About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Gates Of Hell
16:18 in the KJV reads, "…
I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against
it." The NIV
reads, "… I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not
King James Version of Matthew 16:18 has been the topic of many sermons.
The KJV wording seems to be more popular than the NIV's wording,
but it's the KJV that has caused some problems with properly
understanding what Jesus is saying.
written about the word "church" before that's found here
so I won't say much now, other than to say that Jesus didn't understand
church as we do today. The
Greek word "ekklesia" is translated as "church"
simply means "a group of people".
When Jesus speaks of "my ekklesia", He is speaking of
His special group of people who have been set aside from the rest of the
world to do His will. I
don't believe He had the mega-ecclesiastical structures in mind that we
KJV states that "the gates of hell shall not prevail against the
church." Many highly
emotional sermons have been preached based on these words, warning satan
that he will not prevail over the church no matter how hard he tries. Many
preachers equate "the gates of hell" with satan because they
think he lives in hell. I
don't see it that way. The
misunderstanding arises because of the word "hell" in the KJV.
The NIV's use of the
word "Hades" is a better translation in my thinking.
Greek word that is translated as "hell" in the KJV is
actually the word "Hades" that the NIV uses in its
translation. In this
instance I prefer the NIV's rendering.
"Hades" is not where satan lives.
It is the place where the unsaved dead reside.
In the Old Testament the Hebrew word used for the place of the
dead is "Sheol". Both
the righteous and unrighteous dead resided in "Sheol" in those
days. The corresponding
Greek word in the New Testament is "Hades".
"Hades" and "Sheol" are two names for the
same place. Many people, me
included, believe that when Jesus died on the cross, he freed the
righteous dead from "Sheol", or "Hades".
The saved dead are now in paradise with Jesus, while the unsaved
dead remain in Hades, or hell, as the KJV puts it.
is not an unsaved dead human. He
is a fallen angel, and he doesn't live in Hades.
In Revelation 12:10 we
see him hanging out with Jesus, accusing us believers of things we've
been acquitted of. So when
Jesus says the church will not be overcome by "the gates of
Hades," that can't be referring to satan.
what does the gates of hell or Hades refer to?
Well, what does the word "gate" mean?
A gate is simply an entrance way.
In this case the gates lead to Hades.
How does one enter Hades? It's
simple. He enters Hades
through death. Death is the
"gate to Hades."
Adam's disobedience, death has prevailed over mankind.
That will end. 1
Corinthians 15:26 tells us that the last enemy of Christ to be conquered
is death. Jesus will conquer
death when He throws Hades, satan, and the fallen angels into the Lake
of Fire. (Revelation 20:14)
At that point, death, "the gateway into Hades," will be
conquered. From that point
on, death will no longer prevail over God's people.
It's that simple. When
Jesus says that the "gates of hell will not prevail against the
church," He's saying that death will not prevail against God's
people. What a day that will