And I say 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
A good friend asked me about this term. It used to trouble me. How do gates, being passive, prevail? Does Jesus mean that the church will break the doors down? Who needs to break down the doors of hell, since according to the beliefs of the great majority, unsaved people go there every day?
But if hell is the grave (and one definition of the word Jesus used means grave) then I can see how some breaking down is needed. It is easy to speak of hell. Since no one can see it, you can believe anything you want.
But resurrection is totally different. Only a few have seen it. There is no room for pretense or error. Overcoming the grave is something no one does. But Jesus resurrected. He promised that some day we will be also.
Can the gates of the grave prevail against the church? Victory over death is the sweetest of promises. The very gates of the grave shall not prevail against the redeemed.
Death will hold us no more. O happy day.