Summary: Even the very gates of hell can not prevail against the church that Jesus has built!
From the Desk of Toby Powers
Truth Baptist Church
The Gates of Hell v/s The Church
I think there is some misunderstanding in regard to the gates of hell, and hope to be able to clear it up today. Smith’s Bible Dictionary says, “To posses the gate was a term meaning power and wealth.” Gen. 22:17 speaks of conquering Israel thus: “Thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies.”
I believe the Lord was saying the power and wealth of hell would never prevail against his church. The force of the evil one, which will surely wind up in the lake of fire, is definitely opposing the church today. But not to any alarming degree, for we have his promise that the power and wealth of hell will not prevail against the church. To prevail means to gain ascendancy through strength or superiority.
“Upon this Rock (Christ Himself), I will build my church (He is the builder) and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” The power and wealth of hell shall not prevail against it, or shall not gain control of or governing influence over. Basically the structural integrity is irrefragable.
I have given considerable thought to the gates of hell and what the promise really means, and I believe I can throw some light on a dark picture. You may be sure that Slewfoot and the forces of evil at his command will stop at nothing to overthrow or prevail against the church.
The Church stands between the world of unsaved man and the wrath of God. Satan would like to destroy the church, for it is through the church that God is glorified. The power and wealth of hell in order to prevail against the church would say:
I. Corrupt it by Pervading it with Evil:
a. Robbers: Christians who steal from God. Mal 3:8-10
b. Deserters. Christians who forsake worship. Heb 10:25
c. Sleepers. Christians who are asleep during storms, and don’t even care that they are responsible for others being endangered. Jonah 1:6
d. Shirkers. Christians who won’t work. Acts15:38.
II. Nullify its Testimony by Indifference and Apathy:
a. Indifference to spiritual growth:
1. Little Bible study.
2. Little praying.
3. Little meditation on spiritual things.
b. Carelessness on the matter of separation:
1. It struck Noah. (Drunk & Naked) Gen 9
2. It struck Lot. (Drunk & Incestuous) Gen 19
3. It struck David. (Drunk on Lust & Murderous) II Sam 11
c. Apathy in standing on convictions:
1. This ruined Samson. He died miserably.
2. This hurt Jonah. He suffered much.
3. This destroyed Solomon. He married many strange wives and worshiped their gods, and he died like a heathen.
III. Destroy it by Flagrant Perversions:
a. Pervert its Scripture.
b. Pervert its Membership. Allow any and everybody- saved or not- to join the church.
c. Pervert its Sovereignty. The government would wish to control us.
d. Pervert its Doctrine.
The gates of hell shall not prevail against it because:
1. Its progeny cannot be corrupted, for true membership is only by spiritual birth.
2. Its purity cannot be corrupted, for its membership is sealed by salvation and baptism.
3. Its promise cannot be broken, for God can not lie!!