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.
Dear friends, Jesus IS coming for His Church. Only the Father knows when that glorious event will occur. However, there are some things we do know about it that are settled forever in heaven, for they are recorded in His immutable Word. We know … the Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all world as a witness, and then shall the end (of the age) come … Jesus is coming for a glorious church without spot, wrinkle, or blemish. I will stop with these two items for the moment, for they are quite precise in their wording. And as we have seen for the past several days, the Church for which Jesus comes will be built “upon this rock . . . and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
At Caesarea Philippi, Jesus openly and plainly declared war on “the gates of hell.” The battle ground of the Lord’s Church should never be considered the church, the Christian home, or the Christian school or seminary. Yes, I am absolutely aware that Satan and his forces seem to be constantly attacking all those arenas, and on a daily basis. Still, that is NOT Jesus’s designated battle ground. When He declared war on “the gates of hell,” He established His planned battle ground, and all He would do to equip, supply, keep, and defend His soldiers who entered upon the fray in the war He launched. When He spoke, Jesus did not need to add all kinds of flowery speech, over descriptive terms, and the like. He spoke simply and plainly. His words clearly tell us where the warfare of which He spoke will take place; in “the gates of hell.”
In His day, gates would be the most fortified place of any city. In the gates, walls were in place upon which soldiers could stand safe from most enemy assault. Armed with bows and arrows, spears, and other projectiles, they could assault any enemy who dared to come through the gates, and the enemy would be doubly handicapped. The entry into a city would not be directly through the gate and on to the center of the city. Upon entering the gates, there would likely be an immediate left turn that slowed the enemy and exposed him on four sides of attack at once. It would be the deadliest kill-zone in the city defense. But what did Jesus say? Jesus said, “…the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (His Church).” Allow me to put it very simply once again. When you are fighting the enemy at the Lord’s command, YOU CANNOT BE DEFEATED. VICTORY IS GUARANTEED. Selah!
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