So, as you all know, we’ve been going through the historical heretics on Friday. I wanted to take a break today to share something I read that was absolutely mind blowing. I hope it will, in some way, encourage you all in regards to education in the West. It’s from The Church History by Eusebius, which I will be reviewing next Thursday, Lord willing. Below is the portion I want to briefly discuss today. This bit comes from the 9th book of The Church History, which includes 10 books.
Having forged, to be sure, Memoirs of Pilate and Our Saviour, full of every kind of blasphemy against Christ, with the approval of their chief they sent them round to every part of his dominions, with edicts that they should be exhibited openly for everyone to see in every place, both town and country, and that the primary teachers should give them to the children, instead of lessons, for study and committal to memory. (H. E. 9.5.1)
There is this tendency to assume that we’re moving towards horrid times, and think “if only we could just go back to the good old days”. Surely there are times when the world, or certain nations, enjoy relative religious peace. When we learn enough of church history, however, we see that is actually the exception, not the rule. In those times the professing believers do two things simultaneously. First, the majority become lazy, neglecting the Scriptures, prayer, evangelism, and service. Second, the minority of believers use these times to do amazing things. They translate newly discovered manuscripts, and spend countless hours making sure the Bible can be read in as many languages as possible. They go into places not experiencing the same peace to help build, encourage, and uplift the persecuted churches. They preach the Gospel in the highways and byways. They start movements that feed the hungry, care for the widows, and adopt the fatherless. Today you’ll find them at the abortion mill, in the mosquito infested jungles, or traveling half way around the world to areas so dangerous they can’t tell us where they are going. I’m looking at you, Pastor Jim!
The men and women who read this blog daily know exactly what I’m referring to. We know the time for peace within the West is short. Hatred for Christianity is being taught in the public schools, in social media, and in entertainment everywhere. Bend to the court of popular opinion or be judged as a bigot unworthy of free speech, and basic human dignity. This was also the case in the times Eusebius detailed, only the punishment back then was far worse than losing your bakery. Men had their feet dipped in oil and caught on fire, and yet still refused to deny Christ as the only Lord and King. Others were tortured to death, drowned, fed to the wild animals, or burned at the stake. There were brief periods of relief between more and increasing persecution. Even after Constantine there were emperors of Rome that hated Christianity. We see periods of increasing peace, apostasy, then the return of varied forms of persecution throughout church history. The faithful always remain, the gates of Hell will never prevail against the bride of Christ.
This is the encouragement I want you to see, because as believers we must see this. Trials and tribulations are promised, and seen throughout time. Work while you can, redeem the time for the days are evil. But do not be fooled into slumber, do not deceive yourself into believing that it won’t happen here. The DNA of the leaders in China defers in no way whatsoever from the leaders in the West. The world wants its religious freedom, to break the chains of true Christianity that preaches freedom can only be found in Christ. Know this, believer, that if we are preparing our hearts for the coming storm we will not be caught off guard. Only those that refuse to look at the past will be surprised by the future. Be encouraged, my friends, that our youth are not the first youth to hear Christ be blasphemed. And yet, here we are, a faithful church after hundreds of years of persecution. God is sovereign! With this in mind, be good Berean’s, beloved, and study to show yourselves approved.