Category Archives: Church

THE GATES OF HELL IN MATT 16:18

PMW 2020-041 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.gates of hell

In Matthew 16:18 our Lord spoke these famous words to his leading disciple:

“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it.”

This passage has generated significant debate because of grammatical difficulties within it. Some scholars even emend the text to “straighten out the problem.” There is an awkwardness in having stationary gates actively attempting to prevail or conquer the church. How can gates attack?

Another problem is determining what Jesus means by hades. This Greek word is the common translation for the Hebrew word sheol in the OT. Sheol (and therefore, its Greek translation hades) can refer to the place of the dead, signifying either the place of rest for God’s people or the place of torment for the sinner (hell). Or it may simply mean “the grave,” without any other connotation one way or the other (it represents death irrespective of reward or punishment). The NT uses each of these meanings in various places. Continue reading

POSTMILLENNIALISM AND CHURCH

Church attendPMW 2020-030 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Postmillennialism holds a high view of the church. And of Christian worship in the church. And membership in the church. The church is the central focus of the kingdom of God. Much of the decline of Christianity that we are witnessing in America is related to Christians failing to understand the significance of the church for the Christian life.

In this article I will briefly present a biblical argument for church membership. Revival and reformation in our land must begin with the church, the household of God. Continue reading

THE RISE OF THE CHURCH IN IRAN

By Afshin Ziafat (DesiringGod.org)

Robert Bruce, a Scottish missionary to Iranian Muslims in the late nineteenth century, wrote home to his supporters, “I am not reaping the harvest; I scarcely claim to be sowing the seed; I am hardly ploughing the soil; but I am gathering out the stones. That, too, is missionary work; let it be supported by loving sympathy and fervent prayer.”

For many years, Iran was one of the most difficult regions of the world to reach with the gospel. A significant development occurred in 1979, however, with the Islamic Revolution in Iran. The ruling monarch, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, was overthrown, and in his place an Islamic Republic was birthed, led by the Ayatollah Khomeini. Sharia law became the law of the land, and Muslim clerics became the heads of state. Continue reading

IRAN HAS WORLD’S FASTEST-GROWING CHURCH

PMW 2019-099 by Caleb Parke (Fox News)

A new film tells the story of the “fastest-growing church” in the world, an underground, persecuted Christian movement in a country known for exporting radical Islamic terrorism — Iran.

People in Iran, a Muslim-majority nation, are fleeing Islam in droves as believers bow their knee to Jesus and become aggressively pro-Israel, according to the documentary “Sheep Among Wolves Volume II.”

“What if I told you Islam is dead?” one unidentified Iranian church leader says in the film, which was directed by Dalton Thomas and produced by Frontier Alliance International Studios.

“What if I told you the mosques are empty inside Iran?” he continues. Continue reading

A POSTMILL INTERVIEW (3)

PMW 2019-096 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the final article summarizing my questions from a postmillennial documentary recently filmed. I hope you find these helpful.

13) In a nutshell what is the book of Revelation about?

It is about the approaching destruction of the Jewish temple in AD 70. This is why the book is so Hebraic, even breaking standard Greek grammatical rules. This is why it alludes to more OT passages than any other NT book (over 400 of them). This is why is speaks of the temple still standing (Rev. 11:1-2). This is why it has so much temple and sacrificial imagery.

Its theme verse shows this, when properly interpreted: Rev 1:7 “ BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.” John is stating the same thing Jesus stated in Matt. 24:30: “And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory.” Then four verses later Jesus says “all these things” will occur in “this generation” (Matt. 24:34), just as John states four verses before his statement that the time is “near” (Rev. 1:3). Continue reading

IRANIAN CHURCH IS THE FASTEST GROWING

It’s a simple story that can be summarized in just two sentences: Persecution threatened to wipe out Iran’s tiny church. Instead, the Iran church has become the fastest growing in the world, and it is influencing the region for Christ.

Everyone loves a good story. As Christians, we especially love stories that tell us how, when all seems lost, God makes a way.

One such story is about the church in Iran—and it’s one of the greatest stories in the world today.

As simple as it is, such an amazing story is worth examining deeper. Continue reading

TRANSGENDERISM AT ETS

PMW 2018-098 by Colin Smothers (Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood)

Gentry note: The church is in need of revival. We are witnessing even evangelical bodies in a state of decline. Now even one of the largest and most esteemed evangelical agencies has allowed fallen culture to be represented in its annual meeting. Postmillennialism expects true revival and culture-wide reformation. Both are needed today. And they will come. But they will come only if we are alert to what is happening around us. Smothers’ article is a good warning call. Let us pray that the ETS heeds his call. I am presenting this article on December 7, as we are witnessing an attack on our culture.

When I opened the program guide for this year’s meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Denver, I was surprised by a paper titled “Walking across Gender in the Spirit? The Vocation of the Church and the Transgender Christian.” My interest piqued, I made plans to attend the session to hear the presentation. I honestly thought going into it that the title was intended for shock value to garner interest in order to set up an evangelical rebuttal of transgenderism. But what I heard from that paper went beyond anything I had thought possible at the Evangelical Theological Society.

The paper argues for the legitimacy of transgender identities. It appeared in an “Evangelicals and Gender” section, which means that the paper was vetted by committee members before being accepted into the program. Every member of the steering committee except one is a contributor to an evangelical feminist group called Christians for Biblical Equality. This raises the question: does CBE now accept the legitimacy of transgender identities? In addition to this session, there is at least one article that suggests it might. Continue reading