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Indulgences For Sale

David Wright


David Wright

Lead/Senior Pastor, Hendersonville SDA Church


  • November 4, 2017
    12:00 PM
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Well today I want to talk a little bit more about Martin Luther I know last week we did this pale horse rides and that was very interesting and talked about a lot of the the background underpinning some of the shoulders that Martin Luther stood upon and that type of thing but I want to talk a little bit more this morning because the big deal 500 years boys seems like they were just talking about this in school yesterday makes me feel older you were around when this happened I wasn't around the OK. But 500 years is a long time and I want to address towards the end of this message the idea that some people are trying to say the Reformation is over and when you stop and think about all that went into the Reformation the people that were willing to give up at all costs their life to say that it's over to say that it's no longer necessary that's a big statement and so is one of briefly look now we can talk about Martin Luther for a long time there's a lot that could be said and I'm not sure I'm going to be able to give him justice this morning but was he born with a silver spoon in his mouth did he have extra opportunities and people didn't have no that's not really the case at all he was a peasant they think this is the likeness of his parents and that's a younger Martin Luther and he knew what poverty was like he knew what it meant to scrape in to try and get by. His father he worked in the mine is that right now and so I imagine that Martin grew up doing a lot of those types of things as well and his father was very reasonable and very practical man and he had his doubts about the church and whether or not it was legitimate and so he really warned his his children if you will to be very careful of the then known church. Well as time went on Martin wanted to practice law and he started off practicing law and he got a fair ways in that endeavor and till at one point maybe it was annoying on him I don't know but he got caught in a horrible thunderstorm and you've heard this story before so bad as anybody been in a terrible thunderstorm or is just clapping and you just you know after the fact you chuckle and you say oh I was fine it was not a big deal but if you're in a major storm it can really grab your attention and so this grabbed his attention and he felt like he needed as a result of that to forget law and to abandon that this happened 1505 and to join the monastery in response of course has made his father very upset very furious he'd already put a lot of money and different things into his schooling to practice law I thought was a waste of his education a waste of his life and so it was actually 2 years before he and his father even reconcile because he so frustrated his father by joining the monastery and age 22 this is a picture if you go on this Martin Luther 2 are over in Europe supposedly this is the door that Martin Luther would have 1st entered the monastery into and here is this Augustinian monastery and efforts that I say that right. Yeah close enough he's trying to correct me over there in my Southern I'll say close enough but this is where you lived it looks like a nice place I suppose this is the monastery there where Martin Luther began his life as a monk and as a priest and he was really laboring during that time trying to figure out how he could be close to God how he could be in right relationship to God how he could suppress all of his temptations all of his thoughts all of these things and if I could just isolate myself a little bit better a little bit more then I can somehow appease in so many respects this angry god that doesn't want good for me unless I can told the lie and create a fair bit of guilt for Martin Luther one day in the library he discovered a Latin Bible such a book he had never before seen for the 1st time he looked upon the whole of God's Word I mean this was a mark time in his experience I mean this is a little bit crazy for us to think about because how many bibles do each of us have in their totality right and we just take for granted the fact that we have God's word all right here in a language that we know and that we understand but there Martin Luther found Here's a book and it's in Latin but this is the entire Bible and he couldn't believe it and so he started spending every waking moment reading and studying so curious what is in here and learning new things all the time that are in God's Word in fact some sources say the Bible was chained to the wall but he would come and study I imagine people got to where they knew right where Martin Luther would be studying that big Bible that was chained to the wall how many of you have to go to another place to study your Bible that chained to the wall but that was Martin Luther's experience. Every moment that he could be spared from his daily duties he employed in study even robbing himself from sleep and meals and sleep wasn't that comfortable and meals there weren't that good so maybe it wasn't so big of a sacrifice I don't know but he loved to study God's word now I understand that Martin Luther was not perfect in any respect and I'm not trying to make him out to be perfect but that's a quality in him that I think it be good for us to replicate we're going to have a hunger for God's word and we don't have the same issue that they had back then that the church controlled the Bible and you couldn't have your own copy and all these types of things we have so many copies but there the devil controls our time he controls our schedule he controlled calls where we go and what we do all the time and filled it with all this business so we don't have time and so in a sense God's word is still hitting it's just hidden next to our bed it's just hidden beside the couch or other places and we study it maybe some how many of you could study God's word over your lunch break how many you could spare some of your daily duties to study God's word more but we don't think that way do we know that's not practical that's not what we can be about that we don't have time for that I mean will study it some but Martin Luther he wanted to know the totality of God's word he wanted to understand for himself that's another thing that we oftentimes do Pastor I want to understand this better when you study with me and I'm not opposed to study with people but how that Martin Luther learned he was self-taught he just got in there and studied and I'll tell you it's one of the joys for me to study with people that are self-taught. I mean this is incredible when people are so so anxious for the word in fact I was talking to Jack Henderson he met somebody at Lowe's and Jack is on fire if you don't know JACK ANDERSON You better watch out he was in the light bulb section and he found this man named Joseph and he says you know I don't work here something I don't know exactly how it went before long Jack did what he does best he started talking about the Word of God and this man got excited about what he heard he got excited about what the 10 Commandments have to say and how they're repeated they're in Hebrew and how we need to continue to follow and study and so he went to his bible study group on Sunday who that was studying through the 10 Commandments and Moses and all those types of things and he started to raise some questions and I asked some things to the pastor in the various ones that were leading now and the pastor said some along the lines of. You've been hanging out with the 7th heaven this haven't you. And I love his response he says I have been hanging out with them as I've been studying the Word of God. And even to this even now and he's not here today because he's not feeling well but he's at home and he's I've talked to him since and Jack's talked to him since he told about the Sabbath Truth dot com and he is just eating this stuff up and so we throw out a resort and he eats it up and he eats it up and he eats it up self taught why because he has a passion for the Word of God. When do we ever want to lose our passion for the Word of God When have we learned it all I don't know all right I'll continue and I'll stop I like this quote from Martin Luther to pray well is the better half of study that also is one that challenges me a bit the better half to pray Well how about a simple prayer and I'm going to study and then I'll pray at the end call the conclusion no but to pray well is the better half of study. To really understand what God is trying to say to apply it to my life to labor with God to pray the passage back and a way to pray well is the better half of study a better everything else he delighted in the study of God's word but as his conviction of sin deepened he sought by his own works to obtain pardon and peace he started to realize that he was a sinner in need of a savior but he felt like to do this he had to put himself through the paces if you will through fasting through scourging through all kinds of other things and we can oftentimes get off on this course as well can't we the idea that if I do good and not correct English if I do well if I do good things God will love me and if I don't well he just won't and so I can whip myself and try and get into submission and all these things where Paul say the thing I don't want to do that I do and the things I want to do I don't do Lord deliver me from this body of sin and that's how Luther fell in fact he says if every monk could have taint heaven by his monkish works I should certainly have been entitled to it meaning he put himself through anything and everything he possibly could do and even went further on to say that if you would have done that much longer it would have led to his own death there was a sincerity there but it was it being pointed in some of the wrong areas in some of the wrong places well the Lord brought somebody into his life just then your hand stop it's I think we're going to my German friend over there close friend to try to encourage his troubled soul and he said something like this instead of torturing yourself on account of your sins throw yourself in the Redeemers arms trust in him in the righteousness of his life and the atonement of his death and so he started to have a bit of a turn here. So it's not my life but it's his life it's the life he wants to live in and through me is the power he wants to impart to me to overcome in those areas but I do that only by focusing on him his friend encourage him to preach and after much resistance he finally yielded and people love to hear Martin Luther preach because he preached with passion and with zeal with the knowledge and understanding of God's word and he preached in a way that was different different than the scribes in the fair cities own us a different story but it's similar and so they came from a long way this is a picture supposedly of this his room is what I have listed there are others called a cell in that monastery where he finally realized that grace is an unearned gift grace under it's a gift and then what do I do with that Grace I don't throw it on the ground and stomp around and do never I want it transforms me it changes me and this grace as it flooded over Martin Luther in that tiny cell or room whatever you want to call it that Grace changed him and it made him a new man with new convictions and a new desires and new aspirations to spread the good news that we're not under this law that just bears this down and almost dead in the end but we're under grace and that grace changes me it empowers me to live for him. And so that's where it started to happen well about this time he went to Rome before and so excited about this trip you wanted to see what there was to see in Rome you couldn't just Google it he couldn't just find a picture online you can look at a video he had to see it for himself and so he was there low and behold as soon as he came over the horizon he saw in Rome for the 1st time he said holy Rome I salute. He traveled on foot by the way as monks did staying in monasteries along the way but when he got to Rome he quickly was unimpressed with the wealth with the luxury with the magnificence seeing monks in the cost of robes even the best of food with lavish apartments but on top of that and probably more disturbing was as he witnessed the indecent jokes and the profanity even during mass of these clergy members the indulgence the Dibadj Yuri within all classes at all levels and it shook him to his core he says this is not right if these are man of God pious men of God This shouldn't be there was an in Congress. And it got him thinking some more while he was there he was going up pilot staircase and you can still go there to this day it is said that our Savior Jesus Christ leaving the Roman judgment hall ascended at the center of these steps and medieval legends claim that say mother of European Constantine the Great brought the holy stairs from Jerusalem to Rome sometime around $8326.00 and so there they are in Rome now and he's going up on his knees and praying and pleading and maybe you remember this part of the story verse flashes and his mind how is it there in the 1st place because he studied God's word maybe he read it not only read it but memorized it and at that pivotal moment while he was going through this drudgery of sorts praying up pilots staircase the verse The just shall live how by faith. And it just kept ringing in his ears the just shall live by faith the just to live by faith the just shall live by faith and he jumped to his feet and he left in shame and horror and it says The text never lost power on his soul his eyes had been opened from there Martin Luther went to the University of didn't Bert got his doctorate of divinity and now as a result of getting his doctorate he was at liberty to devote himself as never before to the Scriptures he loved sounds nice and so that's just what he did he continued to study he continued to memorize scripture in fact in this picture you can see kind of this monument of sorts in the middle as kind of small but here it is up close or there's Martin Luther underneath and there's a roof on top some of you I'm sure have been there and it says he had taken a solemn vow to study carefully and to preach with fidelity the Word of God not the sayings and doctrines of the pope's that was a big decision that was a big valve and Luther saw the dangers of exulting human theories above the word of God but he fearlessly attacked speculation and philosophy and the theories of men he says they don't have a place if it's not here there's no biblical foundation for it and I'm not going to preach it I'm not going to practice it he firmly declared that Christians should receive no other doctrines and those which rest on the authority of the sacred Scriptures period now this struck at the very foundation of papal supremacy this was the core upon which the Reformation was built this idea the Bible and the Bible. And again people hadn't heard this before and so they came by the throngs to hear him preach and teach from God's word and it thrilled their hearts great controversy 126 says at. Wittenberg the light was kindled whose race should extend to the uttermost parts of the earth and which was to increase in brightness to women to the close of time that's fascinating to me that tells me the Reformation is not over well the Roman Church had made merchandise of the grace of God Son indulgences in Germany and Johan tensile was one of the individuals that was doing this there's a picture of that you have the cross and he's got these people coming in and kind of eating out the palm of his hand and they're scared and they don't know what to think and so if they pay enough money they'll be OK I heard somebody just the other day said I got some flash up on my screen and it said A virus has invaded your computer unless you do these things and download this software and call this number and give us this money everything's going to be wiped out here here here and here and in fear anybody been a situation somewhere. In fear you don't think logically and you think I better act quick I better save the day and sometimes you do things you regret and so out of fear these people were paying indulgences on this idea that that was the way forward Johan tensile said this he declared that by virtue of his certificates of pardon all the sins which a person should afterward desire is not instant afterward they can be premeditated doesn't matter afterward desire to commit would be forgiven him and then not even repentance was necessary I imagine for some maybe this was good news I mean I've been thinking about an affair this beautiful lady I can't even pay up front and I'll be just fine I don't even need to repent mercy. He also assured his hears that the indulgences had power to save not only the living but the dead at the very moment the money should clink against the bottom of his chest the soul of whose B. have it been paid with escape from purgatory and make its way to heaven so just pay now get out your checkbooks swipe your credit cards knowledge just give us some of your gold coins put them in the chest and this will insure you and your dead relatives yeah we might need to pay the extra for uncle so and so we know some of the things that he did but we don't want to be eternally lost so we'll just put a little extra for our own gold you've heard the phrase as soon as a coin the Kafir rings a soul from purgatory Springs to we find that here you know and this is what I think about any time I go into these elaborate churches have you been in one I mean churches probably not even to say right cathedrals or named detail as if they had all the money in the world just give us a little bit more in Acts Chapter 8 verse 18 member the story when Simon saw that through the laying on of the Apostles hands the Holy Spirit was given he offered them what money I want to do the same here let me offer you some money saying give me this power also that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit but Peter said to him your money perish with you because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money folks we don't purchase the gift of God It's a free gift and so this came at the core of what Martin Luther had had been coming up with in his studies and he says this is wrong this isn't right and he was preaching against it but he wasn't getting enough of a hearing and so his conviction said I have to do more. Further many of their own congregation and purchase certificates of pardon just frame and put it there in the dining room I'm OK certificates of pardon and soon began to come to Him Their pastor confessing their sins and expecting absolution not because they were repentant and longing to reform but merely on the ground of indulgence I mean just even the word indulgence just give us a little and indulge but Luther refused them and told them they would pay for their sins if they did not repent and reform some even after going to loser went back to Ted saw and demanded a refund that's all was furious and enraged as you can imagine and he said he had a letter from the pope himself that whoever denied his holy and told this was a heretic and should be burned at the stake so here we go are we going to do this would it be enough to convince those closest your friends your family and say they're crazy out there but we have the truth and here he says no we have to. We have to preach this message he told him that the grace of God could not be purchased but was a free gift he counseled them not to buy indulgences but to look in faith to a crucified Redeemer who alone could give peace and joy and again people were coming in prongs this verse Romans 323241 of his favorites were all of sin and fall short of the glory of God being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus so here's the casket Wittenberg it possess many relics and on certain holy days people would come in mass to see them and on those days they could be offered full forgiveness. If they came and made confession on one of those holy days it's kind of like a good deal if you will on these holy days 2 for one come on these days and pay homage if you will on this mass and will absolve everything you've done if you come on this day and so people would come in mass and so Luther saw this as a platform to get the word out and you recognize these doors on the festival of All Saints Day October 31 1517 he posted his 95 theses against the doctrine of indulgences now historians will tell us it wasn't just these doors it was other places around town to try and get the word out but this was a big statement this was a huge statement that echoed around the world supposedly this is some of the copies of what they would have seen on the doors of those 95 theses supposedly these date back to the fifty's hundreds the picture anyway they show that the power to grant pardon from Santa never been committed to the Pope or to any other man it was a scheme to play upon the ignorance and emotions of the people to build up their coffers and build elaborate churches rather the grace and forgiveness of God was a free gift given to any and all who seek repentance and faith and Luther believed if people just had the Word of God they would not be so to see it's virtually the same lied today people have the Word of God But if people don't read the Word of God They can be deceived and so literally the devil has come up with every possible invention to take us away from this to put us back in the dark ages how can you read this and say the Reformation is over was really easy you just don't. It's relativism it's what you believe is truth for you what I believe is true through me and it's no longer of thus saith the Lord within days it spread throughout Germany by January his friends and translated them from Latin to German and within a few months all of Europe had seen them the $95.00 theses. Great controversy many dignitaries of both church and state were convicted of the truthfulness of these theses as you know them they were convicted this is truth this is right this is according to God's word I can't argue with it there is verses and passages and texts that show that he is correct but they soon saw the acceptance of these trues would overthrow the Pontus throne and eventually destroy their own authority so because of power we can't let this get out I believe it's true I believe that's what the Bible says but if we do this we get cut off by the knees we have to squelch this thing that's what they did there were times that Martin Luther trembled himself he was very human as well who was I do oppose the majesty of the pope before whom the kings of the earth and the whole world trembled the most powerful man on earth who might go up against him no one can know what my heart suffered during these 1st 2 years and into what despondency I may say into what despair I was sunk you can say that Martin Luther never fear that he never was scared he never doubted or never wanted to face I mean he didn't want to face these people but deeper than that he felt a growing conviction that I must stand on the Word of God period. And so he would pray because prayer was the greater part of his own study and he was labor with God and at the end of that time in his prayer closet which probably was his room he would come forward and say No I have to stand on God's Word the Bible and the Bible only. And to his scripture they had no recourse another quote of Martin Luther if the work be of God who shall stop it I like that if the work be of God who shall stop it if it be not who can forward it is God ultimately in control you better believe that he is and so in December of that year the bishop sent his species to Rome to check for heresy but it was this little invention here that really got the word out the printing press this was technology at its best and because of this little device it went around Europe when 1st summoned to Augsburg its friends begged him not to go it sounds a bit like Jesus sounds a bit like Paul they were fearful of what he would face they were thinking of other reformers who had died at the stake and they didn't want that to happen to their friend but he said this they have already destroyed my honor and my reputation one single thing remains is my wretched body let them take it they will thus shorten my life but a few hours but as for my soul they cannot take that So going through some of these quickly in October of 1518 he was questioned for 3 days in Augsburg by cardinals the debate largely centered on indulgences in June and July 15th 1000 luser debated with Johan ECK about whether the church had exclusive right to interpret Scripture in June of 1520 was threatened with excommunication if he would not reject what he had written but by January of 1521 Pope Leo The 10th as communicated him and then at the Diet of Worms pictured above in the spring of 1521 Luther was asked 2 questions they splayed out his works before him and they said Are these your writings and secondly do you stand by them and after taking a day to think about the 2nd question Luther came back. And responded and were told that his response had everybody's attention because it was marked fact if you look at this picture it almost doesn't seem right because here is everybody important in the world in the room virtually And here's Martin Luther everybody's arrayed to show how important they are and here's this guy in this black cloth Yes you can see his face well enough he doesn't look scared historians say he wasn't intimidated he didn't speak loudly he wasn't angry he wasn't embarrassed he was humble and he spoke with conviction he looked him in the eye and there was such a marked contrast between him and his accusers that it was palpable and so he said unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason I am bound by the Scriptures I have posted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God We need more people to claim those words I cannot and will not recant anything since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience may God help me a man does it take of worms 25th I'm a 1521 and declared Luther an outlaw banning his literature and requiring his arrest they said we want him to be apprehended and punished and in the Torah yes heretic they also made a crime for anyone in Germany to give Luther food or shelter and permitted anyone to kill Luther without legal consequence the church put a bounty on his head but the Lord protected Martin Luther he became a knight night George in 1521 when he was kidnapped by the hint of friendly Prince and him for his own safety in the Borg Castle shown above. This was his room Luce recalled his Patmos but he spent time giving people the greatest possible get to give them a German translation of the Greek Testament and then in 1521 Luther dealt largely with prophecy you know there his main interest was centered upon the prophecy of the Little Horn of Daniel 7 coming up among the divisions of Rome and applied it explicitly to the papacy 500 years before he says it's there I can't deny it he did the same with the little horn and Daniel 8 as well as the anti-crisis 2nd best loans to den of Vidal is the power of the papacy he saw it and so we asked this question is the Reformation over is it time to fold is it time to go back to the Mother Church has the mother church changed or is Protestantism changing you might remember some of these faces Tony Palmer in the top left Kenneth Copeland on the right all saying the protest is over this happened several years ago many years ago and the pope giving this special message let's give each other a hug let's complete the work let's look at the big picture virtually saying the protest is over come home we can do more together than apart this is article here Catholic and Lutheran churches pledge to work for a shared Eucharist the data on that is October 31 of last year Pope Francis and the global Lutheran leader have jointly pledged to remove the obstacles to full unity between their churches leading of eventually to share Eucharist So here you have the Lutheran leaders here you have the Pope and you're there saying let's come together really what would Martin Luther think and the whole time this isn't even hardly news right society doesn't care they're indifferent because they're in the dark ages when it comes to scripture. Here's another one just from this last week 1031 of 2017 Catholics the Lutherans Mark 500 anniversary of reformation Why would the Pope span this 500 anniversary with Lutherans celebrating as the mark the occasion the pontiff counsellor for promoting Christian unity and the Lutheran World Federation on Tuesday issued a joint statement giving thanks for the spiritual and theological gives received through the Reformation I mean this is craziness Why is this happening I believe because prophecies being fulfilled does the Reformation still matter in this article says making his case talking about the author that Protestantism itself should be allowed to die a natural death Mr Lott for quoted Southern Baptist Megachurch Pastor Rick Warren who stated that the word Protestant itself is an old term it's like saying I'm a pilgrim no one call themselves a pilgrim or a Puritan anymore you're hanging on to an old term Can't we all just come together and give each other big. The reformations over Haven't you heard. Mercy 5 centuries is a long time in another 500 years possum is and will either gone back to Rome or it splintered into a 1000000000 churches according to this author I'd like to share some prophecy with him I don't think we're going to be here another 500 years in the Reformation you had Sola scripts script Tura by scripture alone you have Sola Christo through Christ alone you have so few day by faith alone you have Sola by grace alone and there's others but the key word here is the word alone yes the Roman Catholic Church also taught as it does today the importance of faith and the virtue of the Bible reading and salvation through Christ and His grace yet that small 4 letter Latin word Sola meaning alone. Became the dividing line between reforming Protestants and Catholicism Rome added to the requirements of salvation numerous traditions such as praying to Mary and dead saints repeating the rosary confessing sins to priests performing works of pendants paying money to release one's dead relatives from the flames of purgatory that God's forgiveness could be obtained by purchasing indulgences and lastly believe in the supreme authority of the pope as the successor of St Peter and universal head of Christianity these were added and they're not here so how can we say the Reformation is over friends it's not over it's nothing personal it's just not Biblical Pope Francis this is January 1 2016 Mary is the mother of forgiveness me to pray to Mary she will forgive me I mean Mary was a great person but I don't see where the Bible tells us to pray to Mary for forgiveness Pope Francis I pray to St Thomas More every day why in 1521 Luther dealt largely with prophecy as I've mentioned before and he came to the same conclusion that we as a denomination have come to based on the Word of God and that is no man it's got alone that can forgive you of your sins is God alone that can enable you to overcome your sins and has no church is no indulgence is no penance but by faith alone 2nd Thessalonians 23 Let no one deceive you by any means for the day will not come unless the falling away comes 1st and the man of sin is revealed the son of perdition who oppose an exalted above all that is called God or that is worshiped so that he sits as God in the temple of God showing himself that he is God the Bible told us it would happen 1st and Martin Luther said We here are of the conviction that the papacy is the seat of the true and real anti-Christ. You know the common theme of Protestantism even until relatively recently you get old Baptist study guides and they study this and they show Billy Graham used to preach this but where has it gone it's not politically correct that's what they say and so we're not allowed to preach it we are spiritual racists some use that term or do we just want to follow God's word to want to trust alone in the Word of God and in the Jesus Christ of the Bible in the last 500 years times have changed the friends the Bible has not and Rome has not as much as the want to convince otherwise God's Reformation yet live and I believe it will live until the close of time I don't know about you but I want to be part of it says sanctify them by your truth your word is truth Jesus said in John 1717 the just jel live by faith Romans one verse 17 For by grace you have been saved through faith and not of yourselves it is the gift of God Not of works let anyone should boast effusions to 8 and 9 that just shall live by faith I believe God's Reformation yet lives and I believe he's calling you and I to be part of it not to be rude not to be in anybody's face but to stand alone on the Word of God that people will come and flock to us for the message to we are preaching in the name of Jesus Christ that is my hope and that is my prayer Dear Heavenly Father we want to stand alone on the solid rock of Jesus Christ on your shed blood for us for me that we may be part of the great number when you come to take us home Lord we're told that when Martin Luther stood up. And nailed those 95 theses others felt the same. But they didn't do any. Lord May we stand may we stand out for the gospel for your sake and for our own brain Jesus' name. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more servant leader Visit W W W audio verse or.


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