As one sees the growing hostility of the world and the weakness and sometimes downright folly of the church, some are tempted to ask, “Is there any hope for Christ’s church? Today’s devotional gives them the answer. God bless you.
Because of Calvary,
Matthew 16:13-18 (ESV)
13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
“The celebrated Roman authority, Father Launoy, gives (1) Seventeen quotations from the fathers to prove that Peter is spoken of as the Rock; (2) Eight passages to prove that the Church is built on all the apostles; (3) Forty-five passages that the faith Peter confessed is the Rock; and (4) Sixteen passages that Christ is the rock on which the Church is built.” [John Carrara, Catholicism under the Searchlight of the Scriptures, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1951), p. 94-95]
The “church is a battering ram, bashing in the gates of hell. The Word of God is our weapon.” [Corrie ten Boom, Each New Day, (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell, 1977), p. 200]
“There is no greater drama in human record than the sight of a few Christians, scorned or oppressed by a succession of emperors, bearing all trials with a fierce tenacity, multiplying quietly, building order while their enemies generated chaos, fighting the sword with the word, brutality with hope, and at last defeating the strongest state that history has ever known. Caesar and Christ had met in the arena, and Christ had won.” [Will Durant, “Caesar and Christ,” The Story of Civilization: Part III, (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1944), p. 652]
“‘Not very far from the city of Glasgow,’ says Dr. George Morrison, ‘there runs a Roman wall which was built by the Romans between the Forth and Clyde, and down in the highland valley at the base of it there sleeps a little village to which I sometimes walk out on Saturday through that beautiful scenery, for it is not all smoke there. Sometimes I think of that wall, which was so fresh and powerful just as John was writing the Apocalypse, and then of The Church, a little hunted thing, and the Empire so imperial and magnificent ― how incredible it must have seemed to anybody that the Church should conquer and the Empire die. Today that wall is a small heap of dust, and the church bells are still ringing there. Despair, if you will, of what is founded on diplomacy and brute force. But never despair of what is founded on the blood of Christ.’” [The Speaker’s Bible X edited by James Hastings and Edward Hastings, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, n.d.), p. 49]