I have recently been blest by a book I am reading by Aimee Semple McPherson, the founder of the Foursquare Churches. Here is one particular quote I thought I would share with the CGMF Family.
Martin Luther one day was walking up the steps of the cathedral on his hands and knees over broken glass, endeavoring to do penance, thereby seeking to atone for his sins. As he was toiling painfully and laboriously up the steps in this manner, blood trickling from his hands and knees, cut by the broken glass, he heard a voice from heaven saying:
“Martin Luther, the Just shall live by Faith.”
At the words, a great light fell from Heaven. It banished the darkness and doubts, it illuminated the soul of Martin Luther, and revealed the finished work of Calvary and the blood that alone can atone for sin.
“For nothing good have I,
Whereby Thy grace to claim,
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calvary’s Lamb.”
The days that followed were eventful days, epoch-making days, fraught with self-sacrifice and suffering. The Lord had spoken, and promised that all the years that had been eaten should be restored, and out of the seas of travail and suffering that followed the preaching of Justification by Faith there was born a little body of blood-washed fire-tried pilgrims, willing to suffer persecution for His Name’s sake.
You have read, perhaps, how Martin Luther and his followers were turned out of the churches, spoken against falsely, and accused of all manner of evil. As Martin Luther, Calvin, Knox, Fletcher and many other blessed children of the Lord, stood firm for the truths of salvation and a sinless life, they suffered all manner of persecution. God’s Word says, “They that will live Godly shall suffer persecution.” (If you or your church profess to live Godly and yet never suffer persecution, if you have become popular and the shame and reproach of the cross is gone, there is something radically wrong somewhere, for those who live Godly still suffer persecution.)
As the noble tree again put down her roots of justification into the fertile soil—faith, as life again began to surge through the trunk and the limbs of the tree, every demon in Hell seemed to be raging and howling against those who saw and accepted the light of salvation. Martyrs were burned at the stake, stoned to death, swung from public scaffolds, suffered the tortures of the inquisition, their eyes were put out with hot irons, they were beaten till great gashes were cut in their backs, salt was rubbed into the wounds and they were cast into the dark dungeons, still true and unflinching for Jesus. They were tortured in unspeakable ways, beheaded, sent to the guillotine, the covenanters were driven from hill to hill and often had to hide themselves in caves in order to pray or sing the praises of the Lord, hunted and harassed at every turn.
But God had said, “I will restore the years that have been eaten,” and in spite of the burning stake, in spite of the blood and fire and the deep waters of tribulation, in spite of the raging of the demons in hell, the great arrow that had so long been going down had at last started upward and was never to stop till it reached the top and the tree was again restored to its perfection.
Persecutions cannot stop God. Floods cannot stay His step. Fire cannot delay His progress. So line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, the work of restoration has been going on. Not only did the Lord restore the years the caterpillar had eaten, but the years of the cankerworm are restored.
Reverend Patrick Vossen,