“… on this rock I will build My church,
and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”
Matthew 16:18, NKJV.
Excerpt from Foxes book of Martyrs…
“In Matthew 16:18, it is recorded that Jesus told His disciples, “I will build My church, and the gates of hell [Hades] shall not prevail against it.” Three major points can be noted in Jesus’ words: 1. Christ will have a Church in this world; 2. His Church will be mightily attacked; 3. None of the devil’s attacks will destroy it. Looking back through the history of the Church, we can see that Jesus’ words have been fulfilled in every century—its glorious history verifies His words. First, that there is a true Church of Christ in this world is without question. Second, every level of secular and religious leaders and their subjects have publicly and forcefully, with every cunning and deceitful means at their disposal, *denounced and persecuted that true Church. Third, that Church has endured and held its testimony of Christ through every attack brought against it. Its passage through the storms caused by violent anger and hate has been glorious to see, and much of its history is written in this book so that the wonderful works of God might be to Christ’s glory and that the knowledge of the experiences of the Church’s martyrs might have a beneficial effect upon its readers and strengthen their Christian faith.”
Our response should be threefoldd
- Take heed to yourself and your walk
“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:12, NKJV.
- Remember your suffering brethren
“Remember the prisoners as if chained with them–those who are mistreated–since you yourselves are in the body also.”
Hebrews 13:3, NKJV
- Ready your soul for the same suffering
“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12, NKJV.