I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18 ESV)
No matter how long this global pandemic lasts and no matter how many lives it ultimately claims, we can be sure of one thing: COVID-19 cannot and shall not prevail against the church of Jesus Christ. Read on and be encouraged today!
When Jesus said, “The gates of hell shall not prevail” (Matthew 16:18), He was making it perfectly clear that nothing can stand in the way of the advancement of His church. In the ancient world, the first point of attack for an invading army was at the city gates. If the gates could be breached, it would not be long before the city would fall into the hands of the enemy. Thus the city would rise or fall based on the strength and security of its gates.
After telling Peter and the disciples that “The gates of hell shall not prevail,” Jesus began to speak of His death and resurrection. And when Jesus rose from the dead, He became the death of death, and He smashed through the gates of hell that tried to hold Him in their deadly grip.
The greatest enemy of mankind since Adam’s fall in the Garden is death. But when Jesus walked out of the tomb, death died. Death is not master over Jesus (Romans 6:9), and it is no longer master over His people. Even if we were to contract the coronavirus and die, the gates of hell cannot prevail against us. They are not strong enough to hold anyone who is in Christ.
Of course, no one wants to die during this pandemic, and every loss of life is a bitter tragedy. Yet we Christians need not fear, because greater is the power that is in us than any power that can come against us. No matter what happens during this pandemic, and any other pandemic that follows, nothing can stand in the way of the church of God advancing the cause of the Kingdom of Christ. In fact, as I have said here before, this global pandemic is merely an instrument of salvation and sanctification in the hands of the Almighty.
May these words of our Lord, recorded in John 14:19, be forever etched upon your heart: “Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.”
You are in my prayers and in my heart.
Purpose and Passion,