Let the Reformation Continue
500 Years of Printing History that Changed the World
This year many in the Christian world commemorated the 500th anniversary of the great Protestant Reformation, either in appreciation for the infinite blessings it brought to the soul or, amazingly, as some would have us believe, an unfortunate event that sorrowfully divided Christendom. For most Christians, however, I’m sure the year, and the very day that gave the Reformation its greatest push forward, passed without recognition. Have you ever thought where this world would be today without it?
The obvious first comes to mind. If you are of European decent, more than likely you’d be Catholic, or Communist (remember the cause of the French Revolution). And your ancestors? They may never have made it to the new world. Without the impetus of the Reformation, there’d be no “land of the free.” The “new” would be just like the “old.” Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and all the other liberties we enjoy but take for granted would only be a far off dream. And worst of all, there would be no “good news” to inspire with hope our sinful souls. No blessed assurance. No amazing grace. No peace like a river. No resting place. Where would we find the lovely Jesus we know and trust today? Face it. We’d still be living in an age of darkness, superstition and error, forever wandering after the beast.
And that most precious book we call the Holy Bible? Still chained to monastery walls and confined to an unknown tongue. We would be living in a very, very different world from that which we know today. For all the positive advances in science, education, agriculture, industry, health, and government that bless our world, we owe it all to the advancement of Bible truth through the channels of the great reformation. O’ let us celebrate the victories of the Protestant Reformation and the great sacrifice the reformers and the multitudes who followed them made to set men free from the tyranny of Rome.
But there’s one more thing I want to bring to mind as we close this milestone in Protestant Christian history, and that is the very thing, next to Martin Luther himself, that propelled the Reformation forward.Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the Wittenberg Church door and sent copies to his superiors, but his supporters thought it needed a broader reading audience. Within days Luther’s 95 points against the sale of indulgences were the talk of all Germany and within weeks that of all Christendom itself. How was that possible?Let’s give credit where credit is due. It was the printing press, 75 years plus in operation and now available in almost every city of western Europe, that opened the doors of the Reformation to speedily take hold of the minds and hearts of the nations, tribes, tongues and peoples of Europe. And this is how Divine Providence would have it.
One cannot celebrate the Reformation without celebrating the printing press. Surely both of them were gifts of God to His earth bound children. It was the press that kept the fires of the Reformation brightly burning for hundreds of years. And when the Protestant churches themselves had fallen asleep and were almost dead (See Rev. 3:1-6), God breathed new life into the Reformation through the Great Second Advent Movement and used the printing press to once again awaken the nations to the great truths of the Bible lost during the Dark Ages. The rapid speed at which the message traveled was due largely to the press. Without it, this movement would never have become the world-wide movement we know today.
Brothers and sisters, the beginning of the Protestant Reformation was glorious. But her end is to be no less glorious, if in fact more so. What a privilege is ours to walk in the footsteps of the great reformers of the past and proclaim the same great truths of the gospel and the glad tidings of a soon coming Saviour! Let us keep our lamps burning and let us keep those presses rolling!!!
Your brother in Christ, Steve