Five hundred and five years ago this week, Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Germany, creating perhaps the greatest movement of the church since its beginning in the first century. Reformation Day, October 31, commemorates that monumental moment in church history. Brother Martin, a scholarly German monk, recognized the need for change so that the church might not fall beneath the weight of greed and deceitful misrepresentation of the gospel message of its birth.

As a result of this historical event, the gospel continues to travel over land and sea, across time and territory, in fulfillment of Jesus’ command.

”Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
— Matthew 28:19–20 ESV

As Jesus concluded his earthly ministry, he handed the baton to his disciples with those instructions. Go to the ends of the earth, making disciples, baptizing them, and teaching them so that others may know me as you have. And they did.

Later, the baton would be handed to the Apostle Paul, who would plant churches throughout Asia and Asia Minor. Traveling some 10,000 miles, he would preach the good news to all who would listen. He would then hand off the baton to Timothy and Titus. From their hands to the early church fathers, who would pass it along to the reformers, then forward through the years to you and me today. Always moving forward, hand to hand, heart to heart.

The mission remains the same. The call has not changed. The baton is now in your hands and mine, Christian. The apostle Paul told the Believers in Corinth, “Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly” (1 Corinthians 9:26 NIV). “I run with purpose. I’m a man on a mission,” he tells them, “and I am running to win.”

What about you? Are you running with purpose today, sharing the gospel that changed your life with someone who needs that change? I pray you are. I pray you will. Someone’s eternity is at stake. Please, run to win.