Matthew 16:18 reads “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.” The latter portion of this verse has often been interpreted as a promise to Christians that Satan, hell, or the powers of evil will not destroy the Church. However, in a recent “Be the Bee” video, Steven Christoforou reminds us that gates are not an offensive, but a defensive tool:
Thus when Christ tells us in Matthew 16:18 that the gates of Hades will not prevail against the Church, He is indicating that the Church is on the offensive against Hades rather than defending against it. Most importantly, Christ is reminding us of the central Christian message, that Christ and therefore the Church overcomes Hades and the powers of death. This interpretation of Matthew 16:18 turns popular alternatives on their heads, but it is clearly the more obvious reading of the verse.