gates of hell
16:18 gates of hell. “Hell” here is the Greek hades, not the ultimate lake of fire but the present pit in the heart of the earth where the souls of the lost, as well as a host of fallen angels, are confined awaiting judgment. When Christ spoke these words, the souls of believers were also there, but during His three days in the grave, Christ stormed the gates of Hades and set these redeemed captives free, taking them with Him to paradise (Ephesians 4:8-10). In like manner, He assures those in His Church that they also can deliver lost souls from imminent confinement behind the gates of Hades as they proclaim the great confession of Christ as redeeming Son of God to all who will heed the gospel.