I have stated that the war against hell is won, but also that the church needs to attack the gates of hell. How do I reconcile two such statements? More importantly, how do I reconcile them with reality! Most importantly, but saved for a fourth post, where are these gates of hell, so that we can begin the job?
Forget for a moment your feelings about the war in Iraq, because I am going to use it as a neutral illustration.
Months and months ago Saddam Hussein was deposed, and his army ceased to exist. The fighting was not over then, and it is not over now, but the war against Saddam Hussein was over. The fighting will not be over until everyone agrees it is over, but even though Saddam still breathes curses out on us he is master of nothing.
Likewise, the spiritual war is won.
The war being won, though, is not enough. If the American army sits on its haunches, the insurgents will slowly extract a terrible price from both the army and the innocents they use as object lessons. The army must identify and eliminate those who attempt to vote with explosives. They must seek out the evil, and not just wait for the evil to come to them.
Hence, the spiritual army must attack.
This reconciles completely with reality and with scripture. Christ has bound the strong man, and spoiled his goods. Nonetheless, we must war against principalities and powers in high places. The power of false gods to deceive the nations is broken. Nonetheless, the lies of superstition, false science, and false entertainment continue to deceive the children of the devil.
We must go out, and not just to duck and cover. We must go out to fight.
Immediately after Jesus was baptized by John, the Spirit led Him out into the wilderness.
The Spirit drove Jesus into conflict with the enemy. Though Jesus made an open show of His defeat of that enemy, we still have a place in the battle against him. We should not expect any less than that the Spirit should drive us into battle just like He drove our Captain.
So, where can we find these gates of hell?