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.

Matthew 16:18

When Jesus told Peter that the gates of hell would not overcome the church, I forgot something very particular about gates–

Gates are not for offensive purposes, but defensive.

People set up gates because they don’t want people to come in. People don’t use gates as weapons. Nobody holds someone up at “gate point.” But rather, gates are passively defensive.

And such is the description that Jesus chooses to describe the darkness in the world we live in, but throughout the scriptures, this is not the description used to describe his church.

While the kingdom of Satan is retreating and defensive, the kingdom of heaven is offensive and advancing. We were meant to be penetrators and weapons in the world. We were meant to be offensive, not defensive. We are exposers and lovers, we are fighters and victors, we are pronouncers and winners.

It is just unfortunate that many of our churches (in America) are designed to be defensive, not offensive. We are often stationary, with a “come here” mentality, constantly retreating, and fighting to keep its traditions and peculiarities. We have often adopted the suburban model of mission–running away from the darkness instead of running towards it with the light.

And so, by our church design and models, let us instead be the light of the world–an advancing and penetrating light at that.