Today is Reformation Day. Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses 496 year ago (Oct. 31, 1517) on the doors of the Roman Catholic Church. During Luther’s lifetime, reformers began to emerge to shine light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. John Calvin preached in Geneva, Switzerland 460 years ago in the midst of the Reformation.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ and the message of God’s grace was not available to people like you and me. It was reserved for the priests and monks who could read and understand Latin. The Bible had not yet been translated into a language that the people could understand. Because of Martin Luther and the Reformation, the Bible began to break out of the Latin language, and for the first time in years, people began to hear the Gospel of Christ. John Calvin had a motto for this time period, “Post Tenebras Lux” or “After Darkness, Light.”
Today we live in what I would call a very dark time. Pornography and immorality is running wild. Our televisions and website are filled with drugs, sex and violence. We get word daily about young men and women who commit crimes and murders for insignificant reasons (not to say there is a significant reason to murder). Turn on the local news for a couple minutes, and you will witness tragedy. I have heard many people say that Christians are likely headed into a time of real persecution. So, what do we do with all of this?
I can only imagine how Martin Luther and John Calvin felt as they headed into the world around them. Geneva, Switzerland was a harsh immoral place of suffering when Calvin began ministering there. In fact, there was a law in Geneva that a man could only have one mistress. Needless to say, like us today, Calvin was living in a dark place that needed the Gospel. Today we have the same mission and purpose as John Calvin did in Switzerland. That is to take the Gospel of Christ Jesus to our communities, cities, and the world.
The story of Calvin and the Reformation is a story of encouragement for us to share the true story of hope, the Gospel. The Gospel is our source of light in this dark world. We may be headed into a time of persecution, and the United States may because even more immoral than it is now, but that does not change the fact that Jesus Christ is our one and only Savior and the only one who can change lives. Do not let this sinful world discourage you, but let this story of the Reformation motivate you to carry on the same mission as the reformers, the Great Commission. Christ has the power to change our communities for the better. Whether here on Earth or in Heaven remember, “Post Tenebras Lux.” We may go through darkness now, but after the darkness there will be light.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matt. 28:18-20 (ESV)