Gate, Gates, and More Gates
When I moved to this house a few years ago, the yard had a gate. It was an odd thing because only the back yard had a fence and that not on all sides. That gate didn’t really close anything in or out. In a year or so, I thought it was a bother and had it taken out. What good is a gate if it is only there for some sort of decoration? It added maintenance to my already busy life.
The Bible uses the words gate, and its plural gates a total of 407 times according to the search I put to it this afternoon. The use starts in Genesis 19:1 and last mention is Revelation 22:14. Most of the references are found in the book of Deuteronomy. Many of the references regard gates to a city because most of the cities in ancient times used walls for protection. It was also common for the leaders of a city to sit at the city gates to do business. We now feel protected if we live in a gated community. Even though air strikes are still possible, some compounds still find walls and gates a matter of security.
Since a gate of security is controlled by a guard, (my grandson at Pensacola Christian College sometimes works at the campus gate) this brought me to thinking about the security of the church. The church, that called out body of believers whether a local assembly, or a more collective body of believers, has a security guard. It is the Lord Himself. Jesus made that clear in Matthew 16:18 when he declares to Peter that the testimony of Peter, that great confession of his faith, was like a rock. It is solid. Firm. Unmovable. Jesus said that the “gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” The antecedent for it is the church.
We live in shaky times. While Hell may open the gates to pour out cursing and damnation, God shuts the gates of the body of Christ into His secure hands. Trust him; obey Him; honor His Word. Don’t despair of the thunder sounding from Hell. It cannot prevail.