Today’s “Gem” from Bob Stanley’s “The Catholic Treasure Chest”: The Catholic Church is the world’s longest reigning, continuous government, of any kind

“Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” John 2:19-20

This is an interesting verse, because from it we can calculate the approximate date of its happening. According to historical records of the time, the rebuilding of the Jewish temple was begun in 19 B.C.. Forty-six years later would bring the time up to about 27 A.D..

John chapter 2 is right at the beginning of the three years in which Jesus practiced His ministry. From this calculation, He founded His Church near the end of His ministry on earth three years later or about 30 A.D..

Jesus promised that His Church would last every day in every century until the end of time (Matthew 28:20, John 14:16-17, Ephesians 3:21), and that the gates of hell would not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18).

Now, what this means is that in the year 2030, the Church which Jesus Christ founded will be 2000 years old.

His Church is a living Church since it is the Body of Christ, and He is its Head (Ephesians 1:22-23). The Head of Christ cannot be separated from His Body, therefore He and His Church are one, and very much alive.

This is why Holy Scripture has said, “Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the Church of GOD.”(1Corinthians 10:32) because, as you can readily see, that when someone persecutes His Church, they are really persecuting Him. This is shown again in these verses:

“For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church, his body, and is himself its Savior.” Ephesians 5:23

“And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting;” Acts 9:4-5

Saul had been persecuting His Church, as shown in Acts 8:3. Why then, did Jesus say “why do you persecute me?” Why didn’t He say ‘why do you persecute my Church’?

A great civilization cannot be destroyed from the outside unless it first destroys itself from the inside.

Let us make a few observations regarding longevity and survivability of one institutional entity:

The Roman Empire was the most powerful state the world had ever seen at the time.

It was begun in 27 B.C. by Caesar Augustus, and collapsed under Romulus in 476 A.D.. Its total life was 503 years.

At the time of the collapse of the Roman Empire, the Church which Jesus Christ founded was already 446 years old, despite the fact that it was brutally attacked from within by heretics such as the Simonians, Marcionites, Monarchians, Montanists, Novatians, Donatists, Arians, Jovinians, Pelagians, Nestorians, and scores of others.

The Arian heresy alone, started by Arius, an insider priest who denied the divinity of Christ, was blamed for causing many of the faithful priests and Bishops to follow him.

Yet despite all the slings and arrows from within, Christ’s Church survived. The gates of hell did not prevail. Yet that is only part of the story, since at the same time all of this was going on, the Church was brutally attacked from without by the Jews, Romans, Vandals and many others, yet Christ’s Church survived, and all the while it was steadily growing and expanding.

Again, the gates of hell did not prevail.

How then could the powerful Roman Empire collapse and yet the fledgling Church which Jesus Christ founded, survive during those same tumultuous years?

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Go To Bob Stanley’s “The Catholic Treasure Chest”

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