On Matthew 16:18
“and the gates of Hades will
not overcome it”
DOES THIS MEAN THAT THE FIRST CENTURY CHURCH WILL NOT BE APOSTATIZED?
AS expected, the Catholic Church denies that apostasy took place. Catholic Defenders commonly used Matthew 16:18 to proved that apostasy did not took place. However, careful reading of the verse will show that the Lord Jesus did not said that there will be no apostasy. Let us first take a look at Matthew 16:18:
“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and THE GATES OF HADES WILL NOT OVERCOME IT.” (Matthew 16:18 NIV, emphasis mine)
NOTHING IN THE VERSE THAT SAYS “THE CHURCH WILL NOT BE APOSTATIZED.” When the Lord Jesus said “the gates of Hades will not overcome it (the Church He build),” the Catholic defenders understand this to mean that the Church will not be apostatized. However, this is only their conclusion and this reveals their ignorance of the teachings of the Bible. What is the equivalent of the words of Christ that “the gates of Hades will not overcome the Church”? Let us read the rendering of Today’s English Version:
“And so I tell you, Peter: you are a rock, and on this rock foundation I will build my church, and NOT EVEN DEATH WILL EVER BE ABLE TO OVERCOME IT.” (Matthew 16:18 TEV, emphasis mine)
When the Lord Jesus Christ said that “the gates of Hades will not overcome it," what He meant is “not even death will ever be able to overcome it.” What does it mean that not even death will ever be able to overcome the Church” In I Thessalonians, this is what Apostle Paul said:
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” (I Thessalonians 4:16-17 NIV)
Thus, no where in Matthew 16:18 that the Lord Jesus Christ said that the Church He founded will not be apostatized. What the Lord Jesus Christ said is that "the gates of Hades will not overcome" the Church He founded. The Bible explained that this words of Jesus does not mean that the Church will not be apostatized, but that “not even death will ever be able to overcome the Church” because the members of the Church He founded although they suffered death but will be resurrected in His Second Coming. Therefore, the Lord Jesus is talking about resurrection.
The Catholic Defenders say that “those who say that the Church was apostatized is making the Lord Jesus a liar.” It is not those who say that the Church was apostatized that making Jesus a liar but the Catholic Defenders who say that the Church will not be apostatized. Please ponder these words of the Lord Jesus Christ:
“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time MANY WILL TURN AWAY FROM THE FAITH and will betray and hate each other.” (Matthew 24:9-10 NIV, emphasis mine)
These are the very words of the Lord Jesus Christ: "MANY WILL TURN AWAY FROM THE FAITH." The word "apostasy" means "turning away from the faith." So, who makes the Lord Jesus Christ a liar? Those who say that no apostasy took place in the first century Church Of Christ.
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