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“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.

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The Seven Churches addressed in Revelation were in Turkey and so were the first eight Ecumenical Councils.  Istanbul used to be named Constantinople after Constantine who legalized Christianity and became a Christian himself. Turkey of today used the be the center of the Christian Holy Roman Empire.

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).

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We have to overcome like those Seven Churches were commanded to do or we will end up like them. Even Jesus said, “When the Son of Man comes, will there be faith on the earth?” (Lu 18:8).  So, it seems to me, we cannot take too much for granted.

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.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Debora

    I was lying in bed unable to sleep thinking about the state of things, the church confusion, particularly Popes latest comments, and I was wondering, "I thought the gates could not prevail…..they seem to be prevailing alright …." It's been bothering me, wondering if one should just walk away from the church ……if it was not for the Eucharist, I would not be part of what seems to be a mockery. Then I got up to read and your blog post was exactly the words weighing on my on my mind ….will the gates prevail. Not sure if I'm comforted or more worried ??

    STEVE RAY HERE: Debora, I would suggest you should be encouraged. What I wrote was to encourage people to get involved, speak out, do what they can to promote justice and holiness, pro life and love for our country. That’s why I am voting for Trump all the way!

    We have to remember that it is Jesus who is building his Church. There have been good popes and bad popes, problems in our country with civil wars and all kinds of other chaos. But we have always survived. I have 18 grandchildren so I have a big investment in the church and in this country. I’m doing everything I can to encourage and challenge and fight for what is right.

    Remember that 100 years ago people didn’t even know what was going on in Rome. They just loved being Catholic in their own parish and their local Catholic Church. Too many of us get worried about what’s going on in Rome and we lose sleep over it. But there’s not a thing we can do about that and all the worry you won’t change a thing. Just love being Catholic love being American and do all you can and then, trust the Lord! We’re in this together and God bless you!

  2. Thomas M Govern

    I am convinced that the best thing that Catholics can do is to be proud of their faith and to let others know that they are proud. But that pride needs to be supported with why’s. Our Church has let apologetics fall to the side. Apologetics are needed more than ever. Unless you know why, you have no basis for discussion. God bless people like Steve and Janet Ray, all the Catholic Answers crew and the brave clergy that speak to our faith.

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