On October 31st, nationwide, streets and parking lots will be full of people carrying bags and buckets to hold all the sweet treats that will be availed to them. For some houses decorating for Halloween has far surpassed the commercialism that is associated with Christmas. As a pagan kid I loved Halloween. Dracula and a Werewolf were my two favorite go-to costumes. These days, less effort seems to go into the costume by would-be trick or treaters and greater effort into mapping out the community to hit as many streets as possible for the bounty.
I have a suggestion for the Christian Homes across the land. How about Reformation Day instead? On that day in 1517 Martin Luther, in response to corrupt practices in the Roman Catholic church, defiantly nailed a copy of his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church. This challenge was the beginning of the Great Reformation.
Today, we need a renewed appreciation for that event. Martin Luther (amid some of his blatant human deficiencies), was a man of his time who was used of the Lord to clarify the central theme of the Scripture; Salvation is by faith alone, in Christ alone. The significance of his courageous stand against the powerful religious establishment of his day cannot be overvalued. The evangelical world today should continue to rejoice.
What resulted was a renewed focus opposing the unscriptural basis of a works-oriented salvation. The known world at that time was changed forever! It is worthy of a day of recognition (with or without the candy!).
But the refocus on the purity of Gospel message was not proclaimed without great sacrifice. Satan’s desire for the deception of righteousness that can be earned fed decades of heavy persecution. The blood of the Martyr’s fill annals of history. The battle between a works-oriented theology and the Good News of the “Grace alone Gospel” continues today. Truly, a “trick or treat” confrontation with eternal consequences.
Unfortunately, the persecution continues today as well. Perhaps it is fitting that a few days after October 31st, it is International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (November 4th this year).
Let’s be sure and pray for our persecuted brethren worldwide. As the country overdoses on candy, let’s reflect on the significance of Reformation Day and glorious message of Salvation by grace alone! And, why not share its message with others? How about including it with the dozens of sweet treats you are likely to give out this year? Let’s start a trend.
Have a Happy Reformation Day!
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.
– Ephesians 2:8