June 4th, '18
rights reserved © message by Kris Jackson
this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail
against it" (Matthew 16:18)
The passage begins in verse 13. Jesus asked the
disciples, "Who do men say that I am?" The first of ten "P"-words is PROBLEM.
The "who is Jesus?" question is every man's problem. Impetuous Peter replies
like a sprung trap, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God". Other
times, his mouth got him in trouble, but this time Peter was on target. Ah,
PERSUASION with a capital P. Flesh and blood hadn't revealed this but the
Spirit of God. How freeing it is to know that you know. Persuasion is
revealed by PROFESSION. Peter said it out loud. Many are afraid to commit.
Coach says such and such. Freud says this. Dr. Phil says that. Yea, but what do
you say? Peter spoke from inner certainty. We call it conviction.
To that Jesus laid the foundation for His church.
"Upon this rock", Greek petra, a giant immoveable slab of stone,
like Gibraltar, "I will build my church..." This is the church's greatest
PROMISE. The promise is focused on a PERSON, "I". This is the same "I" that
assured, while walking on the sea, "it is I, be not afraid". The same "I" that
claimed, "I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me". The
church isn't built on Peter, petros, a small stone. The papists got it
wrong there. A small stone isn't secure enough for this massive structure.
"Other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Christ" (1
Then follows the PROGRAM, "I will build my
church". Jesus isn't in the business of tearing down. He builds, edifies,
founds and grounds. Next note the POSSESSION, "my church". It's not Jones'
church, Pastor Bob's or Deacon Fred's. Christ owns it, purchased with His own
blood (Acts 20:28). If the church is His then that relieves us pastors of a lot
of anxiety. He will take care of His own. And what is the Church, the ecclesia?
It means "called out to be called together". We are called out of
fellowship with the world into fellowship with God's people. Whenever two or
three gather together in His name it constitutes the church. So a marriage is a
church, as is a family, a small congregation, a mega-church or the entire body
of Christ collectively. Church is not carpet, pews and stained glass; it is the
residency of the Holy Spirit.
Then comes the POWER, "...the gates of hell shall
not prevail against it". Iron gates can't keep sinners in nor keep the church
out. That power causes PANIC in the underworld. Satan fears nothing like he
fears the Church. Why else does he seek to split us apart? The Church is God's
active agency in the earth. Jesus proclaimed, "All power in heaven and earth is
given unto me" then passed that power on to us. Pastor Keith Moore, in a recent
sermon, said that transference gives the devil a panic attack. Anyone who has
suffered a panic attack knows how their whole world seems to crumble to pieces
in a matter of seconds. Panic immobilizes. Oh, if we could ever comprehend the
power we have. That leads to a tenth word, PERMANENCE. "Shall not" assumes more
than a one-time victory. Over and over and over this promise remains in force.
The "gates of hell" implies all Satan's diabolical strategies, plots, plans,
covert and overt actions and aims. The original covenant stated that Abraham's
"seed" would "possess the gate of [his] enemies" (Genesis 22:17). The Church
will not be defeated. A church may close, but THE church will
never close. It outlives, out-loves and outlasts because it out-Lords all
others. We won't have to worry about the church's survival if we keep the focus
on the church's Lord.