ones. He prayed and groaned in spirit and cried to God for people of all nations who had not heard the gospel. He prayed, “Oh, God, I believe Jesus Christ thy Son is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” We are his descendants, but we ought to spend a day in sackcloth and ashes.
At thirty-six, Simpson was a Presbyterian preacher so sick that he said, “I feel I could fall into the grave when I have a funeral.” He could not preach for months at a time because of his sickness. He went to a little camp meeting in the woods and heard a quartet sing, “No man can work like Jesus/ No man can work like Him.” Simpson went off among the pine trees with that ringing in his heart: “Nobody can work like Jesus; nothing is too hard for Jesus. No man can work like Him.” The learned, stiff-necked Presbyterian threw himself down upon the pine needles and said, “If Jesus Christ is what they said He was in the song, heal me.” The Lord healed him, and he lived to be seventy-six years old. Simpson founded a society that is now one of the largest evangelical denominations in the world, The Christian and Missionary Alliance.
We are his descendants and we sing his songs. But are we going to allow ourselves to listen to that which will modify our faith, practices, and beliefs, water down our gospel and dilute the power of the Holy Scripture? I, for one, am not!
I am cheered to know so many of you are with me on this. We are going to go to the New Testament and be Bible Christians. We are going to sell out to God and not the devil. We are going to pray more, read our Bibles more, and attend prayer meeting more. We are going to give more and break bad habits by the power of God. We are going to become Christians after God’s heart. We are going to be protesters in an hour when the smooth, sickly slippery, rotten, backslidden, degenerate, apostate Christianity is accepted. We are going to stand for God, to act like simple Protestant Christians, to act like out Presbyterian Scottish forebears, to act like our English Methodist forebears, to act like the dear old Baptist who broke the ice in the creek and baptized people in the freezing water. They had a saying in those days, “Nobody ever caught a cold getting baptized in the ice.” God Almighty saw to it that nobody ever died of pneumonia.
Those Protestant forebears made these two nations,. The United States and Canada. They made this continent. Are we going to be descendants of which they should be ashamed? Or are we going to say, “Lead on, we are following. You followed Jesus Christ, and we are following you.”
John Thomas was a dear old Welsh preacher I used to hear. While he preached he would raise his hands and say, “You supply the grit and God will supply the grace.” He was right. You’ve got the grit; God has the grace.
Excerpt from: Rut, Rot, or Revival by A.W. Tozer