Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop, within a yard of hell. ~C.T. Studd, British Missionary
Now that was a gutsy statement for sure, but Jesus said the gates of hell will never prevail against His church.
Matthew 16:18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
I was watching Vice President Harris telling a crowd recently, “How dare they deny a woman’s right to have an abortion, how dare they!” Then as the Minnesota legislature has a whirlwind agenda to pass laws not only ensuring abortion rights, but passing recreational marijuana laws, and driver’s licenses for the illegal undocumented workers in our state.
It seems that no matter where you look you find dark ideas being accepted and promoted. But I must tell you, as discouraged as I get sometimes when I look at our world and see so many people blinded by the lies of evil, I am reminded that all this darkness will not prevail against the church. The church will prevail, as Jesus said it would, and we must take courage in knowing this world, this culture, the devil, evil, and wickedness … will not prevail.
We have heard it said that the church has lost the culture war. I must admit we have lost ground in our influence in our society. I believe it is directly related to how we have retreated from our responsibility to push back on the war for truth.
1 Corinthians 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. He traps the wise in the snare of their own cleverness.
Isaiah 59:19 When the enemy shall come in like a flood, The Spirit of the Lord shall lift a standard against him.
As most Bible commentators have said, we now live in a post-Christian world. Our culture has moved past the Judeo-Christian values of our past and now live according to their own ways. This is not new, of course. Throughout the Bible it mentions how Israel did the same, rejecting God’s provision of His word as a guide to live.
As I was reading Joshua recently, I was reminded that the church is much like Joshua's day. The church is crossing over or living in uncertain times. The Jordan River separates God's people from a land that is hostile, pagan, and powerful. Yet, Joshua was assured that God was with him, just as he was with Moses, and that he should take courage and be strengthened and reassured that the enemies in the land will not prevail. Was it true? Yes, Joshua was victorious, even though it was not a cakewalk as he went against the cities he encountered. The enemies did not prevail, just as Jesus said, the gates of hell will not prevail against His church. We have the same kind of promise God gave to Joshua as he crossed over into the land he was to conquer.
My point is that Joshua didn’t just camp on the safe side of the Jordan … there is no victory or progress in staying safe. He knew he had to cross the Jordan and in doing so, he would engage the culture … the society that was hostile to him and his people. What is our Jordan in the church today? Do we play it safe, live a quiet life in prayer and study groups, or do we begin to push back the dark ideas of godlessness and evil and cross that Jordan to do so?
I realize it is never easy to take on a goliath of anything, especially the goliath of woke culture that has been created to destroy God's influence on people. Yet, the promise Jesus gave to us was that the gates of hell (or in our day the pinnacle of wokeness) will not prevail against His church.
We need everyone who calls Jesus Lord to stand and push back. Our weapons are not carnal, so to think we will just march and be seen will not convince anyone we have a message to tell. We need to enlist every part of God’s Kingdom to help us be the resistance to the lies, and shout from the housetops the truth of God’s message of salvation in Jesus Christ.
It starts with our prayers. It moves into our conversations. It makes itself known by the lives we live that do not make silence on darkness a virtue.
My encouragement to you today. “The gates of hell will not prevail.” That is our rally cry for 2023.
Challenging the Culture with Truth … Larry Kutzler
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