Who Is Christ?Series: The Gospel of Mark
The Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail
As many of you know, our family was in Marysville last weekend to help them celebrate their 100th anniversary as a congregation. This past week, I was reflecting on the ages of the two churches I’ve been blessed to serve. Marysville was founded in 1922 by a group of families meeting in the home of one of the members. Although the Woodsfield congregation may have existed a few years prior, the completion of its first building in 1856 marks the beginning of our congregation’s history, now spanning over 165 years. Both of those numbers are impressive. As I was reflecting on the 100+ years of ministry the congregations of Marysville and Woodsfield have provided to their towns, I was reminded of a passage from Matthew 16. In verses 13- 20, Jesus and Peter have a conversation where Peter reveals his belief in Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God.” To this confession, Jesus exclaims, “…and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
Whether or not the congregations of Marysville or Woodsfield exist in another 100 or 165 years, the reality is the church will exist for all eternity. The gates of hell will not prevail against it. New local congregations are planted and old congregations close, but the work God is doing in the world through His people, the church, will never stop.
So, the next time you read about a congregation closing, or a fellowship’s numbers shrinking, don’t forget the promise. What the church looks like or where it meets may change, but “the gates of hell will not prevail against it!”