Monday, November 1, 2021

On the Christian Church calendar, yesterday, October 31, was Reformation Day.  We recall that on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted ninety-five theses or protests to the door of the church at Wittenberg, Germany.  Luther lodged protests against the abuses of the Catholic Church, theological errors, heresies, excesses and what he believed was a fundamental misrepresentation of the gospel message of the Bible.  His work was a major catalyst in the Protestant Reformation.  For Luther, the book of Romans was a gospel of iron that could withstand any assault or aggravations from the Catholic Church.  Today, November 1, is All Saints Day.  On this day, we remember believers who have gone to be with the Lord to enjoy the blessings of glorification.  We remember those who have died in Christ since the last All Saints Day and we gratefully acknowledge their lives and memories and the fulfillment of God’s promises in their lives.  We celebrate their presence and place with the Lord forevermore as they enjoy their room in the Father’s House (see John 14).
            Psalm 67:1 says, “may God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face to shine upon us.”  One of God’s greatest blessings is the placement of certain people in our lives.  Be they family, friends, co-workers or next-door neighbors, God often chooses to bless us by placing our lives in connection with the lives of others.  On All Saints Day, we take time to remember those who have blessed us by the gift of their presence and the relationship we enjoyed with them.  Their memories no doubt remain and bring warmth to our hearts.  Today is an occasion to celebrate all that they meant to us. 
            Only twenty-four more days till we enjoy another Thanksgiving.  Today, take time to give thanks for those who have gone to be with the Lord.  Remember the impact they made upon your life.  Remember the influence that they leave behind.  Consider how they have shaped and formed your life into what you are today.  God often makes His face to shine upon us through the lives of others.  Glimpses of Christ are often found in the lives of spouses, parents, children and siblings. 
            All Saints Day teaches us that the grave is not the end for a believer.  Death is not the last word in the life of a Christian.  God has more to come—much more in fact.  Paul said “for me to live is Christ but to die is gain.”  Paul knew that God’s finest and most incomparable blessings await believers who die in Christ.  In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul wrote, “no eye has seen, no ear has head, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him” (I Corinthians 2:9).  On All Saints Day, we take a few special moments to consider the inconceivable and to ponder the imponderable.  Because Christ lives, those who die in Christ live as well. 
            October 31 and November 1 are special occasions for the people of God to give thanks for the fullness of the gospel that changes both our lives and our destinies.  We are thankful that Luther helped to engineer a return to the five “great solas” of the Christian faith...Christ alone, grace alone, faith alone, Scripture alone and the glory of God alone.  These five truths guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus till the day that we go to be with Him.  And today helps us to know there is more that awaits than the life we possess and live now.  Today we give thanks to God who loves us enough in Christ to plan eternity with us.  The truths of the Reformation and gospel prepare us for the joys of the eternity that awaits. 
            We invite you to share our Sunday worship with others at youtube.com/FirstBaptistKannapolis.  As we enter the last two months of the year, it is time to catch up on our giving, tithes and offerings.  Let’s stay faithful with funding and supporting the ministries that God has given to us.  Have a great All Saints Day as you remember the lives and blessings of those who were special to you!

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