Almost weekly now I am gaining new insights into very familiar passages of the Bible. At times they come when simply reading scripture. Other times I gain a fresh understanding through a book that I am reading. Sometimes it simply “pops” into my spirit and I simply have a deep understanding of something I was not aware of before.
One recent one was from the time Jesus was speaking to His disciples about the Church. In Matthew 16 Jesus says, “I will build My Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and quietly said, ‘a gate is not an offensive weapon. It is a defensive posture.’ In other words, we build a gate in the fence to keep people out. So, Hell has a gate and it is meant to keep us out – keep us from rescuing those who are going to Hell when they die because they don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus.
This gate is not attacking us. It is not dangerous. We did not send weapon inspectors over to Iraq to see if there had ‘gates of mass destruction.’ Police do not carry ‘loaded gates.’ And, we don’t post signs on our fences saying, ‘Beware of the gate.’ A gate cannot hurt us. And, Jesus said, it cannot “prevail” against us. In other words, it cannot stop us from doing what He has commanded we do … “go into all the world and make disciples.” In other words, storm the gate and rescue the least, the last, and the lost. We have nothing to be afraid of. We don’t need to hide behind the four walls of our church building or in our prayer closets for fear of the devil and his demons. Attack!
So, we do not need to be afraid of the “gates of hell.” We need to understand deep in our gut that the devil is defeated. He was defeated by Jesus through the Cross of Calvary and the resurrection on that first Easter Sunday. Peter writes that he is “like a roaring lion.” In other words, he makes a lot of noise but he doesn’t have any bite.
John, the apostle of love, states “We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.” This verse states … we who are born again don’t continue to live in known sin; Jesus, the first born (or begotten) protects us and the evil one, the devil, can’t even lightly touch us even with one finger. There is no need to live in fear of him and hide from the reality of the call on our lives to “seek and save the lost.”
Just a simple, but very profound, insight into a well know scripture verse.