THE CHURCH WILL ALWAYS PREVAIL
"Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it." With these words Christ announces the foundation the Church which He will head, that He will build it, that it will be preserved, and that not even the gates of Hades will prevail against and corrupt His Church. Why did Christ at this time utter these important words which concern all the entire human race ? Certainly not to establish the myth that Peter became the foundation of the Papacy. For Christ had asked this question of His disciples: "Whom do you say that I am?" The question was not about Peter and who Peter was. In fact this question was asked of all His disciples not only Peter, and all the disciples agreed with Peter, as indicated by their silence. When Peter answered: "You are the Christ, Son of the Living God,"
Christ blessed Peter, and adding to the truth uttered by Peter, said: "And upon this rock I will build my Church." So Christ took this event to proclaim the construction of his Church on the rock confessed by Peter. Christ did not call Peter the rock of foundation of the Church, but simply a rock, as petros means and Peter also testifies. Christ, not Peter, is the rock upon which the Church is built, and believing that Christ is the Son of the Living God is the rock upon which all of our lives must be built. This is the fundamental law of the true Church of Christ, for in order to belong to the Church one must, like Peter, confess the belief that Christ is the Son of the Living God, and is Head of the Church. Peter believes and testifies that Christ is the only chief Shepherd, saying: "And when the chief shepherd shall appear, you shall receive a crown of glory that does not fade away" (1 Peter 5: 4).
Peter also testifies: " To whom coming unto us as a living stone disallowed of men, but chosen of God and precious, you also as living stones, are built up into a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in Scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief cornerstone chosen and precious; and he that believes in him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore, which believe he is precious, but unto them which are disobedient, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of scandal . . ." (1Peter 2: 3-8). Protestants severed themselves, not from the true Church, but from the Papacy, which had already apostasized from the Church over four-hundred years previous. With no regard for the original Church which Christ founded, they busied themselves laying many foundations as they established new churches. Effectively, they all became little popes, claiming to interpret things according to their individual opinion. In their so-called reformation, they failed to distinguish between the truths and falsehoods of the Papacy, and through out these truths with the falsehoods. Thus they became Arians, Universalists, Iconoclasts, blasphemers of the Virgin, insulting her virginity, and many other such serious errors As Protestantism evolved they divided, first into dozens, and later into thousands of different churches each with their own self-chosen doctrine. They were certainly not of one mind in the faith as Scripture demands, but remain hopelessly divided. They never wanted to accept the true doctrine of the Church, nor did they seek to unite with the Church established by Christ. They had their own agenda which was furiously directed against Rome. They elevated the authority of the Bible, but according to each one’s interpretation. They appropriated as their own, the true Church’s written tradition, but rejected the Church and its oral tradition They continue to reject the fundament established by Christ: "Upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades shall not pevail against it." Why do they not accept that the gates of Hades could never prevail against the Church of Christ? Their intent was to displace the Papacy and take its place in society, because they were not faithful to the Son of God.
NO ONE CAN NOT START ANOTHER CHURCH
When one leaves the true Church and starts another church it must necessarily be false. If one leaves a false church and joins another false church what is the benefit? If one denies that there is a true Church, he also denies that Christ is its head, and that the body of Christ has not prevailed, and what is even more malicious, that Christ’s words about the Church are proven to be false. However, history records that the Protestants rose in protest, not against the Church, but against the corruption of the Papacy, which they learned to hate, mistaking it to be the true church, now corrupt, thus they would become its nemesis and "reformers". They failed to realize that the Papacy was not the true Church and had already been in apostasy from the Church for over four-hundred years, having institutionalized the evils which the reformers were protesting. However, it is the arrogance of sinful men, which raises the idea that Christ’s Church became corrupt, that His words were proven to be false, then proclaiming to become builders of a pure reformed church! It is the arrogance of sinful men, thinking themselves holier than others, imagining a mandate from God to start a purer church. They disregard or insult the true Church in the East, beaming at them brighter than the sun. Rejecting the Church’s dogmas, and its tradition, oral and written, they established the doctrine of Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone) and began to follow the Book accepting things according to each one’s individual interpretation, doing precisely what the Popes had been doing. The Bible which they hold to be the only source of truth condemns them all for it is commanded therein, they must "hold firmly the tradition which you have received orally or written."
SOLA SCRIPTURA OR FAITH ALONE IS IMPOSSIBLE
Their doctrine of Sola Fide (faith alone) is sorely flawed as regards salvation leading many astray. Indeed we are saved by faith alone, there is no doubt about it. They claim to follow the Bible alone, but it is the Bible which proves their claim false. For the Bible clearly teaches that faith without works is not faith but is dead. So when a Protestant dies having faith alone, and must go before the fearful judgment seat of Christ as will all mankind. He will not be judged by his faith. How will we be judged? By what we did with that faith which is his works. The Bible repeatedly proclaims that "each man will be judged by his works" Thus Sola Fide is condemned by the Bible as being dead. "Faith without works is dead." The Church is often depicted as a ship, Christ being at the helm, and the Apostles and Fathers as the crew, wafting its way into the kingdom of heaven. Just as only Noah and his immediate family were saved from the flood in the ark, so only those in the ship that is the Church, can be saved from the water of sin and iniquities that she is sailing through toward heaven.
Everyone that desires life everlasting must board this ship and become part of the Body of Christ which is the Church. This Church can never be destroyed or corrupted, nor can the gates of Hades prevail against it. Also, there are many who bear the name Orthodox and are outside of the Church. The Church is not and never will become corrupt but there are corrupt people in the Church. There are heretics in the Church but the Church will never become heretical. The Church having Christ as its Head and the Holy Spirit for its Guide can never become unfaithful. Nestorius was Patriarch of Constantinople and became corrupt and a heretic, but the Church of Constantinople did not become corrupt and heretical like its Patriarch. During those days no one left the Church and started another church. At one time, the Arians had control over much of the Church, but the Church did not deny Christ and become heretical even though there were many Arian bishops everywhere, but the Church preserved the truth – that Christ was eternally God and became man in time.
The Church can never become heretical, but heretics can be in the Church, seeking to corrupt and destroy her. Both the Protestant reformers and those who left the true Church while establishing other churches would do well to pay attention to the great Saint John Chrysostom: "If you are within, the wolf cannot enter, but if you stray outside, the wild beasts will get you . . . do not wander from the Church; there is nothing more impregnable than the Church. She is your hope and your salvation. She is higher than the heavens, firmer than a rock, wider than the world, she never grows old, but is for ever renewing her youth." The Church is the house or community of saints, and filled with fruit-bearing trees, and those who do not thrive in the Church cannot become holy. The declaration or belief that the Church has become corrupt, therefore I am leaving it, is the depths of folly. Of course there is corruption in the Church, for it is always under attack. The embryonic Church consisting of the 12 disciples, underwent the trauma of one of the disciple being a thief and betraying Christ to death with a kiss. But the eleven were not corrupted and remained faithful, going on to sacrifice their lives for Christ and the Church.
THE CHURCH IS ALWAYS VICTORIOUS
The church had five sees, Jerusalem, Rome, Constantinople, Antioch and Alexandria. Not just one or a few became corrupted, at the beginning of the last millennium, but a huge section of the Church became corrupted, the whole western branch of the church went into apostasy, forming the first "reformed" church which became known as the Papacy. But the Church that Christ founded never did and never will become corrupt. In fact, let us suppose that only a thousand, or even a hundred Christians were left after the majority of the Church fell into heresy. Then let us suppose that this large majority took over most of the Christian temples, so it would seem as if the Church had indeed become corrupt, but it would certainly not be corrupt because the faithful remained the true Church..
There will always be a remnant who will remain faithful, and never abandon the truth or the Church. For "where two or thee gather in my name, there I am in the midst of them." The Lord does not delight in large numbers, but in faithfulness and adherence to truth. The heresy of iconoclasm waged total war against the Church and many churches followed this path of corruption. This attack lasted for many generations, from 711 to 843 AD, but no one started another uncorrupt and purified church. Corruption prevailed in most churches, but the Church did not become corrupt, because of the protection of its Head and guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Church was attacked, wounded, but recovered, was healed and remains victorious. What is invisible to human eyes is the faithful who preserved the truth, maybe as few as one in a single church.
The Church is the Body of Christ.
The Church is the temple of God.
The Church is the Bride of Christ.
The Church is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit.
The Church is the house of God.
The Church is the Bride of Christ.
The Church is always triumphant!
"Upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of Hades
shall not prevail against it."