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Lost Crusader #198 The Best Defense

“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Matthew 16:18

Christians debate about the rock—and that’s a good, healthy thing to do. However, they are in agreement that the church shall prevail. Though not all of them understand just what that means and its possible implications for the present day.

City gates in scripture are defensive in nature. Breaching the gates of a city means to break its defenses opening the way for your forces to defeat and plunder the city. It is an old military adage that “the best defense is a good offense”. This is the strategic offensive principle of war. The idea is to attack and keep attacking so that your opponent is so busy defending himself that he is unable to mount an attack of his own.

It is not a foolproof strategy. It failed Hitler in World War II and George Foreman in The Rumble in the Jungle. Constant offense requires limitless resources in order to work. Christianity has the resources and a secure supply pipeline in the person of the Holy Spirit. The church’s present weakness is an unwillingness to use what God has given. Most Christians have been frightened into passivity, lest they offend.

They did not learn this from Christ. Jesus spoke the words the Father gave Him. According to Isaiah, that word accomplished what God sent it to do. When His disciples “said unto Him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?” He answered, “let them alone, they be blind leaders of the blind…”

It is equally true that a brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city and we are not to give offense to the weak in faith. So, there is a fine line to walk in an offensive strategy. But nowhere in scripture is it implied that spiritual warfare is easy, pain-free, bloodless or to be avoided.

Cowering on the defensive will never prevail against the forces of evil. Victory comes through offensive action. The message of the Gospel is both confrontational and offensive to those who oppose it.

I ask you, brothers and sisters, when has the Holy Spirit ever chosen not to offend you and so say nothing about your errors? I have never experienced it—and I don’t want to. Whom the Lord loves, He chastens. It is not often a pleasant experience. It will offend your sensibilities. It will also save your soul.

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