In a little village in Germany in 1483 Martin Luther was born. Martin Luther was, under God, the instigator and one of the biggest drivers of the protestant reformation in Europe – with its subsequent break from the Roman Catholic Church. By the 15th Century Roman Catholicism was dominant religion in Europe. After school Luther went on to university and studied law. He decided to become a monk in one of the strictest orders in the Catholic Church. Priests taught Luther and the general public that one could save yourself by prayer, fasting and penance. The result being that Luther’s teachers were wearied by constant prayers, fasting and penance! Luther later wrote: “If ever a monk got to heaven by his monkery, it was I”. Yet he faced a long spiritual crisis, anxiously anguishing over how sinful man can come to a holy God. Luther finally experienced great joy and his eyes were opened to understand a radical, biblical truth. He wrote later, “I felt myself to be reborn, and to have gone through open doors to paradise.” What happened? What truth did he grasp?
The Bible teaches that Jesus lived, died, rose back to life, ascended to heaven (from where he now reigns and rules) and promised to come back to us at what is commonly called the Second Coming.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 the apostle Paul, the author of a large chunk of the New Testament, speaks about the Second Coming of Jesus.
This past Friday was especially good. We remembered specifically Jesus’ death to secure our ultimate good. For the first time ever I preached from the book of Leviticus in the Old Testament. What was I smoking you may ask? What drew me to Leviticus was the recent popular denial of Jesus’ death as a sacrifice to appease the wrath of God. Jesus is seen as an enlightened teacher from the realm of light, or a good moral example for our children to follow or even the ultimate chinese ying-yang who restores balance to the universe.