…even though for a time it may appear very small, as though it were snuffed out…

We believe and confess one universal church— a holy congregation and gathering of true Christian believers, awaiting their entire salvation in Jesus Christ, being washed by his blood and sanctified and sealed by the Holy Spirit. This church has existed from the beginning of the world and will last until the end, as appears from the fact that Christ is eternal King who cannot be without subjects. And this holy church is preserved by God against the rage of the whole world, even though for a time it may appear very small, as though it were snuffed out. For example, during the very dangerous time of Ahab the Lord preserved for himself seven thousand men who did not bend their knees to Baal. And so this holy church is not confined, bound, or limited to a certain place or certain persons. But it is spread and dispersed throughout the entire world, though still joined and united in heart and will, in one and the same Spirit, by the power of faith.

—from Belgic Confession, Art. 27

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