By James Plank
We are commemorating the 500th Anniversary of Martin Luther’s extraordinary nailing of 95 theses to Wittenberg’s door and the resulting reformation.
We trace our spiritual heritage directly through the reformation. This line of history clarified, among other things, what the Bible had always taught- “the just shall live by faith.”
John Wesley would later have a heart warming experience while reading Luther’s preface to Romans. Again, marking our heritage with deep linchpins of truth.
There are glimpses of Luther’s life that are troubling. He went through certain chapters of his life that none of us are proud of- but the sum total of his life contributed greatly to Christendom and we join people of all faiths in saying “Thank You” to men like Luther who God raised up to clearly mark a path of righteousness and truth.
Luther was a man for his time. He stood in the gap for his generation, little knowing the impact he would make five hundred years later. As the church today flirts with mediocrity, how desperately we need God called men for our time to step forward and stand in the gap, nailing some things to the door. Our children and children’s children depend on it.
Luther staked everything on radical truth. He decided it was worth more to side with truth than to fit in with the religious decadence of his day. Churches today look and feel more like nightclubs preaching a perverted gospel that makes evil look good and good look evil. Like Luther, we have a choice to make: to fit in and choose eternal failure or like Noah, stake it all on what God has said and pick up a hammer- building truth into our future.
We have a charge to keep! We have a God to glorify! May we be as faithful in our times as Martin Luther was in his. The task is not easy for us, just as it was not easy for them. But their example of heroic devotion to God should spur us on to greater determination.
Five hundred years from now, what will we have nailed to the door for history to remember?