The gates of Hell and the Gospel!

…upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

-Matthew 16:18

ROCK2

God rocks! Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that we will be successful at our task, not by our own effort, but for the Father, by the Son, through the Spirit! 

Far too often, I believe Christians take on a defeated attitude “the world is going to [you know where] in a hand basket.” It becomes far too easy to take on a “why bother” attitude and think that this world is just “spiraling down” until Jesus comes back.

NO!

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

-2Tim 3:13

We might read this verse and think that there will continue to be more and more evil people as the last-days approach. That is not what this text says… It is very important to read what the Bible actually says, not what we think it means.

This verse says that those who are wicked will get worse, but it doesn’t say there will be more or less of them. Remember, Jesus said he would build his Church and Hell would not prevail. 

He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.”

-Matt 13:31-33

Jesus not only said that Satan would not prevail against the church, he also told his disciples what his kingdom on earth is like. It is like a mustard seed that starts out tiny and then becomes the biggest influence in the world. In the same way, it’s like just a little leaven that is put in a lump of dough and it infects and covers the entire globe!

WE WIN!

Not in our own power, and not in our own authority, but we win:

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore…

-Matt 28:18-19

Jesus is the one with authority. Not just some authority, but “all authority” and that is why we are able to go, it’s what the therefore is there for. Not only can we go, but we will be, and have been, successful.

But the world seems so bad, doesn’t this go against what we see in the world?

No, remember that evil people will continue to get worse, so the evil we see might be worse, but there are more and more professing christians on the Earth. The church is GROWING not shrinking.

I heard these (below) Barna statistics quoted by Josh Hunt at a conference once, and I was shocked, but I should not have been. This is exactly what the Bible tells us will happen…

Here are the statistics for the ratio of Professing Christians to Nonchristians in the world: 

  • AD 100 – 1:360
  • AD 1000 – 1:220
  • AD 1500 – 1:69
  • AD 1900 – 1:27
  • AD 1980 – 1:11
  • AD 2005 – 1:7 that’s a billion Christians!

We are making a difference, don’t give up, work harder!

Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.

-2Thess 3:6

There were people in the Thessalonian church who assumed that the world was about to end and so they couldn’t make a difference. Paul says NO! Not only should we not act that way, we shouldn’t have anything to do with anyone who thinks that way.

We can do it, we will do it! Hell won’t win, we win. The church will grow, we will make a difference, now let’s get out there and do it! Share the gospel with everyone everywhere, it does change things!

About John Harris

I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
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