LISTEN: The Imperial Church — From the Unconquered Sun to Jesus Christ, Part 3 (The History of Christianity #85 with Daniel Whyte III)

Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

Welcome to the History of Christianity podcast. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. When I became a believer in Jesus Christ, I somehow had the false idea that Christianity began when I got saved. I had no concept of the hundreds of years of history that Christianity had gone through since the time of Jesus Christ over 2,000 years ago. I have found that many believers, young and old, have the same false idea. The purpose of this broadcast is to dispel this notion by sharing with listeners the history of Christianity from the ministry of Jesus Christ all the way up until the present day in an easy-to-understand format. You don’t have to worry: this is not a lecture. This is a look at the basic facts and figures of Christian history that every believer and every person needs to be aware of.

Our History of Christianity Scripture verse today is 2 Corinthians 5:17 which reads: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

Our History of Christianity quote today is from G. K. Chesterton. He said: “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.”

Today, in the History of Christianity, we are looking at “The Imperial Church – From the Unconquered Sun to Jesus Christ” (Part 3) from Dr. Justo L. Gonzalez’s fine book, The Story of Christianity (Volume 1).

Given these circumstances, Constantine’s religious policy followed a slow but constant process. It is likely that this process responded both to the demands of political realities and to Constantine’s own inner development, as he progressively left behind the ancient religion and gained a better understanding of the new. At first, he simply put an end to persecution and ordered that confiscated Christian property be returned. Shortly thereafter he gave new signs of favoring Christianity, such as donating to the church the Lateran palace in Rome, which had belonged to his wife, or putting the imperial posts at the service of bishops traveling to attend the Synod of Arles in 314 AD. At the same time, he sought to keep good relations with those who followed the ancient religions, and most especially with the Roman Senate. The official religion of the empire was paganism. As head of that empire Constantine took the title of Supreme Pontiff or High Priest, and performed the functions pertaining to that title. On coins minted as late as 320 AD one finds the names and symbols of the ancient gods, as well as the monogram for the name of Christ — the Chi-Rho that Constantine had used for the first time at the Milvian bridge.

The campaign against Licinius gave Constantine occasion to appear as the champion of Christianity. He was now moving into the territories where for quite a time the church had counted the greatest number of adherents. After defeating Licinius, Constantine appointed a number of Christians to high positions in government. Since his tensions with the Roman Senate were growing, and that body was promoting a resurgence of paganism, Constantine felt increasingly inclined to favor Christianity.

Dear friend, simply knowing the facts about Christian history without knowing the One on Who this faith is based will do you no good. If you do not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, may I encourage you to get to know Him today.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Until next time, remember that history is truly His story.

Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.

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