I have some relatives that call themselves christians. They don’t claim to follow a religion and don’t go to a church that considers itself to be a denomination. They don’t believe in a visible church. They believe that there is a group of people who are called believers which makes up the “church”. They believe the Catholic church went apostate way back in the 4th century and there are early signs of this in Galatians.
In a letter to my husband My sister-in-law tried to explain to him the reason why there are so many religions and denominations. In a nutshell she said that it is satan’s way of basically hiding the real true church of believers (which he is out to destroy so he can prevent the second coming). She says that satan is trying to hide the true church by creating a bunch of religions and denominations to mislead and misguide all people since Christ. She calls these churches counterfeits. She says that satan’s churches are empowered, but not by the Holy Spirit. She says these churches lead people to satan and to hell.
If her explanation is true (which I don’t believe it is) then it seems peculiar to me that God would from the time that Jesus left this earth make it so difficult to become one of these believers. For the first 1500 years the Catholic church was the only church on record to have guided christians. It was then at the time of the reformation that a bunch of denominations sprouted. We are now 2,000+ years from Jesus’ death. From what she claims it seems impossibole to me that this church of believers could not have existed during the time the Catholic church ruled for 1500 years. If this is the case, where is there any historical evidence that they did exist? Anyone out there know of any? And if this church of believers did not exist during the 1500 years prior to the reformation (but has since cropped up) then why has God made it so difficult for this church of believers to come to fruition. It would seem that the gates of hell prevailed against the church for 1500 years if this is the case (which cannot be because God’s word is true).
I am writing all of this because I become disgusted at times with these explanations. I write on this forum because there are few people I can talk to about this. I don’t know too many people who could offer feedback. So any comments would be appreciated.