Two thousand years ago, Jesus told the Apostle Peter regarding the church “…the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” Matthew 16:18 (NKJV). Years later, we are still seeing the efforts made to prevail against in the church: On 13 May 2018, 13 people were killed, dozens wounded, and the Pentekosta Church heavily damaged in targeted church bombing attacks in Surabaya, Indonesia.
We all agree that hellish powers are fighting against the church “….against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV); but would we also agree that we ought to be on the offensive also? One of the great offensive weapons used by our brothers and sisters against these forces – and the reason they are persecuted – is the powerful Gospel of Jesus Christ “…be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might …. feet with the preparation of the Gospel of peace.” Ephesians 6:10;6:15 (NKJV)
Notice, the Gospel is “the power of His might” but it is also of “peace”. Everyone must hear the Gospel, even the worst of sinners, because we shared the same spiritual condition: “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” 1 Timothy 1:15 (NKJV). One local pastor summarised it well “Even though it is tough for me, we must forgive. That is God’s way!”
The generosity of many believers made it possible for VOM to respond to the immediate needs, which has made a profound impact in the lives of many brothers and sisters; the rebuilding of the church has started the slow and painful process of rebuilding the lives and families of the 1000 believers who attended the church. Seven months later, the rebuilding of many lives is still ongoing and the full impact of this attack is still uncertain.
This month’s challenge: Reflecting on what has happened, there is no doubt that the gates of hell are attempting to prevail against the church, yet in light of what we hear our family is experiencing, and in light of our present freedom, will you share the Gospel more fearlessly? Start simple, write out your testimony and share it with your friends.
“And most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.” Philippians 1:14 (NKJV)