Have you been misunderstood? Have you been accused or wronged? Be encouraged that an omnipresent God knows you and sees you.
"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of the soul and of spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account." - Hebrews 4:12–13
The picture above is of the Wittenberg door, where Luther nailed his 95 Theses. As you might guess, the door is not original, for the wooden door used during Luther’s time was burned in a fire during the Thirty Years War. Replacing it is a metal door, with the 95 Theses ingrained in Latin. Above it is Luther kneeling with an open Bible before the crucified Christ, and Melanchthon kneels with a copy of the Augsburg Confession.
Luther had come to Wittenberg as a professor, deeply troubled, and overcome with guilt and a sense of alienation from God. He had ...
When Martin Luther entered the Augustinian monastery, he had one goal—and that was the salvation of his soul.
The picture above shows the altar where he performed his first mass, and in front of it is a gravestone upon which he knelt to say his vows of obedience and chastity. Also, I’ve included a picture of the last monastic cell in which he stayed in Erfurt, Germany.
Luther was terror stricken at the thought of Christ as Judge. He sought to lay hold of every means of grace that was available to him. He knew he could never get to ...
On January 5, 1527, six men were forcibly drowned here in the cold water of the Limmat River in Zurich, Switzerland. The plaque you see in the foreground marks the location of the drowning, and lists the name of Felix Manz as the leader of the group.
Although baptized as infants, they re-baptized one another as adults upon profession of faith. The Zurich City Council decreed, "Whoever baptizes someone will be apprehended by our lords and drowned without mercy." Huldrych Zwingli, the great Reformer who had mentored these men, agreed with the City Council's decision. Apparently, Zwingli ...
In this cathedral in Zurich, Switzerland, Huldrych Zwingli preached the Reformation beginning January 1, 1519. He defended his views with an open Bible and ran into stiff opposition with the Catholic majority in the city. In those days, issues that we would consider trivial were hugely important.
For example, in 1522, Zwingli was attending a supper during Lent when two dried sausages were cut up, and each man ate a small piece. That sounds very innocuous to us, but back then, when word of this got out, there was a backlash; meat was not to be eaten during Lent. The ...
Standing next to Calvin’s pulpit in Geneva, Switzerland made me reminisce about the power of preaching. From here, Calvin impacted the world. But perhaps his preaching would not be well received today.
Let me explain.
My friend John Glass, a pastor in Geneva, told some of us that Calvin's sermon output was enormous. For example, he preached 43 sermons on Galatians, 46 sermons on Thessalonians, 48 sermons on Ephesians, 86 sermons on the Pastoral Epistles, 186 sermons on Corinthians, and spent five years preaching on the harmony of the Gospels until his death in 1564. In the Old Testament ...
God is present everywhere, as we learned last week. But one of the distinguishing traits of His people is that He is present in us as well!
"Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD." - Jeremiah 23:23–24
Mention his name, and the word “predestination” comes immediately to mind. In the portrait above, he is pictured as being stern, perhaps even vengeful—a man who relished preaching the judgement of God.
But that is far from the truth.
When Rebecca and I visited his church in Geneva, Switzerland recently, I was reminded that this man was actually a caring pastor who believed that predestination should be a comfort to God’s children and an encouragement to preach the Gospel.
Calvin did not invent the word “predestination;” after all, it occurs several times in the Bible. He simply ...