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BATTLING THE GATES OF HELL

A MINISTRY THAT MATTERS  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  1:49:09
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THE CHURCH THAT JESUS IS BUILDING

The reason that the Church today is losing ground to the world is because it has resorted to using the wrong fighthing tactics. What I mean by that is the church has become “Secular”.
The expression "secular church" may be a contradiction in terms, but it is what many sociologists say is emerging on the American religious scene.The secularization process that has transformed Western civilization over the past two centuries has taken different paths in Europe and in America. In Europe, secularization has meant large-scale defection from religion and the appearance of many empty church buildings and cathedrals. In America, churches have survived, however, by adapting to secularization and by commending themselves in terms that are attractive to "secular man."
I been sent on an assignment to tell this house today that the Church that Jesus is building is not Secular; It is the enemy of the secular because it is understand that the Secular is the Highways to"the gates of hell.”
Why is the Church of today (Postmodern/Contemporary/Secular) losing ground?

THE GATES OF HELL

Context of the Text:
Jesus is in the third year of His public ministry and the time for his crucifixion is near. He removes Himself from the public eye and away on retreat so that he could see what they had learned and give them further instruction for the coming days.
The text says:
Matthew 16:13–20 NASB95
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ.
Matthew 16:13–20 NASB95
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ.
New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (). The La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

A Strategic Location

A. The doctrine of the Fall of Man

Satan’s plan is to “drag humanity to Hell”

Satan’s plan is to “drag humanity to Hell”

B. Satan’s plan is to “drag humanity to Hell”
By New Testament times, “Hades” could refer simply to death or the grave, as opposed to gehenna (“hell”), which was always a place of judgment. In the New Testament, Hades is sometimes personified (; ) and sometimes seen as a place (; ; ; ; , ; ). In some places it is placed opposite heaven (; ) or Abraham’s bosom (). In the Septuagint, hadēs is almost always used to translate the Hebrew שְׁאוֹל (she'ol) (sheol; e.g., LXX [Eng. 9:17]; ; ; ).
Faithlife Study Bible Jesus’ Declaration at Caesarea Philippi

Jesus’ Declaration at Caesarea Philippi

The gospel accounts present Caesarea Philippi as the site of a defining confession in the story of Jesus’ life. There, after Jesus asked the disciples who they believed Him to be, Peter confessed Him to be “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt 16:16). In Matthew’s Gospel, the account continues with a powerful declaration by Jesus about the Church and its mission (Matt 16:13–20; compare Mark 8:27–29)—a statement that continues to inspire interpretation about the nature of the Church and its role in God’s redemption of creation (see note on Matt 16:18, see also note on Matt 16:19).

The Bible only records Jesus traveling to Caesarea Philippi on this one occasion. Why would He intentionally take a 14-hour walk (a 30-mile journey) away from the region of the Sea of Galilee where most of His ministry took place?

Caesarea Philippi is located in the northern part of Israel in a plain in the upper Jordan Valley along the southwestern slopes of Mount Hermon. This ancient city was built on and against a majestic rock formation with lush vegetation. It served as the water source for the Huela Marshes that gave birth to the Jordan River.

Augustus gave Caesarea Philippi to Herod the Great in 20 BC. Formerly called Panion (and later Paneas), the city was renamed Caesarea Philippi by Herod’s son, Philipp II, in 3 BC in honor of Caesar Augustus. The naming of this city as Caesarea Philippi differentiated it from Caesarea Maritima, which was located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Herod also made the city the administrative capital of the region.

The city was formerly called Paneas because it housed a cave and spring dedicated to the Greek god Pan. A temple to Pan was built in the midst of the city at the mouth of this cave, where people would make sacrifices to him. According to a narrative at his temple, Pan was one of the few gods who could cross into Hades and return to earth. As result, this site was recognized as the gate of Hades in the disciples’ day. Christ’s declaration about the Church was given powerful significance because it was uttered here.

Given this, Peter confessed Jesus to be “the Christ, the Son of the living God” at the temple of a false god (Matt 16:16). Jesus followed by declaring that “on this rock” He would build His Church (Matt 16:18). He continued by professing that the gates of Hades (on which He may have literally stood) will not prevail against the Church (Matt 16:18). From that point on, He began to tell them of His impending sacrificial death that would make all of this possible (e.g., Matt 16:21).

Jesus fulfilled this declaration by dying on the cross and rising on the third day. Today, His Church is powerful and glorious while the temples of the Greek and Roman gods lie in ruins.

CHUCK BOOHER

the gates of Hades In this instance, this likely refers to the realm of the dead in general (the underworld)—similar to the Hebrew word she’ol. Jesus and His disciples are at Caesarea Philippi, located at the base of Mount Hermon. This region is affiliated in ancient Near Eastern, Jewish, and Greek literature with the gateway to the underworld, the gods, and other spiritual beings. The OT also affiliates the region, called Bashan in the OT, with an evil giant clan and idolatry (Deut 2:10–12; 3:1,10–11; Josh 12:1–5). Jesus seems to be saying that through His power, the Church will overcome the powers of evil and death itself.

Since the original Greek text lacks the preposition “against” in the verse, the phrase may be literally rendered “the gates of Hades shall not withstand it.” Given this, the verse indicates that the gates of Hades, the realm of death and evil, will not be able to withstand the advance of the Church.

Faithlife Study Bible Bashan and the Gates of Hell

Bashan and the Gates of Hell

The region known in the OT as Bashan was located east of the Jordan River (the Transjordan). Specifically, it refers to the upper Transjordan east and northeast of the Sea of Galilee, extending north to and including Mount Hermon. Through the collective efforts of the tribes of Gad, Asher, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, the Israelites conquered this region in the days of Moses and Joshua. The territory then became the tribal inheritance of the half-tribe of Manasseh. (The other half of Manasseh settled west of the Jordan, in Canaan; see Num 32; Josh 19).

Before Israel conquered it, Bashan was an Amorite stronghold ruled by two kings, Sihon and Og, both of whom descended from the giant clans known as the Rephaim and Anakim (Deut 2:10–11, 20–21; 3:11–13; Josh 12:4; 13:12; compare Num 13:26–33; Amos 2:9–10). Its two capital cities were Ashtaroth and Edrei (Num 21:33; Deut 1:4; 3:10; Josh 9:10; 12:4; 13:12, 31). The name “Ashtaroth” is the plural form of “Ashtoreth,” a Canaanite goddess more commonly known as Astarte. Israelite idol worship frequently involved “the Baals and Ashtaroth,” which were, among other things, sexual fertility cults.

Bashan and its two capital cities also had an ominous reputation in the wider Canaanite world. Mythological and ritual texts from Ugarit describe Ashtaroth and Edrei as the abode of the god mlk (Milku or Molech; KTU 1.108:1–3), a long dead (and deified) king. Molech’s name appears in a series of snake charms associated with Ashtaroth (KTU 1.100:41; 1.107:17); he was also connected to child sacrifice in the OT (1 Kgs 11:7; Lev 20:1–5; 18:21). Furthermore, the plural form of the name mlk (mlkm) means “kings.” As result, the cities of Ashtaroth and Edrei (and, more broadly, all of Bashan) came to be associated with the broader Underworld population of deified ancestors and ancient warrior-kings, such as the Rephaim. Canaanite (Ugaritic) peoples, then, literally believed Bashan to be the gateway to the Underworld—the dwelling place of the dead. More broadly, Akkadian god lists from the Old Babylonian period onward associate a deity named Malik, and its plural, maliku (“beings”; the Igigi and Anunnaki gods), with the Underworld cult of dead ancestors.

The Israelites understandably viewed Ashtaroth and Edrei, and thus all of Bashan, as domains of other foreign gods (see Deut 32:8–9). Like the people of Ugarit, however, Israelites considered the Rephaim to be great warriors but identified them as giants. This connection first appears in Gen 6:4, in which the warrior-kings or heroes (gibborim in Hebrew) are related to (and perhaps called) “Nephilim,” a group of giants who could have been spawned by the sons of God (Gen 6:1–4). Elsewhere, the OT connects the Rephaim to the Anakim (Deut 2:11)—descendants of the Nephilim (Num 13:33; compare Deut 2:10–11, 20–21; 3:11–13). According to Jewish theology of the Second Temple period (from books like 1 Enoch), the sons of God (called “watchers”) of Gen 6:1–4 descended to Mount Hermon in Bashan before carrying out the deeds described in Gen 6:1–4. Bashan and Hermon thus had sinister reputations.

Even after Israel subdued Bashan and its Amorite giant clans, the people in the region continued to associate it with the worship of fallen gods. Following the death of Solomon and the split of the kingdom (1 Kgs 12:25–31; 2 Kgs 10:29), the wicked Jeroboam set up a cult center for the northern kingdom at the city of Dan, which was very close to the foot of Mount Hermon. However, the Assyrians destroyed the city of Dan in 734 BC and took the northern kingdom of Israel into captivity in 722 BC. During the Hellenistic period, new inhabitants of the region reestablished a new city and cult center a few miles east of the ancient Dan cult center. The location, which had formerly been known as Baal-Gad and Baal-Hermon, was named Paneas (also called Banyas and Banias). The cult center was devoted to the god Pan, the half-man half-goat god of fright (or “panic”). The site features a cave grotto and carved niches for the statues of deities. Beginning in the third century BC, worshipers cast sacrifices into the cave as offerings to Pan.

By Jesus’ day, the name of Banias had been changed to Caesarea-Philippi—the location of Peter’s confession (Matt 16:13–20) and, shortly thereafter, the transfiguration. The latter likely occurred somewhere on Mount Hermon. (The Bible does not indicate that the transfiguration took place at Mount Tabor; that tradition did not appear until the fifth century AD.) So when Jesus tells Peter that it is “on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matt 16:18), He and the disciples are literally standing at the place known in ancient times as the gates of Hades/the Underworld. Jesus is saying, in other words, that He will conquer the forces of darkness associated with the Underworld—and that the power of the Church will overcome them. In Paul’s words, Christ “disarmed the rulers and the authorities, he made a display of them in public, triumphing over them by it” (Col 2:15) and “Ascending on high he led captivity captive; he gave gifts to men” (Eph 4:8). This line from Ephesians 4:8 is made even more powerful with the knowledge that Paul is quoting Psalm 68:18; in Psalm 68 the mountain God ascends and conquers is none other than Mount Bashan (Psa 68:15).

MICHAEL S. HEISER

The Bible only records Jesus traveling to Caesarea Philippi on this one occasion. Why would He intentionally take a 14-hour walk (a 30-mile journey) away from the region of the Sea of Galilee where most of His ministry took place?
Caesarea Philippi is located in the northern part of Israel in a plain in the upper Jordan Valley along the southwestern slopes of Mount Hermon. This ancient city was built on and against a majestic rock formation with lush vegetation. It served as the water source for the Huela Marshes that gave birth to the Jordan River.
Augustus gave Caesarea Philippi to Herod the Great in 20 BC. Formerly called Panion (and later Paneas), the city was renamed Caesarea Philippi by Herod’s son, Philipp II, in 3 BC in honor of Caesar Augustus. The naming of this city as Caesarea Philippi differentiated it from Caesarea Maritima, which was located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Herod also made the city the administrative capital of the region.
Jesus fulfilled this declaration by dying on the cross and rising on the third day. Today, His Church is powerful and glorious while the temples of the Greek and Roman gods lie in ruins.
Matthew 16:13–20 NASB95
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ.
The city was formerly called Paneas because it housed a cave and spring dedicated to the Greek god Pan. A temple to Pan was built in the midst of the city at the mouth of this cave, where people would make sacrifices to him. According to a narrative at his temple, Pan was one of the few gods who could cross into Hades and return to earth. As result, this site was recognized as the gate of Hades in the disciples’ day. Christ’s declaration about the Church was given powerful significance because it was uttered here.
Colossians 2:15 NASB95
When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.
Booher, C. (2012, 2016). Jesus’ Declaration at Caesarea Philippi. In Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Ephesians 4:8 NASB95
Therefore it says, When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, And He gave gifts to men.”
Psalm 68:15 NASB95
A mountain of God is the mountain of Bashan; A mountain of many peaks is the mountain of Bashan.
Booher, C. (2012, 2016). Jesus’ Declaration at Caesarea Philippi. In Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

The gates of hell were opened when man and woman doubted, disbeleived, and disobeyed God’s Word in the garden of Eden. Every since then Satan has been trying to drag as many people to hell as he can.

The Lexham Bible Dictionary Jesus’ Teaching on Hell

Jesus’ Teaching on Hell

Jesus teaches that, after their death, people either enter the kingdom of God or are cast into γέεννα (geenna) (Matt 10:28; Luke 13:28). In addition, Jesus discusses three aspects of hell in his teaching: its inhabitants, its features and the extent of its punishment.

Hell’s Inhabitants

Jesus frequently describes those who are destined for ᾅδης (hadēs). Jesus tells the inhabitants of Capernaum that their unbelief will lead them to ᾅδης (hadēs) (Matt 11:20–24). Jesus also warns of several sins that might condemn one to ᾅδης (hadēs), including calling a spiritual brother or sister a fool (Matt 5:22) and giving into sinful tendencies (Matt 5:29–30). For Jesus, a person is either a child of ᾅδης (hadēs) or a child of Abraham (Matt 23:15; Luke 19:9). Jesus questions the scribes, Pharisees and hypocrites about how they expect to escape the condemnation of ᾅδης (hadēs) if they are committing the sins of their ancestors (Matt 23:31–33). In His preaching, Jesus promises the gates of ᾅδης (hadēs) shall not prevail against the church (Matt 16:18).

Descriptions of Hell

Jesus describes hell as an eternal fire where the devil and his angels are destined (Matt 25:41). He also calls it the abyss (Luke 8:31). It is a place of darkness, where a person experiences weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt 8:8–12). The weeping suggests suffering and pain while the gnashing of teeth suggests despair and anger.

Beyond these images, Jesus also portrays hell (or ᾅδης, hadēs) in Jesus’ parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19–31). In this passage, ᾅδης (hadēs) is depicted as a permanent abode and a place of torment. Further, it seems it accommodates some individuals, but not others. The rich man went there after dying, and Lazarus did not. Instead, Lazarus is in Abraham’s bosom, a traditional designation for the place of the dead who were righteous in life. This parable also teaches about the irreversible nature of punishment in the afterlife.

The Duration of Hell’s Punishment

There are two primary perspectives on the extent of hell’s punishment. One view contends that the wicked experience eternal conscious suffering (Walvoord, “The Literal”). The other view argues that the wicked eventually are consumed by hell’s fire, thereby forfeiting their existence (Fudge, “The Final End“).

Matthew 10:28 might imply that hell destroys both the body and the soul, making punishment only temporary. However, other texts support the eternal duration of hell’s punishment. For example, Jesus, drawing on Isa 66:24, speaks of hell as the place where the worm never dies and the fire is never extinguished (Mark 9:48). In Matthew 25:46, it seems that the punishment is forever rather than for a while. Jesus claims that upon death some people will go to eternal punishment while others will enter into eternal life.

A DARING OFFENSIVE ASSAULT

A. God was not willing to give up on Humanity, so His mercy and compassion sent Christ to save us from our crisis. He is the only one who can.
B. The gates of Hell were defeated with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
See
Colossians 2:15 NASB95
When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.

THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES

A. Christ established His Church to Matter

Seemingly insurmountable obstacles
God can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. How this should cheer us as we go about the business of preaching the gospel! Sinners are heavily fortified against the gospel just as the city of Jericho was fortified against Israel. People have erected their own walls against the things of God. Can these walls fall? The answer from is a triumphant ‘Yes!’
But if we are to see the walls of resistance crumble in human hearts, we must follow God’s instructions. We must preach the truth that God has revealed. Many pastors and churches are failing at this very point. They are substituting a worldly message and worldly methods for the message and methods that God himself has appointed.
The urgent, pressing call to the church today is to believe that God knows best. If God has appointed the gospel as his way of saving sinners, we must join the apostle Paul in saying, ‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek’ ().

Jesus seems to be saying that through His power, the Church will overcome the powers of evil and death itself.

Since the original Greek text lacks the preposition “against” in the verse, the phrase may be literally rendered “the gates of Hades shall not withstand it.” Given this, the verse indicates that the gates of Hades, the realm of death and evil, will not be able to withstand the advance of the Church.

B. “This means War”

I've been in the storm and the rain But the blood still stays the same Whatever's going wrong My war clothes are on I might be in a daze But you can't have my praise No matter the attack I won't turn back This means war - This means war This means war - This means war
I plead, I plead the blood I plead, I plead the blood I plead, I plead the blood I plead, I plead the blood
You can't have my family You can't have my increase You can't have my breakthrough

PETER

THE CHURCH

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