Read Matthew 16:1-28
How do you stop an unmanned runaway train consisting of some 73 cars . . . most of which contain crude oil? How do you stop it as it picks up speed down a 7 mile descent? How do you stop it as it approaches a populated area? How do you stop it before it approaches a turn that cannot withstand its speed? The answer is “you don’t” . . . and no one did. On July 6, 2013, this train derailed and exploded in the heart of the city of Lac-Megantic in Quebec, Canada. In the aftermath, dozens from Lac-Megantic lost their lives and millions of dollars of damage was left behind. The train, you see, was unstoppable.
Now, subtract out the devastation and destruction for a moment. Picture the powerful train in motion and you get a glimpse of the unstoppable Church. In describing His Church, Jesus put it like this:
“. . . I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (18b)
Now, likely you are aware of local churches that have dwindled and perhaps even closed their doors. Christ is not making promises about individual local churches. He is talking about the corporate body of Christ – the universal church. As we will see in the days to come, this church cannot be destroyed. The best that Satan can dish out will never thwart the church. Even death itself will not bring it to a standstill.
What is it that makes the church unstoppable? A second look at the text gives us some of the answers.
- “Upon this rock I will build my church.” The church is unstoppable because of its foundation and cornerstone. The church is built on the very foundation of Christ who is identified by Peter as “the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” This foundation is strong, secure, and indestructible.
- “Upon this rock I will build my church.” The church is unstoppable because of its architect. Jesus is the omnipotent creator of all things (Col. 1:16). Nothing can withstand Him. What He purposes is also realized.
If you are a Jesus-follower, you are part of this unstoppable movement called the universal church. Give your energy to participate in what He is doing through a local church like Grace.