Gone, But Not Forgotten
Have you ever wondered what happened to the church after the New Testament was written and the last disciple of Jesus died? If you have than this book on church history is for you! Church history is the study of the church as seen through its important events, places, and people. This book was written to give you the reader a very basic and clear understanding of the Christian Church from the time of last apostle’s death (John-98AD), through the Great Reformation in the mid 1500’s, and to the 1900's.
Jesus Himself declared in Matthew 16:18, “I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Therefore, it is very important today to know the real history of the true church of Jesus Christ in response to the many attacks Satan has brought against it. First, there are the counter Christian groups, also known as “cults,” such as the Mormons and the Jehovah Witnesses that teach the true church was “lost” sometime in the fourth century during the “supposed” formation of the Roman Catholic Church and they have been called by God to “restore” the true church of Jesus Christ that differs from mainstream Christianity today. Second, such religions like Islam teach that Paul was a corrupter of the Christian faith and that true Christians were really just followers of Allah and not the Trinitarian worshippers of Jesus found in the modern New Testament.
However, if these attacks are true than Jesus lied and failed at keeping His word, meaning the gates of hell did in fact prevail against the church. But this is not the case, as you will soon learn as you examine the lives and events of the people that followed the trail blazed by the first disciples. You will soon learn that the true church did not die, but rather the true church of Jesus Christ continued to blaze new trails in each and every generation and is here today alive and well!
These leaders of the early church have earned the name “fathers,” because it is upon their shoulders that today the modern church stands. Many of them never had the chance to live long lives because they were martyred and killed simply for believing, “Jesus is Lord”. But for those that had the chance to write down their beliefs and share with us their profound faith we must honor their lives by telling their story. This book is dedicated to their memory and the love they had for Jesus and for truth.
Though today students are taught in history classes about famous inventors, explorers, and scientists, this book will discuss the lives of people mostly forgotten by history, but forever remembered in heaven for overcoming the attacks of the devil by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of their testimony and for not loving their lives so much as to shrink from death, Revelations 12:11. The book of Hebrews describes them best when it reads, “the world was not worthy of them," Hebrews 11:38. Therefore, in a church age when many pastors and Christians leaders spend more time chasing the latest “get big quick” scheme than knowing the deep truths of the persecuted saints of the past, I write their story in hopes of awakening the senses of cold and numb Christians to a fresh fire of like faith.
This book is not meant to be an exhaustive recount of every person and event, but rather a summery of the major events and people that made them happen. Nor is this book meant to be a detailed defense of every belief in Christianity, but rather it is meant to tell the story of the basic Christian truths the church fathers taught with theirs lives and sometimes with their deaths. I will not focus on doctrines that that are considered “non-essential” for salvation, but rather I will focus on the core doctrines that unite Christians all over the world and did back then.
My aim is to show you how the true church lived and taught the most important doctrines of Jesus Christ throughout every generation. Such as; the belief in one God revealed in three distinct persons, the deity and worship of Jesus Christ, salvation through faith in Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection, the inspiration of Holy Scripture, and the final judgment of both the saved and damned.
I pray you will enjoy your journey through church history and become inspired to follow the church father’s example of faith, perseverance, purity, and power. Please take some time right now to read this passage in Hebrews and pray that you will be able to see the “cloud of witnesses” that went before you and receive strength to fix your eyes on Jesus and run the race now set before you!
Hebrews 12:1-2, "1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."