«The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, but the unfaithful will be caught by their lust» (Proverbs 11:6).
Have you ever wondered how Christianity spread within the Roman Empire? At first, through the first disciples and believers. But once the church grew and the persecutions decreased, the gospel reached the most remote places by two means: soldiers and Christian traders. Believe it or not, when the church underwent better circumstances, the spiritual condition of it fell. By merging with paganism, the church lost its course and became an apparatus of power and subjugation for society. This is how the papacy emerged, a political institution that inherited the organizational structure of the Roman Empire and, in its fall, became the new hegemony of the time.
What is interesting is that the winds of paganism within the church did not reach the most remote places where the gospel had come, such as Great Britain and some regions of Central Africa. According to Ellen White, «In every age there were witnesses for God—men who cherished faith in Christ as the only mediator between God and man, who held the Bible as the only rule of life. and who hallowed the true Sabbath»—The Great Controversy, chap, 4, p. 61. These men and women continued to live primitive Christianity despite the passing of the years. In fact, we know very little about these faithful believers.
What challenges did they have to face in order to remain loyal to the Word of God? How did they share the Scriptures with other people? We do not know much, only a few references that come to us from some of their critics. It is a story that is written in heaven, although it occupies a little space in the chronicles of humanity. Ellen White says we will never know how much the world owes to these men and women (Ibid.). Why? Because the papacy had decided to make all traces of opposition to its doctrines and decrees disappear. Rome ordered to destroy any writing or person opposed to its ideas. In addition, it took care of eliminating anything that denounced its intolerance to its opponents.
The Christians who supported the Bible and kept the Sabbath were erased from the map by the emissaries of Rome. Their memory passed into history as faithful bearers of faith in a moment of great apostasy within the Christian church. Maybe when we’re in heaven we’ll know how much we owe to them.