False prophets will continue marching by the thousand’s upon the Church, false doctrines will be taught from many a pulpit every week, doom and gloom speakers will continue to forecast the end of the Church, and phony pretenders will continue to infiltrate…but folks, the Church which Jesus bought and paid for with his own blood, will prevail. If you’re like me, there are day’s when I forget or begin to doubt this biblical truth. Sometimes we need to be reminded.
And I declare to you that you are Peter, and that upon this Rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not triumph over it. (Matthew 16:18)
“What are the gates of hell?”
Answer: The phrase the “gates of hell” is translated in some versions as the “gates of Hades.” The gates of hell or gates of Hades is found only once in the entire Scriptures, in Matthew 16:18. In this passage, Jesus is referring to the building of His church: “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).
At this time Jesus had not yet established His church. In fact, this is the first instance of the word “church” in the New Testament. The church spoken of by Jesus is derived from the Greek ekklasia which means the “called out” or assembly. In other words, the church that Jesus is referencing as His church means the assembly of people who have been called out of the world by the gospel of Christ.
Bible scholars debate the actual meaning of the phrase “and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” One of the better interpretations to the meaning of this phrase is as follows. In ancient times, the cities were surrounded by walls with gates, and in battles the gates of these cities would usually be the first place their enemies assaulted. This was because the protection of the city was determined by the strength or power of its gates.
As such, the “gates of hell” or “gates of Hades” means the power of Hades. The name “Hades” was originally the name of the god who presided over the realm of the dead and was oftentimes referred to as the “house of Hades.” It designated the place to which everyone who departs this life descends, regardless of their moral character. In the New Testament, Hades is the realm of the dead, and in this verse Hades or hell is represented as a mighty city with its gates representing its power.
Jesus refers here to His impending death. Though He would be crucified and buried, He would rise from the dead and build His church. As such, Jesus is emphasizing the fact that the powers of death could not hold Him in. Not only would the church be established in spite of the powers of Hades or hell, but the church would thrive in spite of these powers. The church will never fail, though generation after generation succumbs to the power of physical death, yet other generations will arise to perpetuate the church. And it will continue until it has filled its mission on earth as Jesus has commanded:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).
It is clear that Jesus was declaring that death has no power to hold God’s people captive. Its gates are not strong enough to overpower and keep imprisoned the church of God. The Lord has conquered death (Romans 8:2; Acts 2:24). And because “death no longer is master over Him” (Romans 6:9), it is no longer master over those who belong to Him.
Satan has the power of death and he will always use that power to try to destroy the church of Christ. But we have this promise from Jesus that His church, the “called out” will prevail:
“Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19).
Source: Got Questions
Reblogged this on The Master's Slave.
You preach it sister…..AMEN & AMEN!
Let’s see. Jim Bakker is a prolific doomsday prophet who consistently calls on the church to prepare for what is coming. And he says the church has already entered the tribulation although things will get much worse. But in a stroke of genius he consistently offers all kinds of imperishable foods and cosmic flashlights and water filtration systems from which he makes money.
Some things never change. The day I believe that certain preachers actually believe something is when I see them sell almost all they have and give it to the poor and stand on street corners sharing the gospel. Until then they are all just religious hucksters who treat prophecy as Kabuki Theatre..
We see in Ezekiel 41 and following the ‘marking out’ of the Temple courts etc…. In chapter 44.9 we’re told ‘No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart or uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter My sanctuary, including any foreigner who is among the children of Israel.’
In Revelation 11 we see a similar marking out or measuring. There are other places as well. It would seem this is an illustration used to demarcate the Holy Realm of the Lord…the Redemptive Realm of the Holy Spirit vis-a-vis the World.
It’s the same in Ezekiel 9 where God puts his mark on those who grieve over the idolatry and abominations…signifying they are the Spirit-born, the children of God.
God marks out his people and his area to signify its separation from the world and ultimately from His judicial wrath.
Satan also seeks to expand his realm, claim his territory… separate unto himself a people…anyone who is not the Lord’s.
For many years the Theonomists and others of the Dominionist stripe have made much out of the fact that city gates are defensive, ergo the Church is on the offense, taking over the dominion of Satan and conquering it. The gates won’t prevail etc….
I can agree in one sense. In terms of eschatology, the gates, the realm, the dominion of Satan has been defeated and we will see this reality when Christ returns.
Or it could mean simply that the realm…the demarcated claims of Satan will not overtake the Church and eliminate it. We will never fall on the wrong side (as it were) of the gates.
But I find no basis to believe that the Church will conquer the Earth on this side of the 2nd Coming. Postmillennialists have often used the Matthew passage to suggest the world will become Christianized. This is not possible when the totality of the New Testament witness is taken in nor is it possible to read from the Old Testament when rightly interpreted in light of the New.
Yes, this is how i see it. There have been instances during the last 2000-plus years when it certainly appeared satan was close to attaining complete victory over the Church, but it never happened. My belief is we will continue to see these seasons when it looks as though the Church has completely failed…but contrary to what the “Christian” fear-mongers and doom-day sayers claim, it will never happen!
I posted a little message 5 years ago concerning God’s remnant and still believe it’s content’s today:
And he ( Elijah) came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away….
Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him. 1Kings 19: 9-14, 18
As bad as things look today, there is still a Holy remnant. I take great encouragement in knowing that is true, and pray daily to continue to be a part of that small but faithful group.
Its easy to fall into the mindset of Elijah as he stood outside that cave, believing he alone was left, the only one who had not bowed to Baal. I have wondered at reading that account above, once God told him there were in fact 7,000 as Elijah who had remained faithful, if Elijah was happy or did he feel humbled by the wrong belief that he was the ‘only one’?
I take heart in these days of increasing apostasy, heresy, and false teachings, in knowing there are more then even the 7,000 as were in Israel in Elijah’s day who are ‘sprinkled’ like salt all around the world, who are continuing to be faithful to God: they are the remnant!
The Church of Jesus Christ will Triumph in the end: God’s Holy Remnant.
From a devotion I read today..
GOD ALWAYS HAS A REMNANT
We have the resurrection power of Christ working within our midst, yet we look forward to a future, bodily resurrection, at which time will happen the translation of living saints, also termed “the rapture”. We have the down payment of the promise through the Holy Spirit that Christ will complete our joy that He began when He saved us out of the world. To sum up, no power including the gates of hades itself, can contain the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. As we go forward winning souls for Him, the gates of hades are powerless to stop the dead from coming out of the realm of the dead.