Some say Jesus stated about the Church “and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” In Matthew 16:18.
Some would tell us that means the Church will not diminish. However, this is not a good interpretation of this verse. What Jesus was referring to was Peters’ statement that Jesus is Christ, the Son of the Living God. No amount of accusation from the enemy, no amount of denial of man can prevail against the fact that Jesus IS the son of God.
We are living in perilous times as the Church. Our numbers have been in a steady decline since the mid 1940’s, although there was a slight up-tick in the numbers in the mid 60’s to mid 70’s, the decline has continued none the less. Europe is in a very deep decline, in the 2005 EuroBarometer Poll, we find that many European countries are in steep decline of even calling themselves Christian. The same can be seen the in US.
We have had years of secular teaching of children in public education. This has had a serious impact on the church in that we have had 3 generations who are taught to doubt in a creator God.
But secularist education is not the only reason for the decline. The most serious problem is the church gave up it’s roll as being compassionate to the poor, ill and imprisoned. The church itself has grown into a secularist institution. It has followed the ideas of the world and has not challenged these ideas in a strait-forward and stringent manner. Those churches that tried to oppose secularism started to pull away from the society it found itself in and began to look and work inward.
Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble”, He also stated “I have overcome the world.” The church is suppose to follow Christ, that not only means we are to read his word, we are also to OBEY him. He has stated he wants workers to go into the fields that are white for harvest. But the church has refused to do that. The question is why?
If the church refuses to do what their God tells them to do, how long do you think it will be before his wrath will be poured out? We read in Luke 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? Well, with the trends we have now, that is a very good question.