I've been studying a lot about the Reformation lately, and I’m seeing some correlations between the time of the Protestants and our time period of Apostasy today.
As most of you know, Martin Luther saw much corruption and abuse in those who were supposed to be “spiritual leaders,” who were using their positions for financial gain. He willingly chose to stand up against them and their practices in courageously exposing the entire apostate church full of corruption and false doctrine, knowing full well his opposition would bring him conflict, bodily harm, and possibly even death (being burned at the stake as a heretic). Yet he did it anyway, knowing he was right.
Today, we remember him for starting the Protestant Reformation, and for the sound, Biblical teaching that he resurrected from the scriptures, that of JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH. That is, that a Sinner is saved by grace through faith alone, without any mixture of works (Eph. 2:8,9).
But how on earth could something like that have been forgotten? How could a church that claims to be the one that Christ founded (the Roman church makes this claim) have forgotten the most important doctrine of all time, that of salvation? How could it take 1500 years to pass from the time of Jesus and the apostles, until someone rediscovered this sound, doctrinal truth, and began preaching it again?
The proof that it is true is the fact that it spread like wild-fire, and revival quickly ensued, with countless millions of souls coming to Jesus through faith alone. But it did not come without a price, as many were mercilessly captured and brutally tortured and burned at the stake by the Roman church, for their belief in this doctrine. What a cost, sound doctrine. What a cost, salvation.
As I pondered this, I thought about our age today. Here we are some 500 years later, and it appears the church of today has also forgotten the most important doctrine of all, that of salvation. There are still millions of people in the world today in countless religious organizations and denominations that teach faith alone is not sufficient to obtain salvation. For them it is through works, or a mixture of faith and works. But, why do they preach this, when the Bible is so clear that it's only through faith alone?
I believe the answer is because we are in a time of which the Scriptures speak of great apostasy in the world, and there are many scoffers, which are following fables instead of the word of God. History has repeated itself, and gone full circle, and just as the world was in the Dark Ages before the Reformation, so too, is our world in an age of spiritual darkness, in which many have turned from the truth.
Could it be that the world today needs another Martin Luther? Someone who will stand up against the corruption, apostasy, liberalization, and apathy of modern Christianity and preach against it, while defending the sound doctrine of salvation?
As I look at my own denomination, I can't help but see much darkness and a political system of corruption that leads to certain groups wanting to attack and ridicule others within their ranks. I also see the issue of control as many ministers have set up their own little kingdoms in which they Lord over their people and make them subservient to them. It's almost like it's become another Rome, in which little Popes rule with rods of iron. (Not all churches are like this, but there are many which are).
And as the Roman church of old, many ministers are no longer preaching the doctrine of salvation like their forefathers (through faith in the blood alone), rather they are guilty of turning salvation into a ritualistic program in which Sinners are instructed to DO something, rather than simply BELIEVE in what Jesus Christ DID for them for the salvation of their souls.
Martin Luther stood up against the corruption of his day in his church. Where are those who are standing up against the apostasy and corruption in our churches today?
We remember Luther for his teaching of justification by faith. But faith in what?
According to the Bible, it is FAITH IN THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST. Romans 3:25-28 states this clearly:
"25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
Verse 26 says God justifies the Sinner, not by works, but by faith (vs27), without the deeds of the law (vs 28). But faith in what exactly? Verse 25 says our faith should be in HIS BLOOD!
This is a simple, but important doctrine! Yet it seems forgotten by the modern church of today, which preaches many different BLOODLESS GOSPELS, such as:
Make your commitment to Christ
Turn over a new leaf and simply follow Jesus
Confess your Sins and beg God to forgive you
Ask Jesus into your heart
Ask God to forgive you your sins and forgive you
Repeat the Sinner’s Prayer
All of these have one thing in common, THEY ALL LEAVE OUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST! For all of these can be done without faith! And all of these are usually done without faith in the blood.
So where is the new Martin Luther who will stand up courageously and preach the truth amid a world of apostasy? Sadly, he is not here. Instead, most ministers choose to simply go along with the crowd in order not to suffer persecution or ridicule. They choose not to rock the boat, so they simply continue doing what everyone else does, and they seem to forget the fact that SALVATION by FAITH IN THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST is the most important doctrine of all time! For without it, souls are destined to an eternal lake of fire!
I don’t know about you, but I’m determined to preach the BLOOD even though others will not. Will you join me? Will you be another Martin Luther? Or will you let apostasy abound, cowering down to silence like most others, in order not to make waves?