Enemies at the Gate

The neighborhood was rough and crime in the area was real. So the church took safety precautions. During services, the doors would be shut and locked preventing any kind of entry. An usher would remain on the outside to observe and stand watch. But what happened next was not what you expect.

Read the article about it here

They came in police cars. They came armed. Uniformed and plain clothes service men pulled up to the church during the service and demanded entry. They banged on the door with the intent to shut them down.

The service was ending anyway so the pastor said the benediction and the worshippers exited the building. A car with dark tinted windows has a strange man within that took photographs of every worshipper as they left.

This wasn’t the first time the local government had shown antagonism and used their power in an attempt to shut this church down.

The shocking reality though is where this took place. This didn’t take place in China where the communist party is taking great strides to stop the growth of the church from imprisonments of leaders to blowing up churches. Nor did it take place in a Muslim controlled nation.

See article about China here

This police action took place in the heart of Chicago, just a mile away from historic Jackson Park. The mayor decided to shut the church down in an overreach of power during this time of coronavirus containment. I could understand if there was rebellion, rioting, threats, malfeasance, or harmful intent from Cornerstone. But they just wanted to worship. They took safety precautions, practiced social distancing, took temperatures of worshippers to allow entry, and more.

This took place in America. And I will warn you, it will happens more and more as time goes on. This is not a political issue. This is not a constitutional issue. This is not a personal preference issue.

This is a spiritual warfare issue. And followers of Christ need to know we are in the middle of a battle that has gone on against God and his people since man has been around.

The Ascent Psalms are a worshippers guide to preparing hearts for worship. They are an insight to man’s conditions and God’s promises. The 129th Psalm Is the worshipper looking around and remembering this. People had come against Israel from the very beginning, yet she stood. Enemies, from the Hittites to Hitler have tried to eliminate them, yet she stood.

The church too has been the target of many, yet she stands. The gates of hell shall not prevail against her. And in the end, she will be standing.

So when I worship, even if I have to do it in secret, under threat of arrest, fearful for my life … I remember this … God wins. And that is a reason to celebrate.

So pray for the church, at home and abroad. Pray for leaders in America that will defends our right to worship (but don’t be shocked when that right might be taken away). Pray for courage of church leaders who have to plan and lead under persecution. And pray for safety of worshippers. May we never take worship for granted.

And remember this repeated statement about God’s people from Psalm 129 … Greatly have they afflicted me from my youth,
yet they have not prevailed against me.

God wins the war … and for that, I praise Him through my worship.


“Greatly have they afflicted me from my youth”—
let Israel now say—
“Greatly have they afflicted me from my youth,
yet they have not prevailed against me.
The plowers plowed upon my back;
they made long their furrows.”
The Lord is righteous;
he has cut the cords of the wicked.
May all who hate Zion
be put to shame and turned backward!
Let them be like the grass on the housetops,
which withers before it grows up,
with which the reaper does not fill his hand
nor the binder of sheaves his arms,
nor do those who pass by say,
“The blessing of the Lord be upon you!
We bless you in the name of the Lord!” (Psalm 129)

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