JESUS CHRIST said, "Blessed are you when they revile and
persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My
sake" (Matthew 5:11).
"But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse
you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who
spitefully use you and persecute you," (Matthew 5:44).
Jesus Christ said, "I will build My church and the gates of
hell shall not prevail against it."
He didn't say the gates of hell would not attack it. He said
they would not prevail.
I came to understand what that meant when I first visited
Jerusalem. That ancient city of David has massive walls
surrounding it. Imposing gates afford entrance. In the time of Christ
the elders of the city would gather at the city gates and form a
council. They would confer and deliberate about the affairs of the
city. If there were a potential attack coming from an enemy they
would plot their strategy.
When Jesus said the gates of hell would not prevail against
His building of His church He was saying, "Let the devil get all the
demons of hell together and let them confer as to how to keep Me
from building My church and they can't do it."
The church is called His body and His bride.
Saul of Tarsus, breathing threats and murder against the
followers of Christ, was on the road to Damascus when a blinding
light struck him down. He heard the voice of Christ say, "Saul, Saul,
why are you persecuting Me?" (Acts 9:4).
Saul might have said, "Jesus, it's not you I am persecuting
its these folks called Christians."
What Jesus was saying is if you pick on My church, My
bride, you are picking on Me.
Today there are many local churches. This local church
congregation called Roswell Street Baptist invited the congregation
of another local church to worship with us today. It is the people
who form the memberships of these organizations known ...
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