In Matthew 16:18, Jesus said, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”
Church is translated from the Greek word ekklesia, meaning a called-out assembly. The church of God is a congregation, made up of all kinds of people on earth, called out from the world through the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ to be followers of Christ.
The Bible says to the church, “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness and into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (1 Peter 2:9-10).
Since the church has been called out from the world, the church shouldn’t look like the world. It’s not a social club, it’s not entertainment, it doesn’t tolerate sin. It’s not money-making organization, it’s not a brand or a company, it’s not a magic show full of illusions. It’s not a platform for politics or new philosophies. The church is not a denomination or a building.
The true church is a people, sealed by the Holy Spirit for the day of redemption, assembling together in the name of Christ, who gave Himself for us, dying on the cross, “to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14).
The church is the body of Christ, and Christ is the head, growing us together in Him. The church is the bride of Christ, being sanctified by His word. The church is the work of Christ, and hell will not prevail against it. Rather, His church will prevail against hell, when we understand the text.