God’s true church is one of his many masterpieces (Eph. 2:10). It has a lot of good things going for it, just as God designed. That’s why Satan and his minions (human and spiritual) occupy their time trying to disrupt it however they can. Despite those disruptions, God, with true believers as his partners, still effects change in the hearts of wicked men by the continual spread of his gospel worldwide. When I read headlines like “Middle East Christians are becoming extinct” or “Christianity declines in the UK,” it can be disheartening until I review what I’ve learned from history based on how God fulfilled his prophecies through the centuries.
One powerful prophecy I often refer back to is the interpretation Jehovah gave Daniel regarding Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a great image in Daniel 2. Not only does it speak to the unstable nature of powerful earthly kingdoms, it reveals a lot about God’s kingdom. As his kingdom through history has seemingly ebbed in weakness when numbers of Christians dropped and Bibles burned as darkness increased, there have been times where it flowed with an increase of Christians and the availability of his word. During the times when it ebbed, it looked like God was losing, but I would argue that is most likely not the case. Jehovah has often brought about his greatest victories when his “numbers” were low (e.g., Gideon, Samson’s victories, the defeat of the Syrian army in 2 Ki. 7, the defeat of Sennacherib in 2 Ki. 19).
34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.
35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. …
44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure. Daniel 2
God’s spiritual kingdom cannot and will not ever be defeated by mere mortals or by spiritual wickedness in high places. God will always have a remnant in the Earth. He even controls the scarcity or abundance of his word on Earth–
11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord:
12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it. Amos 8
13 Behold, is it not of the Lord of hosts that the people shall labour in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity?
14 For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. Hab. 2
I also like to remind myself of the following words from Isaiah and Jesus himself:
According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence. So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. Isa. 59:18-19
Whosoever shall fall upon that stone [Jesus, the huge boulder] shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. Luke 20:18
Lord, may your Rock and standard continue to prevail even in the darkest darkness.