The survival of Christianity, most visibly in the form of Catholicism, is a testimony to the world concerning Jesus the Messiah. In Acts, we are told that “there is no other name given under Heaven [viz. the name of Jesus] by which men must be saved”. At the preaching of the Gospel, one can accept the message, reject it, or neither accept nor reject it. Only acceptance leads to salvation. Therefore, it is the prayer of Christians, out of love for those who are perishing, that these other two groups of people will change their position and accept the truth of the Gospel, asking the Lord for forgiveness and entry into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Our spiritual enemy, the Devil, has blinded the unbelievers, according to Saint Paul. Saint Peter warns us about scoffers, who deride the teachings of the Church and the Jewish people. Christianity has been attacked in a variety of ways from its inception. Christians have been imprisoned, tortured, murdered (state execution is murder when practiced upon Christians for the sole reason that they are Christians), beaten, ostracised, and deprived of their private property. It has been branded as a heretical corruption of biblical faith. Libels and slanders have been brought against its people and practices (see Roman misunderstanding about the Eucharist). Materialists have denied the miraculous elements found in the Bible and accounts of Christian activity (e.g. the lives of the Saints). Some have even denied that certain events (e.g. the Exodus) happened at all. Others, claiming to be agnostic, say they would believe if provided with sufficient proof, but never accept any proof the Christian has to offer.
This far, human attacks have been enumerated. However, Christians believe that these attacks are procured, whether in whole or part, by Satan and his allies in the spiritual realm. These beings have supernatural powers (the extent of which it may be difficult to say). They can oppress Christians by causing them to doubt or despair or by tempting them. They can manifest in the form of visions, voices, and even smells, intimidating by their presence. Some believe they can even influence events as a means of hindering Christians (e.g. by inspiring someone to launch a cyber-attack at a Christian ministry). Deception is a further tool, often working best when truth is mixed in with lies.
The Name of Jesus is a refuge against such evil. He hears our prayers, giving us strength hope, and good counsel. Often, the Lord’s message is to persevere. Sometimes He shows us victory over our opponents in this lifetime, at other times, knowledge of that victory must wait for the hereafter.
Christians also find strength by receiving comfort from one another, whether by taking part in Sunday services, or meeting in smaller groups for the purpose of bible study, prayer, and support. Cutting oneself off from the Christian community is ill-advised, since isolation is a fertile soil for the seeds of despair and doubt. (This should be distinguished from temporary retreats undertaken for the purpose of meditation, and leaving one congregation to join another.)
As times grow harder, whether for spiritual, economic, or personal reasons, we must actively seek Christ, His community, and Truth. We must be able to explain the Truth and our reasons for believing. We must pray for those who are perishing. Ultimately, however, it is their choice whether to accept or reject the Gospel.