No Matter What, The Church Continues

For two millennia, the church continues to flourish. I am not referring to the Roman Catholic system, Greek Orthodox system, or any other religious system masquerading as the church of Jesus Christ. I am referring to the genuine churches of Jesus Christ who embrace Christ alone, according to Scripture alone, by grace alone, through faith alone, to the glory of God alone.

Christ said this would happen.

“I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)

Century after century, year after year, Jesus Christ continues to assemble together a people for His name throughout the globe, among all people groups.

How does He do this? He does through individuals confessing Jesus Christ as God and Savior, as Peter confessed in Matthew 16:16-18. Through the gospel witness of faithful disciples of Jesus throughout the past two centuries, the Holy Spirit continues to draw more people to faith in Jesus Christ.

Against what odds does He do this? He does this despite intense opposition from the “gates of hell.” What are the “gates of hell?”

  • In a general, cultural sense, gates were fortified points of entrance and exit from a walled city. Furthermore, citizens gathered within the city gates to make decisions and formulate plans regarding government, commerce, finance and military strategy (Ruth 4:1-2ff, Josh. 20:4). Today, these meetings occur in legislative buildings, financial districts and military bases. Knowing this, it seems that Christ is assuring us that no matter what plans and strategies the enemy devises, Christ will continue to build His church. More people will continue to leave the kingdom of Satan and enter the kingdom of God by confessing Jesus Christ as Savior and God, according to the Scriptures.
  • In a specific sense, the “gates of hell” appears to be a reference to death. The Old Testament used this phrase, “the gates if Hades,” to refer to death and the grave (Job 38:17; Psa. 9:13). Whether it be the atoning death of Jesus Christ, the countless deaths of true believers through the years through martyrdom and hardship, or the ominous threat of death for any believer who bears His cross for Jesus – the enemy endeavors to halt the expansion of Christ’s church through the instrument of death. Does this strategy work? No. In the face of death, Christ continues to build His church.

No matter what difficulties, complexities and hardships you endure as a born-again child of God, be thrilled to participate in the church of Jesus Christ. He continues to build His church, no matter what, and you are a part of it.

I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him. (Eccl. 3:14)

Are you teaching others to confess Jesus Christ as God and Savior? By doing this, you join with Christ in the expansion of His church in the world.

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