From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Human Traditions in the Church
Daniel indicates that new human religious rites will be the very form and constitution of the kingdom of Antichrist. He says: “He shall honor the god of fortresses instead of these; a god whom his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts” (Dan 11:38). He describes here the invention of new rites, as he says that such a god shall be worshiped as the fathers did not know.
Pulling It Together: The face of Christianity is changing in many places. Things that were once considered true because they are the testimony of Scripture, are now cast aside in favor of personal and public opinion. With these changes come new religious rites and unusual beliefs to base these ceremonies upon. What have those who are so deceived done but received the mark of the beast? They have sided with darkness, worshiping the beast instead of the Light of the World. This should come as no surprise, for John spoke of this when he wrote that the true light would not be received by the world (John 1:9–10).
We may fall in with the complainers who long for the so-called good old days. They are with us in every generation. Or we may have our minds opened to understand the Scriptures (Luke 24:45). Then we will realize that these changes were prophesied long ago and that we have a responsibility in such times. We are to patiently endure, being even more devoted to walking in God’s way and keeping our faith in Jesus—no matter the push and pull of the world around us. For to all who receive Jesus, who believe in him, he gives the right to become children of God (John 1:12). There is no other way of salvation (John 14:6), despite what some may claim. Though the world continues to change, and some churches right along with it, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb 13:8).
Prayer: Help me to endure these times, O Lord, and keep my faith in you. Amen.
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