Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied. (Acts 9:31)
Going To Church In 1420
The 15th Century was a time of upheaval and war. The Polish-Lithuanian-Teutonic War was the largest land battle in Medieval Europe, England was fighting against the Welsh uprising, and Joan of Arc was burned at the stake while fighting for the French. Johannes Gutenberg invented the first printing press. Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Empire, and the War of the Roses was fought in England. During the 15th Century, Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas looking for a passage to the Indies. It was a busy time for the world. For the commoner, little was changed by the historical events of the 15th Century. When it came time to go to church, he had limited opportunities.
Many religions existed in the 15th Century, including Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism (Taoism), and Islam. The Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church dominated the Christian world. In Europe, the choice of where a person went to church was limited to only two places: either the apostate Roman Catholic Church or the New Testament church of devoted disciples. Many people do not realize that in 1420, the landscape was not filled with churches of different faiths. The Lutheran Church was one hundred years away from being organized, and the Baptist Church would not be established for 187 years. There were many cathedrals but no Presbyterian or Methodist. If you were religious and went to “church,” in all likelihood, you were Catholic, not a Protestant. The 16th Century would introduce the world to the Protestant Reformation. A Catholic monk named Martin Luther was successful in beginning a period of reforms from the apostate teachings of the Catholic-dominated landscape.
The Lutheran Church was established in 1520, followed 14 years later when Henry VIII of England created the Church of England or the Episcopalian Church. Two years later, in 1536, John Calvin started the Presbyterian faith. The Baptist Church was not founded until 1607, and the Methodist came 132 years later. If a man lived in the 14th Century, he could not go to any of the Protestant churches that are so familiar in modern times. The Bible teaches the New Testament church existed in the 1st Century and, according to the Bible, was a kingdom that could never be shaken. In the midst of the prophesied apostasy, the New Testament disciples continued to serve the Lord as devoted saints of the true pattern. The historical reference through the centuries may not have recorded their enclaves of influence, but God knew where they were. Nothing stopped the New Testament church from its mission.
Bible-believing people need to recognize the apostasy of the church when men build something that is not found in the Bible. The Lutheran church is only 502 years old. If you lived 600 years ago, where would you go to church? No Lutherans, Methodists, Baptist, Mormon, Adventists, or Jehovah’s Witnesses existed in 1492. If these churches did not exist for nearly fifteen hundred years, why is it so easy for anyone to embrace those churches as Biblical? None of the names of the churches are found in the Bible – does that not make an impact on the hearts of truth-seeking people? If the Bible is the word of God, should we not declare our faith in what is found in the word of God and no other allegiance? Demand truth from where you go to church. Let the Bible be true and every man a liar. Find the New Testament church and follow its pattern. That is the church that Jesus built.