Conquering the Gates of Hell

Day 7

Today we are seven days into our two month odyssey of discovery. What an awesome thing this is! There is palatable sense of spiritual momentum among us and I can hardly wait to see what church will be like this weekend!

One of the things I have discovered in a new way over the past week is that Jesus was keenly aware of the reality of the dark powers He was setting out to overthrow. Jesus was on a mission from heaven and His objective was to destroy the works of the devil. Jesus knew that beyond the material world there was a spiritual world which is filled with malevolent beings intent upon dominating and destroying human lives. Jesus came to challenge and destroy their dominion.

In Matthew 16 Jesus introduces for the first time the church. The ekklesia — the community of those called out of the world system into the alternative system of the Kingdom of Heaven. The church is the current expression and experience of the Kingdom of Heaven upon earth. Jesus pronounces that He will build His church and that it will be founded upon the conviction and confession that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One, the Answer).

No sooner does Jesus introduce the church than He makes it clear that the church is destined for warfare.

Upon this rock I will build My church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.

The gates of Hell are the Satanic strategies which are employed to keep people in darkness and bondage. Demon spirits are not merely involved in harassing individuals on a personal level, but there are demonic schemes and strategies to establish institutionalized sin and bring spiritual confusion to people through societal structures. It’s Jesus’ intention to smash these demonic strongholds through His church.

It was extremely significant yesterday when South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds signed a bill banning nearly all abortions in South Dakota. Of course this will eventually end up in the Supreme Court, but we are seeing the beginning of a process that could possibly end with the overthrow of Roe v. Wade. The blood of millions and millions of innocents shed through the demonic practice of abortion has brought a curse upon America. The church needs use its spiritual authority to bind and loose in prayer warfare to see this atrocity outlawed.

At the time of the signing of this bill Governor Rounds said,

In the history of the world, the true test of a civilization is how well people treat the most vulnerable and most helpless in their society. The sponsors and supporters of this bill believe that abortion is wrong because unborn children are the most vulnerable and most helpless persons in our society.

Upon hearing this statement I called one of my pastor friends in South Dakota to tell him I wanted to congratulate a Christian from South Dakota for their state taking a strong stand for justice. Justice is a major issue with God and justice has much to do with defending the helpless in society.

Isaiah rebuked the unjust society of Judah with this prophetic poem (Isaiah 1:15-23),

When you spread out your hands,
I will hide My eyes from you;
Even though you make many prayers,
I will not hear.
Your hands are full of blood
Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes.
Cease to do evil,
Learn to do good;
Seek justice,
Rebuke the oppressor;
Defend the fatherless,
Plead for the widow.
Come now, and let us reason together,
Says the LORD,
Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.
If you are willing and obedient,
You shall eat the good of the land;
But if you refuse and rebel,
You shall be devoured by the sword;
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
How the faithful city has become a harlot!
It was full of justice;
Righteousness lodged in it,
But now murderers.
Your silver has become dross,
Your wine mixed with water.
Your princes are rebellious,
And companions of thieves;
Everyone loves bribes,
And follows after rewards.
They do not defend the fatherless,
Nor does the cause of the widow come before them.

Let’s exercise our spiritual authority as the church of Jesus Christ and bind the strategy of hell to continue to pollute our land with innocent blood and loose justice to prevail for the innocent.