Matthew 16:18 – And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
When I was 16-years old, I worked on a high-rise construction job. One of the first, and simplest lessons I learned was this; you can’t do construction off-site. You may be able to prepare, and even assemble certain components off-site, but in the end, to construct the building, you MUST be on-site.
With that in mind, consider our Text for Today. Jesus said He would build His Church, and we know that we are co-laborers together with Him in that work. Still, we need to look further at our Text for Today. When Jesus said He would build His Church, what was His following statement. He added, “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” He was indicating that as His Church was being built, there would be resistance against it. But more than that, He indicated where that resistance would arise – “the gates of hell.” Think of that. Keep in mind that the “gates of hell” are NOT offensive position, but are rather the enemy’s strongest defensive positions. In short, Jesus said He would build His Church while on the offensive, NOT the defensive. His Church will be built while we are on the offensive, assailing the “gates of hell” where Satan’s defense in the strongest, but even there, Satan CANNOT win.
When Jesus said to “go into all the world,” He was not referring the geographic places in the earth, but to places in the “kosmos,” the “world system,” and to build there. We are to assault the very “gates of hell” as we labor together with Him in building His Church there. With that in mind, see the words of today’s opening paragraph; “You can’t do construction off-site.” Think on that for a few moments, and then consider the following words. The church is not built in the sanctuary, or in the seminary, or in the Christian home, or at the Christian workplace. Those are necessary places, but they are places of equipping and training for laborers who will go to the worksite. And the worksite is at the “gates of hell.”
Jesus referred to this in another manner, too. Where is the harvest that is to be reaped? It’s in the field; in the world. The harvest is not gathered in the church house or seminary. Yes, I am aware that many people may be saved in the church. I was. But if we will reap the bountiful harvest the Lord has called us to reap, we must go to the field. We MUST go to the construction site. The “gates of hell” are in the fields. Fear not! The “gates of hell” cannot prevail against our Lord’s Church.
Manna for Today – Matthew 16:13-21; John 6:63; John 15:7; Hebrews 1:3; Matthew 5:18; Luke 16:17; Psalm 119:89; Matthew 11:12; Galatians 3:13-29