Matthew 16:13-20—“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ ‘Well,’ they replied, ‘some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.’ Then he asked them, ‘But who do you say I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.’ Then he sternly warned the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.”
Keys are amazing. Just think about it—a piece of metal allows you to enter your home, drive your car, or open a safe. Losing your keys is distressing, especially if you’re late for work or school, or it’s freezing and you can’t get inside.
You probably also have a few stray keys at your home. You have no idea what they unlock, and they may be years or even decades old, but you’re afraid to throw them away, just in case. So instead of being used for the purpose they were designed for, they just sit uselessly at the bottom of your junk drawer.
Keys are only helpful if you know what they unlock and how they are supposed to be used. When we are in Christ, we have access to an incredible set of keys, but so many of us don’t know how to use them. And that is right where the Enemy, Satan, wants us. He knows that the truth of Jesus exposes the keys, and that those keys give us a purpose in Christ when we are willing to learn to use them. So instead of sticking them in a drawer, bring them out to be used for God’s plan.
Matthew 23:13 says, “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you shut the door of the Kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces. You won’t go in yourselves, and you don’t let others enter either.” Here, Jesus was talking to the religious leaders of the day. They knew a lot—in their heads. But when it came to actually using the keys for the purpose they were designed for, they were lost.
Later on in Acts 15, years after Jesus ascended into heaven, many of the Jewish Christian leaders were teaching Gentile people that in order to be saved, they had to be circumcised. James said in Acts 15:19, “…my judgment is that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.”
We often want to be the gatekeepers, deciding who gets to go inside the Kingdom and who stays out, but that position belongs to Christ. Instead of trying to take over Christ’s position, let’s bring people to meet Him. Those of us in Christ have the most amazing set of keys available, keys that give us access to God and His power, love, and provision. With all of that, nothing should stop us from bringing others over to experience it, too. There is enough room in the Kingdom for all who believe. Use your keys to tell as many people as you can the Good News about the One who gives us the keys.
For more information on how to get connected at any of our campuses please visit BarefootChurch.com