“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I (Jesus) am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 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. (Matthew 16:15-18)
For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. (Mark 4:22)
Meditating in recent days about what Jesus meant when He said that the gates of hell would not prevail against the fact that He is the Christ, the Son of the living God, I’ve come to somewhat of an understanding, at least in part, of what that means.
When we think of gates, we think of trying to keep something in, and trying to keep something out. In this case I think of the gates of hell being used to keep people in bondage to deception and keep the truth that would save them from destruction, out. We read in 2 Corinthians 4:4, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” That is very sad, and will not end well for those who are not delivered from this.
But Jesus said that the gates of hell would not be successful in keeping its captives from hearing the truth that He is the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus said that what is hidden from the eyes of the unbelievers is meant to be made clear to them.
So, with the age of the internet, and with the emergence (coming into view, existence, or notice) of the cultic and occultic movements, I find myself praising God because I can see the gates of hell being torn down. In order for these movements to gain notoriety they have to open the gates. When they open the gates, the truth is able to get in and captives are being set free.
And all these emerging groups have their own goals. For some it is to gain more money. For some it is recognition. For some, as in the Satanic movement, it is insanity.
I remember watching a boxing match a couple of years ago where one opponent was knocked out in the middle of the third round. He came to just as the name of the victor was to be announced. He stood up and raised his hands, walking over to be recognized as the victor. It was pretty ridiculous really. Everyone knew he had lost the fight. Do you remember the fight I’m talking about? No? That’s because that fight never happened. If you have ever watched a boxing match you know that one man knows he is the one who has been defeated, and the other man knows he is the victor.
Colossians 2:15 says, “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he (Jesus) made a public display of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” It’s insane for the devil to go about and claim himself to be victor, because he has already been defeated. And it is insane for anyone to be part of a Satanic group to believe him and to believe that somehow they will prevail against God as well. And it is insane for anyone to think, as in cultic movements, that somehow you will be able to side step the cross and make it into heaven some other way.
But in all of this, the age of the internet and the emergent movements, Christ is being preached. Paul says in Philippians 1:18, “But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.”
The gates are open. Christ is being preached. People are searching and asking questions. Praise God. Keep asking questions. Proverbs 8:17, “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.” Jesus said in Matthew 7:7 and 8, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
So, if you are one of the ones who has been held captive to deception, since the gates have come down, the Lord is giving you an opportunity to hear or read and receive the truth and by His grace be saved from judgement.
There is nothing you have done that He will not forgive. Matthew 3:28, “I (Jesus) tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them.”
You and I both are sinners by nature and as a result objects of God’s wrath. But Jesus went to the cross to pay the penalty for our sin and take out of the way what separates us from our God. He was crucified, died, was buried, and rose again on the third day by the Spirit of holiness. He wants to credit His perfect life to your account and become in you the righteousness that God demands. Ask Him to do this and He will. Then God will adopt you and seal you by His Holy Spirit and will give you the guarantee of eternal life. He will make you stand firm in Christ. He will raise you up in the presence of Jesus and you will not be found lacking, you will be complete in Christ.
He will be your hope.
God, thank you that you have opened the gates. Thank you that what was hidden from the captives eyes is now being disclosed to them and they are receiving salvation from you. Thank you that you are proved right when you speak. Thank you that the gates of hell will not prevail against the truth the Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.