The Gates of Hell
Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
A. The Place – Jesus was referring to a literal place; not figurative in the place; hell is real!
B. The Picture – it’s not the actual gate that we should be concerned about; this is figurative
C. The Plurality – gates plural – more than one – we war on a multi-faceted front
D. The Promise – the gates of hell shall not prevail; they will try, but they won’t succeed
PREVAIL: to be strong to another’s detriment, to prevail against; to be superior in strength; to overcome
There will be attacks and conflict, but the church will triumphant.
We must confront the fact that “the gates of hell” will wage war on the church.
NOTE: Though the gates of hell cannot prevail against the church, the people of God must be on alert.
The church is invincible, but the believer is not immune to satanic attacks.
You and I as believers have been given the power to overcome, but we need to learn to submit and resist.
- James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
We need to resist:
I. Hellish Motives
Satan has an agenda; to steal, kill and destroy.
- John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
The people of God have been warned repeatedly to be alert, to be watchful and to beware.
- 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Paul warned us to put on our armor to defend against satanic attacks.
- Ephesians 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Notice these verses that indicate our vulnerability in times of spiritual weakness.
Satan wants to sift us as wheat
- 31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
- 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
Satan wants to gain the advantage
- 2 Corinthians 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
Satan wants us to turn aside after him
I Timothy 5
- 11 But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry;
- 12 Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith.
- 13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.
- 14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.
- 15 For some are already turned aside after Satan.
Satan wants to tempt us, even those that are praying and fasting.
- 1 Corinthians 7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
Satan wants to steal away the word sown in man’s heart.
- Mark 4:15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
We need to resist:
II. Hellish Ministers
2 Corinthians 11
- 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
- 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
- 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
We need to resist:
III. Hellish Messages
1 Timothy 4
- 1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
- 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
- Hebrews 13:9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines.
We need to resist:
IV. Hellish Methods
A. Devilish Wisdom
- 14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
- 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
- 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
B. Deceitful Works
- Acts 5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
C. Destructive Words
- James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
Conclusion: I am grateful for the fact that Jesus Christ has the key to hell.
Revelation 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
As Christians, the Gates of Hell:
A. Can be OVERCOME
The gates cannot prevail against the church.
- 1 John 2:13 I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.
- 1 John 2:14 I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
- 1 John 5:18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.
B. Can be an OPPORTUNITY
In fact, we have been given the opportunity to pull people out of the fire.
- Jude 1:23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
We can with prayer, soulwinning and being a witness rescue the lost from going to hell.