July 2

For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. John 3:20

The world doesn’t what to be punished.  It wants to remain in darkness.  It doesn’t want to be told that what it believes is false.  If you also don’t want to be corrected, then you might as well leave the church and spend your time at the bar and brothel.  But if you want to be saved—and remember that there’s another life after this one—you must accept correction.

If you don’t want to be saved, what’s the use of me being concerned about it?  If you aren’t sure you believe in hell, the devil, death, eternal condemnation, and the wrath of God, then just ask your neighbor about it.  Anyone can tell you that all of us will die.

In short, if the church and secular government are to exist, they must shed light on evil.  The civil authorities must punish the obvious darkness of public vices and the offensive ways of people, while we preachers in the church must bring to light the subtle darkness of false teachers and false belief.  We must confront those who teach and think that they are righteous because of what they do.

If the church and government stopped admonishing people, the whole world would collapse in a heap.  If you want to be saved and be a Christian, then stay open to correction.  Preachers have to rebuke, or they should leave their position.  The Christian who won’t accept correction is only pretending to be a Christian.

Martin Luther’s Here I Stand (Audio CD)

In the late afternoon of April 18, 1521, in the city of Worms, Germany, Martin Luther, a 37 year-old Catholic monk was called to defend himself before Charles the Fifth, the Holy Roman Emperor. The speech he delivered that day, Here I Stand, marked the beginning of the Reformation, a critical turning point in Christian history that decisively altered the spiritual map of the world. In this recording, Max McLean introduces the events leading up to the Diet of Worms; Martin Luther’s prayer the night before he delivered his speech; Luther’s stirring defense; the Catholic church’s rebuttal; and, Luther’s final heartfelt response.

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