Our Destiny –
To Be An Affront
“Upon this rock, I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18 KJV
Almost my entire life, I thought of this verse as a metaphor of the Church, like a great fortress, standing against the great attacks of Satan. Even if the gates of hell were loosed, along with all of Satan’s army, the Church had no fear of being overcome – the walls are high, the gates strong, the defenders able to rest in the strength of an impenetrable fortress.
But that’s not what Jesus was saying at all. As Elton Trueblood notes in his Yoke of Christ (Word, 1958, p. 37) this verse is not a metaphor of defense, but offense! Jesus is describing the destiny of the Church, the body of believers – that the gates of hell will not be able to withstand the assault of the Church, built on Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit. What encouragement, that Satan actually fears us, Christ’s emissaries on earth! He knows that the power of God, the Holy Spirit, is in the Church.
Webster defines the word “offense” as “the act of displeasing or affronting.” Are we an affront to Satan? If not, maybe we need to take a look at our lifestyle and make some changes. Remember, the Church is made up of individuals like you and me. Meeting our individual responsibilities helps the Church fulfill its corporate destiny.
One of Satan’s great deceptions is to have us misunderstand our destiny. If he can keep us defending ourselves inside the Church walls, he has nothing to fear. When we venture outside those walls into the world, Satan’s nerves begin to fray. When we go out sharing Christ, he trembles. When we claim our destiny, the hinges on hell’s gates shake. Let’s claim the promise of our destiny and be an affront to the Prince of Darkness!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Peder Swanson is an Army officer stationed in Northern California with his wife, Sasha, and son, Isaac. He leads a growth group in the church in Vacaville, California.
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org