In John 17, Jesus offers what many call His “high priestly prayer.” In this prayer, the Lord prays for His disciples to be strengthened, unified, and sanctified by God’s Word and to His glory. He also prays for future believers who would come to faith by the preaching of the Apostles after Christ’s ascension. Jesus clarifies His petition of the Father stating, “I do not ask that You take them out of the world,” employing “that You keep them from the evil one.”
When you consider this prayer in conjunction with what the Lord says to Peter in Matthew 16:13-20 there is tremendous encouragement to be found for Christians past, present, and future. In this passage Jesus asks His disciples “who do men say that I am?” Their answers are as various as one might expect even today, but then He asks them, “but who do you say that I am?” To this, Peter replies “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” A profound response to an equally profound question.
But then Jesus offers Peter and the disciples additional insight into this interaction saying, “For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
Peter’s confession of Christ as the Messiah, the Son of the Living God is the Rock upon which all our faith is set. Whether under threat of persecution or protected by a Constitutional Amendment, Christ’s promise “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,” should encourage believers around the world to remain faithful to Him who “remains faithful—for He cannot deny Himself.”
Do you live like you believe the Lord will build His Church, or do you shrink back in the face of adversity?
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Dennis Call joined the Army as an infantry officer shortly after the 9/11 attacks on our country, serving fourteen years on active duty. During his Army service, Dennis deployed for thirty-three months to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of the Global War on Terror. Prior to joining the Army Dennis served as the Director of College Ministries at First Baptist Church in Texico, N.M. where he mentored students at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, N.M. Dennis and his amazing wife Katie live in Colorado Springs, CO with their five children (four boys and one super sweet daughter).