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The Christian Testimony Through The Ages

By T. W. Carron

Christendom is not Christianity. The Lord once likened the kingdom of heaven to a grain of mustard seed, which is exceedingly small, but when grown, it becomes a tree in which the birds of the air can find roosting places (Matt. 13:24-30). From the gospel seed there has grown up a vast religious system which bears the Christian name but is, in character, no different from the world- a system which Satan has used to destroy men’s souls and which ambitious men have used to glorify themselves instead of God.

It is not, however, the history of Christendom we wish to trace, but of the true faith which Christendom has often opposed. Yet the two cannot be entirely disentangled, for while in the first three centuries Christians had to struggle against heathen persecution, thereafter the opposition came from those within the pale of Christendom – from the religious leaders themselves. Some were misguided zealots; some simply wolves in sheep’s clothing. Behind this lay the cunning artifices of the devil, whose intention was to corrupt what he had failed to destroy. Yet what he could not corrupt became, through his influence the object of hatred and persecution.

The Lord had given warning of this  admixture of the false and the true in the clearest terms when he uttered the parable of the wheat and the tares (Matt 13:24-30) in which He made it perfect clear that the enemy would introduce among true believers those who, like the tares, bore a mere outward resemblance to the true but in them selves were false and worthless. But the words of the divine Author of the faith could not fail. “Upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it “ (Matt 16:18). His Church continues to this day, outwardly lost in the confusion of sects and systems but still one body composed of every believer, indwelt by the Spirit.