The argument often given by those within Catholicism is that the Catholic Church goes clear back to the apostle Peter as the first pope. Apostolic succession is the method whereby the ministry of the Christian Church is held to be derived from the apostles by a continuous succession, which has usually been associated with a claim that the succession is through a series of bishops. They would also say that many early Christian writers used Catholicism. We will see that Catholicism goes back to Jesus, Christ, Peter, and Paul in the first century. However, not in the way that the Catholic Churchmen might want to accept, but it is nevertheless true. And having an understanding of what the word Catholicism means will help us understand why early Christian writers used it and why many Protestant authors have used it.
2 Thessalonians 2:6-12: Who is the restraint that held back the great apostasy? Who are these ones that have been “at work” since Paul’s day and are still “at work” in our day? Herein these questions are answered and others with two different views.
What conditions make us more exposed to attacks by Satan? When one falls victim to apostasy, who is to blame? What circumstances can influence a person to become a fool or dupe of apostasy?
Approaching the close of the first century A.D., a grave and treacherous, deceptive danger threatened early Christianity. Was it persecution from those outside Christianity? (Emperor Nero 64 AD., Domitian in A.D. 81, Trajan in A.D. 108) No, the greatest danger came from within the Church. The lurking enemy was apostasy.