“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” ~ Ephesians 2:8-10
I just finished reading the novella “Dinner with a Perfect Stranger”; it was a very short but impacting read. Once again, I was reminded that there is only one way to heaven. For centuries, man has distorted traditions and rituals of the first century church.
Recently, many celebrated Halloween. I believe that many have forgotten the true meaning of Hallows Eve. You see, Hallows Eve used to be a vigil held in honor of the faithfully departed; the eve of All Saints Day. I do not want to start a controversy over Halloween; if Christians should be celebrating it or not. If we do, we need to remember the true meaning of it; mocking evil since it has no power over us. Did you know that in Middle Ages, poor people begged for “soul cakes” and in return offered up prayers for the faithful departed souls? Interesting, isn’t it? I guess that is where ‘trick-or-treat’ comes from.
I personally do not celebrate Halloween; for me October 31st marks a very important day: start of the reformation of Christ’s church on earth. Before Martin Luther translated the Bible into ‘vulgar’ language of the people, the Bible was only read by priests, understood by scholars because it was in Latin. People were led to ‘pay’ their way to heaven by indulgences.
What does the above Scripture, the novella, and history have to do with each other? A lot, my dear sister in Christ. Only one thing is needed to go to heaven: our faith in Christ Jesus. He alone conquered death, set us free from damnation. No indulgences need to be paid, because Christ paid with His blood for our souls. We are redeemed by God’s grace. It is a free gift of God. Oh, how sweet is the sound of His grace.
In 1521 Martin Luther was asked before the Diet of Worms to defend his writings. His response:
I cannot submit my faith either to the Pope or to the Councils, because it is clear as day they have frequently erred and contradicted each other. Unless therefore, I am convinced by the testimony of Scripture . . . I can and will not retract . . . Here I stand . . . I can do no other. So help me God, Amen!!
Lord of Heaven and Earth. Help us to stand by grace alone, faith alone, Scripture alone. We know that we cannot earn or pay our way to heaven. No good works would be ever good enough. May our good works always reflect Your grace and be done with the thankful heart. In the precious name of Jesus. Amen.
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