Why We are Protestants
PASTOR Scott not only teaches in her church, but often speaks to groups of young people, sometimes in prison and sometimes to addiction groups. One day she asked some young people if they knew the reason for the reformation led by Martin Luther. They all thought she was talking about Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement. She said, “No, not him. I was speaking of the Martin Luther of the 16 Century.” Someone then replied, “I didn’t know it was so long ago that Martin Luther King lived.
I trust that you all are not that ignorant. We wrote about Martin Luther last year, and his life had nothing to do with racial problems. He lived in a time when common ordinary people did not have the Bible and people blindly followed the teachings of the Catholic Church. Martin Luther was himself a priest, but one who searched the Scriptures and wanted to know God.
He became so convinced that some of the teachings of the church were wrong, and someone had to bring that truth out in the open. So he protested against the church. This is where the word “protestant” comes from. We are protesters of wrong and evil teachings in the church.
I really do not know what the Catholic Church considers as an “indulgence,” a sin that can be paid for with the giving of money, confession, repetition of prayers, etc. Salvation was being sold and however it was being done, this was the blasphemy Luther hated the most. Through the study of God’s Word, he understood that Christ, the Son of God had paid the price for all that we are, all that we have done, thought, or will do in the future. The redemption of our soul is complete, yet the Church raised money off of peoples’ guilt.
Then there was the teaching of purgatory, another way to pay for your sins and reject the complete work of Jesus Christ. Nowhere in the Bible will you find this teaching. Yet millions of people in the world believe that after death they will have to spend a period of time in a hellish place of suffering, waiting until the time they are allowed into Heaven. What kind of God is that? It’s a God created by the devil himself.
There have been many movies made portraying the death of Jesus on the cross. The emphasis has always been on the suffering on the cross, and I don’t mean to minimize that terrible time, but while He was in the Garden of Gethsemane in prayer (before His crucifixion) He suffered such torment and agony that His sweat was like great drops of blood falling down on the ground (Luke 22:44).
It has been discovered by physicians that during great suffering, as that of people who are tortured for hours, the blood vessels break in the skin and the person bleeds. Why did He suffer so, BEFORE the cross? He speaks of the cup He had to drink, and that cup was full of all the filth, cruelty, grief, and blasphemy against our God. And all the burdens and sins committed from the time of Adam and Eve until the end of time were put on Him. Think on that heavy burden He had to bear.
The Bible teaches that before the worlds were formed, God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit decided all this. Once God’s Word is spoken, it is done. God knew me before He formed the worlds. I am convinced of that, and that evening in the garden Jesus took onto Himself, or He became, all that I have ever done, thought, or will do. 2nd Timothy 1:9 proves this (along with many other Scriptures): “. . . who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own PURPOSE and, GRACE which was GIVEN to us in Christ Jesus before time began.”
So it’s not my works, but His PURPOSE, and GRACE toward me, all done by Christ and given to us before time began. And that grace will never end. We need not fear for those who are yet to be born because they will have their chance to accept what Christ did for them.
How could I ever be happy if I believed that my loved ones, who have died, were suffering in some horrible hellish place called “purgatory,” for who knows how long? I don’t serve, trust and love a God like that. We are saved by faith: “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.” (Galatians 2:21) “But even if we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:8)
The Apostle Paul goes on to repeat this warning again in the next verse. So how can it be that through time this “gospel” of works keeps coming back into the Protestant Church? The Catholic Church continues with their accursed teachings, but we supposedly have stepped away from that. That was the reason for Martin Luther’s reformation and all he suffered to bring the truth of the gospel according to the teachings of the Bible, not from any man. But I shouldn’t be surprised that the teaching of works is back. Satan has always tried to pervert the gospel, or change it just a little.
Paul wrote to the Galatian Church: “I marvel that you have turned away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel.” (Galatians 1:6)
This is a difficult subject because speaking out against a community of churches who do good works just doesn’t seem right somehow. They feed and clothe the poor, provide hospitals, and establish wonderful organizations of all kinds. Who can find fault with such? But from time to time I have conversations with people that attend Protestant churches regularly. Yet they have no knowledge of the Bible, or their knowledge is so shallow and touches only on Bible stories learned in Sunday school once upon a time. This is really sad. If you are a Christian, shouldn’t you know what you believe?
What I hear from the religious teaching on TV are sermons against abortion, the gays, the Muslims, and even sermons against certain government leaders. And then in order to raise money we are taught to give so that we will be blessed and have all our needs fulfilled. Giving should be done for the value of the teaching. Nothing is more valuable to our soul, spirit and body as the Word of God.
What is the purpose of the Church? Paul writes to Timothy in 2nd Timothy 4:1-2: “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His Kingdom; PREACH THE WORD! Be ready in season and out of season. CONVINCE, REBUKE, EXHORT with all longsuffering and TEACHING. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth and be turned aside to fables.” (Emphasis, mine)
When was the last time you heard REBUKE from your pastor? I’m afraid that is not politically correct in this day and age. However that was still done in the early church because people cared enough about each other’s soul to risk their own image by speaking up where there was error. In Galatians 2:11, Paul rebukes Peter: “Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed.” If you want to know why, read the following verses.
So the church today has become a social club, a place to meet people of like mind. It has become a place to protest the government, judge the sins of those outside the church, and be encouraged to do good. I could fill up pages with Scriptures where the Bible declares that salvation and justification comes ONLY by FAITH in Jesus Christ. But according to the parable of the Sower, only one out of four people have any interest (See: Matthew 13:3).
I don’t believe in the alter call or the “Sinner’s prayer.” “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” (Romans 10:17) So if you have the slightest glimmer of interest, you should feed it by reading the Word of God. You have been called and chosen.
Christ is formed in us by faith. Just as contact with a radioactive substance will change our cells without us even being aware of it, so will the Spirit of God, by faith, change us inside out. He will plant within us a part of His Spirit and then He will do the changing in us that needs to be done.
The Protestant church of today has departed from the teachings of the Bible and from the reason there was a reformation in the first place. If he were alive today, Luther would post another Thesis on every church door. This is not what he wanted for the church. He meant for us to pick up our Bibles and find out about this Christianity: What is its purpose? What is the will of God for this body which He calls His people? Was it merely to have a place for fellowship and friendship, a place to be encouraged, lifted up and comforted, blessed, and blessed some more? No, it was not any of that. It was not so that we could have a social club with a banner of the cross over it. Christianity is an ACTIVE WORKING FAITH IN GOD, not in men!
I close with 1st Corinthians 2:5: “That your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”
It was the belief in the accountability of man to his maker that made America a great nation. Among those earlier leaders was Daniel Webster whose blazing eyes and fiery oratory often held the Senate spellbound. In those days the Congress was composed of strong, noble statesmen who carried the weight of the nation in their hearts and minds.
Someone asked: “Mr. Webster, what do you consider the most serious thought that has ever entered your mind?”
“The most solemn thought that has ever entered my mind is my accountability to my maker,” he replied.
-From The TOZER PULPIT, Volume Two (A.W. Tozer)
October, 2013 Prayer Requests
For Robert Casto’s (Cushing, Oklahoma) wife, for finances and health to improve.
For Dennis Martin (Lexington, Oklahoma) who will be having heart surgery soon.
For Isaiah Robinson (Menard, Illinois).
For Willie Clark (Lubbock, TX). He just learned that the cancer has spread further into his lungs and hip.
For Wade Miller (Wewahitchka, Florida), who wants to get approved for a “faith based program.”
For Freddie Gray’s Mom (in Oklahoma) who is having cataract surgery.
For William Holland (Joliet, Illinois), for health. He has Sciatica nerve pain and needs cataract eye surgery, also.
For Rodney who also has Sciatica nerve pain.
For William McAllister (Taylorville, IL) who just lost his Dad.
For Frank Williams, Jr. (Death Row, Grady, Arkansas). The judge has ordered another new trial for Frank.
For Willie Scott (Grady, Arkansas) who wants to be transferred.
For Robert Russell’s (Sumner, Illinois) Mom, Billie Rose, for health.
For Michael Small’s (Illinois) step mother Suzanne. She is still being treated for vision problems.
For John Crutcher (in Oklahoma) who needs a liver transplant.
For Anthony Grayson (Elmira, New York), that his health gets better, and that he finds legal assistance.
For Mike Long (Larned, Kansas), for health.
For Sister Ann & the Carmelite nuns in Little Rock.
For Freddie Lee Lott (Robinson, Illinois), to keep his healing and stay cancer free. (His lung cancer has been in remission since 1998.)
For Robert Heffernan (Grady, Arkansas), that DNA evidence will prove his innocence.
For Pastor Scott & her ministry in Los Angeles.
For all of us at Wingspread.
- From The TOZER PULPIT, Volume Two
Will There Be Any Lazy Folks in Heaven?
Are you among those who hold the mistaken idea that there will nothing to challenge you in the life to come? Are you among those who have read the account of the New Jerusalem, the City of God, and have wondered if it will be just a haven for the lazy and an endless gathering of bored and listless beings?
Let me refer you to the biblical doctrine of the image of God in man. I say this to you, sir, that apart from God Himself, the nearest thing to God is a human soul. And I promise you that in that Great Day you will not be without something to do, for God Himself is the great worker. He is the Creator – He is creative. All that He does is creative.
God did not create the heaven and the earth and all of the universe and then put a period after it, and write, “It is done – finale!” He is always creating. He has made us in His image. God is the great worker without limit, and we are the little workers with limit, or up to our limits, which we haven’t found yet. But our creative powers will be in use.
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