Jesus declared war FOR His Church BEFORE there WAS a Church, and that includes you and me.
Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 21, 24, 26, & 28 – And God said . . .
Take a few moments today and read Matthew 16:13-20. It is an often-read passage, and probably often quoted passage in preaching, but sadly, I do not believe the imagery of that passage is often clearly established for those who hear the Word so the clarity of the message can truly come forth. In these verses, Jesus declared war FOR His Church BEFORE there WAS a Church. Nearly 2,000 years before this moment, Jesus stood in one of the most wicked places on the planet before the entrances to five pagan temples and told their gods and their followers that His Church was coming, and there wasn’t anything they could do about it. Imagine the threat level that existed in hell at that moment. And yet, here we are, His Church in the 21st century, and most believers do not know what Jesus meant when He spoke those words. I can assure you, my friend, when you understand the imagery of Jesus’s words that day, you will have a “You talking to me?” moment.
I have written a series of Second Milers about that declaration earlier this year titled “Upon This Rock,” and it was in nine parts. But in this series, I come back to it once again as we consider our present theme. The entry to five pagan temples lay before Jesus that day, and Jesus’s declaration of the building of His Church, a declaration that should bring great rejoicing to His Church, provoked hell even harder in its plan to destroy Him, and I am sure, provoked a fear in Satan he has still not shaken, especially in the light that everything Jesus said would happen HAS HAPPENED, and IS YET TO HAPPEN even more so before Jesus comes for His Church.
We will take the time we need to consider Jesus’s words, but today I want to make it absolutely clear that Jesus’s words were NOT about the church fighting a defensive battle in which Satan and his minions raise attacks and cause the Church to hide behind its closed doors. On the contrary, Jesus’s words were completely offensive statements. He was telling hell, I’m coming, and My Church is coming with Me. We are coming to your gates, through your gates, and into your strongholds. We are coming to take you down, and your gates will in no way be able to prevent the entry of My Church, the forward movement of My Church, the victory of My Church, and the taking of the spoils of war by My Church. My friend, while the outcome of that war has already been declared by our Lord, and is fixed in eternity, the battle itself still rages, and in the closing hours of the Church age, the greatest victories we have ever seen shall come forth. And once again, YES, I’m talking to you!
Manna for Today – Genesis 1; Psalm 119:89; Proverbs 4:20-23; Mark 11:22-26; Romans 3:4