Ten years after Dr. Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the Wittenberg Church door, a plague-ravaged Germany. Luther and his wife, Katharina von Bora, who was pregnant at the time, turned their home into a hospital for people suffering from the plague.
To Flee or Not to Flee?
Pastor Johann Hess asked Luther for advice. Luther responded with a tract titled, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly Plague.
Love your Neighbour
Luther’s priority was to follow Christ’s teaching:, “As much as you did to one of the least, you did to Me” Matthew 25:40.
Luther continued: “If you wish to serve Christ and to wait on Him, very well, you have your sick neighbour well at hand.”
Resist the Devil
Luther knew satan would tempt us to flee. He said, “the devil wants us to disregard God’s command in our dealings with our neighbour.” He called that “sin of the left hand.”
Do Not be Reckless
Luther then said, “Others sin on the right hand. They are much too rash and reckless, tempting God and disregarding everything which might counteract death and the plague. …They do not avoid persons and places infected by the plague, but light-heartedly make sport of it and wish to prove how independent they are.”
Luther said when people fail to protect themselves from the plague, they risk infecting and poisoning others who might have remained alive.
Luther was blunt: “He is thus responsible before God for his neighbour’s death and is a murderer many times over. My dear friends, that is no good. …Shun persons and places wherever your neighbour does not need your presence.”
First Things First
Luther said pastors “must admonish people to attend church and listen to the sermon so that they learn through God’s Word how to live and how to die.”
Live in the Light of Eternity
Luther wrote of how he talked back to satan: “If Christ shed His blood and died for me, why should I not expose myself to some small dangers for His sake and disregard this feeble plague? If you can terrorise, Christ can strengthen me. If you can kill, Christ can give life. If you have poison in your fangs, Christ has far greater medicine. …Get away, devil. Here is Christ and here am I, His servant in this work. Let Christ prevail! Amen.”
Dr. Peter Hammond
Coalition on Revival
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
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Click here for Spiritual Diseases, in a PDF Tract form that can be printed for distribution.
Click here for a Living Waters tract, 7 Ways to Protect Yourself from the Coronavirus.
Click here to view the new Living Waters film, Pandemic.
To view the video of the Reformation Society presentation: Pandemic, Panic, Propaganda and Priorities, click here.
To listen to the audio of the Reformation Society lecture: Pandemic, Panic, Propaganda and Priorities, click here.