Church & God

The Gates of Hades

From May 20, 2010
Last night in our “20-somethings and better” class, we talked about the parable of the shrewd manager. It was a terrific discussion/lesson that was very eye opening and I encourage you to study it in more depth if it is still a mystery. (And don’t be ashamed if it remains a mystery to you- I’ve heard at least one sermon and one class taught on it and I still don’t fully grasp it.) 
Anyway, the thing that stuck out the most about class last night had nothing to do with that parable. It was this verse: 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.” From my perspective as a young adult who was raised in “the church”, I always took this to mean that we (God’s people) are fighting a battle against Satan and his crew. And that’s totally true: we are warriors engaged in battle. However, what I was enlightened on last night was this small detail. The last part of the verse says, “and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” If you were in a literal battle, would a gate be an offensive or defensive tool? Defensive. Duh. Why had I never thought of that? All this time I was living my life thinking, “Gee. I hope I don’t get crushed by Satan today,” when really, it’s Satan that’s worried about us crushing him. Wow. It’s just like bullies at school who act tough and give you crap. That is, until you stand up to them and realize that they’re more scared of you than you ever were of them. 
Satan’s keeping his fingers crossed that you’ll never figure out that he’s the real loser. So, don’t let him bully you. Go ahead. Punch him in the face. He may not fall the first time, but keep it up. God’s got your back.

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