“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn; look to Abraham, your father, and to Sarah, who gave you birth. When I called him he was but one, and I blessed him and made him many.
It’s important to see how far we’ve come. Sometimes I get discouraged by the present condition of the church. But when I look at where we started, it’s encouraging to know how close we are to Christ’s return.
Many talk about revival and restoration. Do we really understand what that means? We need to look at history because every move of God depends upon the truth He’s already restored.
Let’s go back 2000 years – to the infant church. It was an incredible time in the spiritual realm. Thousands of people were saved at a time. Healings and miracles were commonplace.
The dead were raised. Jails were opened up.
Yes, there were some “baby churches,” like Corinth, who weren’t walking in their call the way they should have been. But the power of God was manifest throughout the known world. The church grew incredibly for 300 years.
Then something earthshaking happened. In 314 A.D., the Roman emperor Constantine declared Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. In this act, he planted the seeds of destruction. Constantine used Christianity to gain political power.
From then on that spirit started to infect the church. Think about how the government runs the IRS, welfare, and healthcare. Now picture the government running the church.
It’s no wonder that the descent to the Dark Ages began. It was a downhill slide for the next 1000 years.
This spirit of earthly power took root in the church. The Church, and specifically the popes, claimed the authority to rule over kings. Many wars were started over this issue.
The practice of simony, the purchase of offices, was common. Sanctuaries become more magnificent inside and out. As the worship services increased in splendor, there was a decrease in spirituality.
At one point there was a meeting between Thomas Aquinas and Pope Innocent II. The Pope showed Thomas the abundance of wealth that the church possessed – money, gold, and art.
Pope Innocent exclaimed, “You see, Thomas, the church can no longer say silver and gold have I none.”
To which Thomas replied, “True, but neither can she now say rise up and walk.”
These and many other abuses were prevalent in the Dark Ages. As I look back and see what the Lord has taken us from, it gives me hope for our generation.
In my next post, I’ll talk about what God did to bring about a change in that dark period of church history.
Question: Are you expecting to see a great move of God in our generation?
© Nick Zaccardi 2013