“The gates of hell shall not prevail!” I have heard this affirmation many times in the last year. There seems to be a certainty that we will prevail as a church even as our country spirals into chaos and confusion pours out of the Vatican. Is the church’s success something that we can take for granted in our country and in our time?
I’d like to make one point about the Gates of Hell not prevailing. It HAS prevailed in local and historical situations currently and in the past. Take Turkey as an example, though there are many others I could point to.
Turkey is where Christianity grew up. If it was born in Judea, but it grew up in Turkey (Asia Minor in New Testament times). St. Paul was born there. Peter and Paul preached there, Mary lived there for a while, John the Apostle was a bishop there and died there in Ephesus.
The Hagia Sophia Church in Constantinople was the largest church in the world for one thousand years.
Now Turkey is 99.99% Muslim. There are only 60,000 Christians among 85 million Turks. The Seven Churches of Revelation have had their “lampstand removed” (Rev 2:5).
We need to be faithful, do the deeds required by Christ, stay faithful, suffer when necessary, defend the faith — or we too could have our lampstand removed and watch other forces take over our country.