The Roman Empire was one of the most powerful in history. There are still many things that are in use from that time that stand as a testimony to its greatness, like roads, aqueducts, government structures, etc. There was no other nation of people that could have done to Rome what Rome did to itself.
The Roman Empire was not conquered in a single battle. It was not overcome by any outside force until Rome was overcome and sat up for destruction by its own hand. The Roman Empire was fractured by internal conflicts that gave opportunity to outside forces to take advantage and cause the final breakup. If Rome had not rotted from the inside, it would not have fallen prey to forces from the outside.
The Lord’s Church is in the same situation. There have been so many attempts to discourage and destroy the Church throughout the centuries. Emperor Nero led a persecution that sought to wipe out the new religious force in the 60’s AD. Emperor Domitian attempted the same thing some 30 years later.
Since the first century of the new era, atheists, Muslims, fanatics and other irreligious people of many different stripes have attempted to wipe the Lord’s Church from the face of the earth. She, however, has not folded up her tents and run. Instead, she has experienced growth (at certain, and difficult times) and will continue to do so, if she holds on to God’s teachings.
The Lord’s Church can only be disrupted by inside turmoil. There are no outside forces that are strong enough to stop her. Jesus said that even His death would not stop from happening what He came to do — to build His Church (Matthew 16:18). – Mike Johnson, Richmond church of Christ, Richmond, KY