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How could purgatory exist, so the argument goes, when Jesus told Dismas he would be with him in heaven on Does the story of the good thief justify these Protestant beliefs? First, if Jesus intended for us to take the Dismas story as proof that baptism wasn’t necessary, then it would seem unreasonable for Jesus to command baptism in Matthew 28 and make it the condition for becoming a disciple. The Church teaches that Jesus is able to communicate the grace of salvation in extraordinary ways when circumstances preclude receiving that grace through the ordinary means of baptism: Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the paschal mystery.
Moreover, Peter would have been acting contrary to Jesus’ command when he told the Jews present in Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost to “be baptized . Every man who is ignorant of the gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. He knows whether a person is truly seeking the truth.
Between 15, Luther published more works than the next 17 most prolific reformers combined.
Martin Luther (1483-1546) was an Augustinian monk and university lecturer in Wittenberg when he composed his “95 Theses,” which protested the pope’s sale of reprieves from penance, or indulgences.
For example, Dismas was saved without baptism, which at first glance could give reason to believe that baptism is not necessary for salvation.
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Historians usually date the start of the Protestant Reformation to the 1517 publication of Martin Luther’s “95 Theses.” Its ending can be placed anywhere from the 1555 Peace of Augsburg, which allowed for the coexistence of Catholicism and Lutheranism in Germany, to the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years’ War.
The key ideas of the Reformation—a call to purify the church and a belief that the Bible, not tradition, should be the sole source of spiritual authority—were not themselves novel.