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.
I have heard a number of sermons on this verse. I'm sure you have, too. The gates of hell war against the church. Those gates will not prevail, but what does the church do to live out the victory of that verse? How will those gates attack her? How will she prevail?
I was thinking about the church the other night, and praying. I was praying that the church would triumph in a certain area, and an old phrase came back to mind from the past.
That's just not right, though. Satan was bound about 2000 years ago.
So what is right?
Why is the church here? Is the church here to step into a vacuum that the Lord creates before her, or is she to carve out a space for herself from the kingdom of Satan?
The church attacks.
Gates do not attack. Gates stand and prevent.
The church finds the strongholds of Satan, the gates that surround the Lord's treasures, and she bursts the barricades to take them. The gates of hell, be they in ancient Rome, postmodern America, or my sleepy neighborhood cannot prevail against the powerful pressure of the Kingdom of God. When the Kingdom fasts and prays and acts with wisdom, the King's treasures are retrieved.
Jesus did not train his disciples and wait for the gates of hell to attack them.
Matthew 10:1 And when he had called unto [him] his twelve disciples, he gave them power [against] unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease...These twelve Jesus sent forth.
Jesus sent them on the attack. He did it again with the 70 a little while later. He sent them to storm the gates.
This is still our calling.
[It sounds to me like another post might be in order soon reconciling my post saying the war is over, and this one saying we must attack.]