Many professing Christians are pro-relativism, pro-pragmatism, pro-secular-psychological-therapy, pro-management, pro-Arminian, and pro-higher criticism, just to mention a few of the elements that cause me to say "professing." Professing Church leaders and their followers are inclined to man-made religious ideas rather than teaching the whole counsel of God.  Ecumenical colloquium has replaced church councils.  Doctrinal purity is despised.  It makes me wonder if the greater part of evangelical Christianity is in the clutches of apostasy without even knowing it or if it is known, it is suppressed.  The sadder and more painful effect of all these and innumerable other ungodly religious movements falls on the man in the pew.  Week by week his mind is filled with false doctrine.  His world and life view slowly develops until he finally adopts an apostate world and life view.  It may take several generations, but sooner or later truth, honor, and dignity will take leave from the visible evangelical church.  I fear that time has arrived and now reformation must be our goal.  It is true that there are pockets of reformation at one place or the other in the church.

October 31, 1517 is a special day in church history. It was on this day 500 years ago that Martin Luther challenged the church with his 95 theses. Luther never intended to start a new church or to divide the Roman Catholic Church. Luther simply wanted to see reform within the church.  He saw the condition of the church and wanted to debate some theological issues that were un-orthodox for Christianity. Although others paved the way before him, most historians credit October 31, 1517 as the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. The evangelical church was a product of the 16th century Reformation in Europe.

Since reformation is the subject of our discussion, let me define a couple of terms before I continue:


1.  Reformation - the recovery (or discovery) of biblical truth.

2.  Revival - the practice of biblical truth after it has been recovered or discovered.


When God sends reformation some will embrace it and others will hate it. One of the primary reasons for the absence of reformation is from ignorance.  Reformation and revival will never proceed from those who have never been shown the truth from the Bible. Then there are those who have been shown the truth, but they refuse to embrace the truth. If professing Christians have no concern or interest in truth, then the Spirit of God may not reside in their souls. Obviously reformation cannot take place if people are unconcerned about truth.

It is an error to think that biblical reformation is a concept discovered by Martin Luther 500 years ago on October 31st. "What Luther did was to rediscover vital Christianity and to give it afresh to the world" (The Works of B. B. Warfield, Vol. 9, p. 463)

Biblical reformation is just that ‒ it is biblical. Our reformation forefathers simply recovered and practiced the long forgotten concept that "the church reformed is always being reformed." Remember, a church that is not being reformed by the Word of God will devolve its corruption to the next generation.

There is an axiom that says "if you don't use it, you lose it."  If we apply that to the concept of reformation, we must say that if we don't use the Word of God, we will lose the Word of God. In this materialistic and consumeristic age one may argue that the Word of God is in abundance. Everyone has one, two, or maybe even five Bibles in the house.  If you visit the bookstore you will find the youth Bible, the serendipity Bible, the boys Bible, the girls Bible and a whole host of Bibles to accommodate most any need you might have. Even so, I say we are in danger of losing the Bible for several different reasons:


1.  It is possible to lose the Word of God because of indifference.

2.  It is possible to lose the Word of God because the Scriptures are not studied.

3.  If the preaching of the Word of God is despised, then the word of God may be lost.

4.  It is possible to lose the Word of God because it is considered irrelevant.


I've met too many professing Christians who are indifferent toward the Word of God and some of them, strange as it may seem, attach little importance to the Word of God.  Then there is an equal number who simply do not study the Word of God. Whether we lose the Word of God through neglect, misbelief, or disobedience, we are brought to the same end. Sin, vice, and misery are the natural results of losing the Word of God. Without the Word of God, men and women will hate true worship. Without the Word of God false worship will replace true worship.

When the Holy Spirit has done His work and changes the hearts of His people, then being reformed by the Word of God will continue throughout their lives. Being reformed by the Word of God will touch every part of your soul ‒ the mind, the emotions, the will.  However, there will be an outward manifestation of his or her love for truth.

We cannot put it off any longer!  What will we devolve on the shoulders of the next generation if we do not seriously seek reformation in the church, thus affecting every area of life including our religious, familial, social, economic, and political lives. To defer reformation to another person or another time is dangerous indeed, because such thinking and actions will surely provoke God's wrath. There is a choice: reformation or judgment!

God's warnings are all around us. In the church, out of the church and throughout the natural world, God sends His warnings. True ministers of the Word of God who preach the full counsel of God are instruments of God to warn all people of God's coming judgment (please read Ezekiel 33:1-11). Reformation is absolutely necessary for the church and culture!