“…..I WILL build MY church, and the gates of hell shall NOT prevail against it”
(Matt. 16: 18).
The Church is Jesus’ Church, not ours. He promised to build HIS Church. The Church will succeed, not on any other basis, but on the founder and builder’s promise that “the gates of hell shall NOT prevail against it.”
What this verse does to me is that,
- it give me the utmost confidence by taking away the burden to succeed,
- and it gives me tremendous comfort without taking away my responsibility to lead.
The burden of success ultimately rests on Jesus who made the promise, not on me as a pastor. I can’t and should not make such promises, but trust wholeheartedly in the One who made it. He is the founder, owner and builder of the Church. He is currently at work, building His Church through imperfect people. And He will succeed, because He is faithful. He keeps His word. If He chooses to so succeed through my life, so be it. But not because I sought for it.
Regardless of all the impurities, discouragements, hardships, trials and pains and setbacks, Jesus’ promise will hold true for His Church. As weak as she may look on the outside now, the Church will eventually succeed in the end, because the Church is a community bought with the precious blood of Jesus. Jesus died and rose again for the Church, to bring glory to His name. The Church is the bride of Christ. Jesus does not and will not divorce His bride. He is for the Church, and nothing, including “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
If Jesus is for the Church, who can stand against it.