Is this a week where you can’t wait for Friday to come? You need to do what it takes to get out of the office and get it done! Or, are you calculating what you need to accomplish so you have an easy Monday? Have you planned your vacation for the season? What job will you have in five years? Where will you retire? How are you preparing for retirement? Oooohhhhh long term…..!!! What are you setting up for your children, or your children’s children? That takes some planning! The question I am leading to is this, what are you doing that will influence your family and society for the next 500 or 1000years? We have been programmed to look at our end of life planning as long term planning. The really visionary people have an inheritance set up for their children. How many people have you met that consider the future in terms of millennia?

In the early 1500’s Pope Leo X was looking to raise funds for the renovation of Saint Peter’s Basillica in Rome. Albert, the Archbishop of Mainz in Germany, allowed Priest Johan Tetzel to sell indulgences throughout the German land. Archbishop Albert had gone deeply into debt to buy his position in the church, so he agreed to allow the sale of indulgences in his land  as long as a portion of the sales went to pay off the Archbishop’s debt. Sound like corruption?

Indulgences were much like carbon credits, if you purchased indulgences you were allowed to go sin at will. The larger the purchase price of the indulgence, the larger the sin forgiven!

Now enter Martin Luther and the 95 theses. His blood probably boiled at the thought of Johan Tetzel’s jingle, “As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory (into heaven) springs.” So Luther wrote 95 theses; one of which stated that only God could remit sins and guilt, not the Pope or any purchased indulgence. On October 31, 1517, he nailed the theses to the door of the The Castle Church in Wittenberg. (He also sent them out to a few bishops and friends.) By 1518 the theses had been translated and published which brought pressure upon Luther; he explained that he only wanted to address a problem and did not intend to “unhinge the papacy with the theses.” In the following years people were attracted to the “Lutheran” theology with it’s direct forgiveness of sin from the Father. They realized they no longer had to “go to confession” with a priest or buy indulgences for sin. This led to the Protestant Reformation.

Why did I go to this length to give you this snap shot in history? 500 years later we are still effected by Luther’s convictions and actions. Does your conviction drive you to action with a view that looks far, far into the future? If it does not, you may want to reconsider your views, beliefs, convictions, and future planning.

The 95 Theses

 [ http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/history/95theses.htm ]

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