Matthew 16: On the Offensive
Matthew 16 brings us to the commissioning of Peter as the first real caretaker of the church that is going to be developing upon Jesus Christ, the chief cornerstone.
Mat 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 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.
Mat 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
I have heard it preached multiple times that in verse 18 it is important to point out that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church. Gates do not attack however. Gates are defensive fortifications built around cities.
To extend the battle imagery, where are the frontlines of this conflict? It stands out to me that it seems to be the church that is doing the attacking (and I do not mean literally attacking with bombs and planes and such).
I guess we ought to then extend our metaphor here. Those gates are going to be torn down. That implies victory. I think that we often times stay on the defensive as Christians. I am as bad as anybody else on this level. It is easy to look at the way the world is going and assume that it is a losing battle. The world seems to move farther away from God, but the end has been written. It is not as if God is going to lose.
We can’t forget this type of mentality. In these conflicts between good and evil, we know the evil might appear to be strong, but it is only temporary.