Taken from the first chapter of Foxe’s Christian Martyrs of the World:
“In the gospel of Matthew we read that Simon Peter was the first person to openly acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God and that Jesus, seeing God’s hand in this acknowledgment, called Peter a rock on which He would build His Church – a Church that even the gates of hell would not be able to defeat.
This indicates three things. First that Christ will have a Church in this world. Secondly, that the Church would be persecuted, noy only by the world, but also by all the powers of hell. Thirdly, despite its persecutions, the Church would survive.
The whole history of the Church to this day verifies this prophecy of Christ. Princes, kings, and other rulers of this world have used all their strength and cunning against the Church, yet it continues to endure and hold its own. The storms it has overcome are remarkable..”