The Gates of Hell


Driving home the other night, a brilliant coral-pink sunset lined the western horizon. As my eyes drifted upward, the coral melded into a radiant teal-blue. To the south, grayish clouds swiped the sky as though a painter’s brush stroked a canvas. To the north, a straight line of speckled clouds marched across the heavens, and in my imagination, they were birds flying south for the winter. Closer to earth, trees appeared as silhouettes against the vibrant coral being swallowed up by deepening blue. Soon the “birds” dissipated, and one lone star emerged, glimmering like a tiny diamond.


A flash of awe struck me—my God is the Painter, and this is His handiwork. I let go of the day’s turmoil and just gloried in His greatness. How amazing such a small, ordinary thing can, in a moment, transport me into God’s presence and cause spontaneous worship.


I wish this would happen to all humans, yet sadly, not everyone who sees this beauty understands the majesty of its Creator. I mean, they can see the sunset above the horizon because “light, reflected from an object, enters the eye, gets focused, is converted into electrochemical signals, delivered to the brain, and is interpreted, or “seen,” as an image.”[1]


But there’s a disconnect for some, a short-circuiting of sorts, so the true image is not understood. We know it as sin—the thing Satan and his minions use to blind humans to TRUTH and keep them bound behind gates.

Gates of Hell -

Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil and set captives free.[2] Still, this plan of God called the Gospel, “…is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”[3]


Perishing unbelievers trust their intellect and science. They have no idea they’re blind, and the gates of hell confine them because unbelief is the padlock.


So, “…how shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?” They can’t because “…faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”[4] So, someone must tell them.


I remembered Jesus said, on the Rock of who He is…the Christ, the Son of the living God…He will build His church, and the gates of Hades (hell) shall not prevail against it.[5]


But gates aren’t weapons or warriors, as I first thought. Gates are locked enclosures—they keep marauders out and captives incarcerated. Yet Jesus proclaimed liberty—and this included the opening of the prison to those who are bound.[6]


So, how are the bound set free? Jesus said, “…I will give YOU the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”


Believers know Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection provided the means to enter the presence of God. And that the Gospel of Jesus Christ “…is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes.”[7] Could the GOSPEL be the KEY that crashes the gates and unlocks the Kingdom for those who are bound and unbelieving?


Of course, it’s God who gives grace to understand and believe, but He allows us to participate. All true believers possess this key and the authority of the name of Jesus Christ.[8]


So, be brave, my friends. In Jesus’ name, take your KEY. “…Trample on serpents…scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy.[9] Demolish the gates of someone’s hell, and unlock heaven’s Door!

[2] I John 3:8; Luke 4:18

[3] II Corinthians 4:3-4

[4] Romans 10:14-17

[5] Matthew 16:18

[6] Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18

[7] Romans 1:16

[8] Matthew 16:19; Mark 13:34; John 14:13

[9] Luke 10:19


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