…about heaven and hell in Matthew 16.
Jesus said to Peter,
“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (vs. 18,19)
I’m not about to launch into an exegesis of these verses, as they are difficult and I’m not sure I understand them completely. But we were reminded at Calvary Church [in Lancaster, PA] the other Sunday that in verse 18, the Church is the aggressor, not Hades. We often think of the Satanic forces as being the ones on the attack—but in this case, it is the Church that is pummeling the gates of hell and those gates will not withstand the force.
What caught my attention was that the gates of hell don’t have keys, but the Kingdom of Heaven does. By implication, the gates of hell are to keep people in, since they are born in that sphere and can only be released from Satan’s power and influence by the gospel of Christ. The keys of the Kingdom are to let people in, and they maybe admitted only through the Door, Jesus Christ. It is encouraging to remember that God will win this war and that the Church will be victorious.
We’re on the winning side!
(from Carta del norte, 30/11/2007)