I wonder if you've seen this image that has recently been posted in Time Square...

One really doesn't have to look far or listen hard to know what many think about our Jesus.  He is hated, ridiculed, and too-often mis-understood.

Here's the real kicker: This is no new thing.

In fact, in Matthew 16 it is written that Jesus faced similar mis-understandings in His own time.

"He was asking His disciples, 'Who do people say that the Son of Man is?'
And they said, 'Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.'

He said to them, 'But who do you say that I am?'

Simon Peter answered, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.'

Today, there are still many (most of them in other countries and belonging to other belief systems) who still consider Jesus to be a mere prophet, a "good guy."

Others, they say He is a big guy in the sky just waiting for you to make a mistake so He can squash you like a bug.  A tyrant. Not a judge, but a being full of judgement in their sense of the term.

And still others, they claim Him a myth.

But the church (no, I don't mean that cute little building down the road with the tall steeple), the church -- the ekklesia -- the gathering of believers: we say
"He is the Christ, the Son of the living God."

"And Jesus said to him, 'Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you,
 but my Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church;
 and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.'"
Matthew 16:13-18

What a powerful statement! His church will be built on the rock -- on this foundation: which is belief in His truth because of what was revealed to us by God in heaven! And the gates of Hell will not prevail against it!

Stay with me here.  This is going to sound kinda funny...

Imagine yourself, in your church (yes, this time I mean the little cute one with the steeple).  You're surrounded by your closest friends, singing your favorite song, wearing your favorite dress. When suddenly, two big brass fiery gates burst through the chapel doors and start to attack!

I told you it would sound silly. 
Here's the thing:

(I bet you were wondering where I was going with that title, huh?)

But seriously. They don't! So, obviously, Christ didn't mean that we should just hole up in our churches and be ready when the gates start a'knockin.

It is us who must storm the gates of Hell, the barriers holding God's intended people in a place of oppression by the biggest deceiver of all time. We must bring the fight.

This requires us to move. To go, to get out of the church and BE the church. To go where the enemy is and take back what belongs to God. To take back our friends who are in the bondage of addiction, depression, and hurt. To take back our babies, who are being killed by the thousands every single day in abortion.  To take back our nation who is deliberately turning from the God on whom our country was supposed to be founded.

The task seems huge. It seems too big to bear. And honestly, in my spirit, this world often seems too far gone.

And while the job might seem overwhelming for me, I've got the ultimate fighter in my corner.  The Holy Spirit will guide us.  He will empower us.

"but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you;
 and you shall be My witnesses, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria,
 and even to the remotest part of the earth."
Acts 1:8

I realize that I quote this particular scripture quite often, but when I look at God's word and plans for our lives, He continually brings me back to this verse.  It is our job to go, to do, to tell. We are his body here on earth. His truth tellers.

Bring it on, gates.

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