The Continuity of the Catholic Church
The perpetuity of the Church was foretold by Old Testament prophets, Isaiah, Daniel, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. Hundreds of years before Christ they wrote about Him and the kingdom which He was to establish, stating that it would endure until the end of time.
Of equal if not greater importance is the announcement of the Angel to Mary. After informing her that she would give birth to a Son, Jesus, and that He would be the divine Son of God, the Angel added: "And He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of His Kingdom there shall be no end" (Luke 1:33).
Come now to the promises made by our Lord. On one occasion, meeting with the Apostles, He singled out St. Peter for this statement: "....and upon this rock I will build my church: and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18). This is nothing less than a divine guaranty that the Church could never be destroyed. On another occasion He promised to be with the officials of His Church even to the end of the world.
It is difficult to understand how such promises can be misinterpreted or ignored by opponents of the Catholic Church. Surely their meaning is clear beyond a reasonable doubt. And as for the importance; can it be questioned? If Christ is divine, as Christians believe, His promises are certain of fulfillment. If He is not divine, both He and his religion can be ignored. Furthermore, if opponents of the Church insist upon reasoning backward, if they declare that, in fact, the Church came to an end, if they dismiss our Lord's guaranty of perpetuity as meaningless, they would reduce Him to the level of a deluded man or, worse, to that of an imposter.
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