The Gates of Hell

FeaturedThe Gates of Hell

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a look at The Gates of Hell.
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Mt. 16:18
The usual application that one hears about this church is as follows: Satan goes about the world like a lion seeking whom he may devour. He is attacking the church, which consists of believers. But praise God his attack will fail!
But that, I believe, is an incorrect reading. The verse talks about the church being founded upon the rock (gospel of Christ) and the gates of hell not prevailing against it. Let’s take a look.
Upon this Rock
I could spend an entire blog upon the Rock, but suffice it to say the Rock is not Peter, a good man but still a man. It is “And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Mt. 16:16). The church is founded upon Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Gates of Hell
But the real solution to the wrong application is the term gates of Hell. What are gates? They are barred entrances into a city, building, etc. The only person to ever use a gate as a weapon was Samson (Judges 16:3). Gates are defensive, not aggressive.
So the implication is that the “gates of Hell” is a defensive term. Now consider the following:
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” Ephesians 6:11-18. Emphasis added.
This describes a soldier going to war. And what kind of armor is he wearing? For the most part offensive weapons! Notice there is no protection for the back, it is all forward looking and, dare I say it, aggressive!
Satan controls this world, we Christians belong to the army of God which is attacking the stronghold of the Devil. Taken in this light, Matthew 16:18 is saying that we, the attacking force, will prevail over Satan’s forces. The very gates of Hell cannot stop us.
So What Are Our Weapons?
Well, Ephesians 6:17 gives us a good idea: “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Elsewhere we are called ambassadors, ministers of light. God has given to us the Word of God (Sword of the Spirit) and a Salvation message. In fact in Ephesians 6:15 we are to be shod with the gospel of peace, which is the gospel of salvation by the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
How Do I Do That?
There are differing ways of communicating the gospel. Writing is one way. As an author I often include the gospel in my novels. I also write my blogs from a Christian perspective. There is also door to door witnessing that fundamental Baptist churches are known for. You simply visit people and if they are open to the gospel present it to them verbally or at least a written tract.
I Can’t Go Door to Door or Write Well Enough
That’s fine. You can carry a tract in your suit pocket or shirt pocket (men) or in your purse (women). Hand them out. My wife is a good example of this. She will engage people in the store and hand them a tract at the very least. She also will talk to them. I often leave a tract on the restaurant table after eating. I leave it with a tip.
I’m Housebound and Can’t Get Out?
Sorry to hear that, but you can still be a witness. You can witness to visitors by simply telling your story. Most people like to hear about somebody else’s conversion. It gives you an opportunity to share the gospel. And you can also give visitors tracts.
What Else?
The ‘what else’ is simply prayer. In Ephesians 6:18 prayer is right next to the armor. Why? Well look at the modern soldier. Along with all their armor they have the ability to communicate to their leaders directly. In the not so distant past military units had a radioman who could communicate with their commanders. Going all the way back to Paul’s day soldiers had a means of communicating (archaic by our standards), but the point is that they could get directions from their commanding officers. And, as Christian soldiers, so can we! Our means of communicating is prayer.
So you can always pray. Pray for your family, pray for your friends, pray for your neighbors, and don’t stop praying! Prayer, when based on the Word of God, works!
The church is not fort to protect us from the evil outside, but an attacking force that the gates of Hell cannot withstand. In Ephesians 6:13 we read, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Satan is not going to sit back and just allow you to attack at will. He will counterattack and when that happens God will give you the strength to stand immovable. Then you move forward.
Conclusion
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Mt. 16:18
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Corinthians 15:57.
We are on the winning side. In Christ we already have the victory. Yes there are many battles to be fought and we may lose some of them, but the war is already won!
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Christian in the Workplace

FeaturedChristian in the Workplace

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Today I am writing about the Christian in the Workplace.
“Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:” Ephesians. 6:5-7 (Emphasis added)
“And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.” Eph. 6:9
In these two passages we have our guidelines for being a Christian in the Workplace.
Let’s take a look at the first passage, Ephesians 6:5-7.
Work as Unto The Lord.
The first thing you need to do in any job you take is to work as unto the Lord. Everything follows from that. If you’re working for the Lord then you recognize He put you where you are at and put you under the boss you have.
I realize that not all bosses are lovable. I had a few like that. But if you see him as no more than a servant of the Lord, whether he wants to be or not, then it is easier to obey and follow his directions. When he mistreats you don’t get mad; instead have a skip meeting.
Skip Level Meeting?
Yes, where I worked we had what were called skip level meetings. These were meetings with our boss’s boss and our boss wasn’t invited! We could then talk about our boss without fear of retribution. Now on a human level that may not always work, but if the skip level meeting is to the real Boss, Jesus Christ, then you can air your complaints right to Him.
Of course, your complaints better be honest and factual because He will know all the facts!
Be Obedient
You’ve studied the field, you’ve become an expert in that field, and you know how to do a job, but your boss wants you to do it his way which you know is wrong. What do you do? You do it his way.
When I was called by God to become a financial secretary at my church I started attending school where I learned the basics of accounting. When my pastor told me he wanted me to start I hadn’t become an expert yet, but I did know the basics of the job. So I dropped out of school and started work as the Financial Secretary.
So You Knew From the Start how to do the Job?
Yes and no. I knew what the experts and the government agreed were the correct methodology, however my pastor had another method in mind – his. Was his method wrong? Well, if you went by Generally Accepted Principles, the answer was yes. But it was how he wanted it done and it was neither sinful nor illegal. Therefore I did it his way. I had to learn his way, but in the end I had it down pat.
I know of a man who as far as I knew was not a Christian. He worked for a man in the landscaping of his boss’s property. In my observance he was a good worker, but he got fired. Why? Because he disagreed with how the owner wanted the landscaping done and refused to do it the way the landowner wanted. What he should have done is offered his opinion respectfully and with a why. Instead he simply refused to do it the way the landowner wanted.
When you work for somebody it is your job to do it the way the boss wants it done. Don’t argue. If you know you’re right, respectfully inform the boss but always remember that the Boss is always right even when wrong.
As a writer I have done work for another person. I didn’t like the way he wanted me to do the work, but I swallowed my pride and did it his way. The result was a book that didn’t rise to the level I had hoped, but it was done his way.
Back to my experience. I worked for that pastor for 15 years and was at the time the best he ever had (he expressed it differently, but that’s the meaning). The books may have not been done to a CPA’s expectations but they were accurate and reflected the information my pastor wanted.
Before I worked at the church I worked for a major communications company. I strove to always do my work honestly, and perfectly! I can say I was honest and not lazy. I did my work to the best of my ability and according to their instructions. It is important that the Christian always have a solid work ethic.
You never know who is watching you. Some will watch you and criticize you behind your back. But that’s not your responsibility.
What About Being a Boss?
I think there are at least two keys here.

  1. Do the Same Things Unto Them. Put another way it might read don’t tell your servants to do something you wouldn’t do. Be honest, have a good work ethic, and don’t play favorites (being menpleasers).
  2. Work as Unto the Lord. If you have people who work for you and you claim to be a Christian they will be watching you carefully. And they will judge your work. But if your work is as unto the Lord, they are more likely to honor, obey, and follow you.

Hopefully you were an employee before you ever became a boss. Why? Because you will then have an understanding of what it means to be an employee. It will give you an understanding of your employees and help you lead them to greater service.
Please notice that the Lord’s direction to both boss and the employee is to work as unto the Lord. It is the key to a successful job!
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), or Pauline A New Home (Book Two) I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.