“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others. He sent them out two by two ahead of him. They went to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, ‘The harvest is huge, but the workers are few. So ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals. And don't greet anyone on the road.’” (Luke 10:1-3 NIrV)
Today is the day in 1517 when it is believed Martin Luther, a priest from Wittenberg, Germany, posted his 95 Thesis on the door of All Saints Church, largely in protest to the sale of indulgences (reduced time in purgatory) by the Pope and the Catholic Church. This, as most know it, marks the beginning of what we now call the Protestant Reformation. Sola Scriptura, Sola Christo, and Sola Fide: by Scripture alone, by Christ alone, and by faith alone. These are the basic premises Luther shard as to our salvation. Reading through the book of Romans, Luther’s heart and mind was illuminated to the works of Christ, His Word, and our faith in Him.
“There I began to understand that the righteousness of God is that by which the righteous lives by a gift of God…namely the passive righteousness with which merciful God justifies us by faith…Here I felt that I was altogether born again and had entered paradise itself through open gates.”
Luther was prepared to step out by faith against what he believed to be the wrongdoings of the Catholic Church. He saw the Book of Romans as the clearest presentation of the Gospel of Christ in the entire Bible. To Luther, his salvation wasn’t about the church, the priests, or even the Pope. It was all about Christ. He was sold out to get this point across.
Christ would tell His disciples to go GATHER THE HARVEST of souls. As His followers, we go by His Word, His strength, and by the faith He gives us. Today more than ever, we need to live these three basic premises as we go into the fields of ministry. Yes the harvest is white right now! (John 4:35) Yet we are hesitant to go, hesitant to invest in the work of the church, and hesitant to totally trust our Lord.
Be assured, just as God has guided men such as Luther to boldly step out for the Truth, he will do it yet today. As long as we live by faith, according to the Scriptures, and with Christ as our leader in battle, we can trust God to provide for us. Time is right and the fields are ripe. At times it seems we are lambs among wolves, yet we have one goal in mind: GATHER THE HARVEST !