As long as the church is faithful to the message of the cross, the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
1 Corinthians 1:18, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
The believers of the early centuries of our era lived and died in the faith of a Christ crucified for their sins, and raised again for their justification. The cross was central. The death of Christ was redemptive; not merely Christ, but Christ crucified.
Writing to the carnal Christians of Corinth, who had become proud, boastful, and sensual, Paul emphasized at the very outset the deeply spiritual and unworldly character of the Christian faith. A crucified Christ demanded a crucified life for believers. Paul’s appeal to the church at Corinth was to leave their petty bickering and get back to living in the light of the cross.
In the fifteenth century Portuguese colonists erected a massive cathedral in Macao, China. During a violent typhoon the building was destroyed except for the front wall was a bronze cross. Since the cathedral was not rebuilt the bronze cross stood for several hundred years as a monument to the past defying rain, lightning and typhoon. In 1825 Sir John Bowring visited this site and was inspired to write his great hymn, “In the Cross of Christ I Glory.” It was the bronze cross towering above the wreck of the past that caused him to write these words in that song, “In the cross of Christ I glory, towering o’er the wrecks of time.”
As long as the church is faithful to the message of the cross, as long as it holds up to a dying world Christ and him crucified, it will have power and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.