The Keys to the Kingdom
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
Keys, they’re used to unlock something and gain access to it. After Peter proclaims "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus tells Peter I will give you keys to the Kingdom of heaven. He says, I will give you the ability to unlock and give access to the Kingdom of God! He then goes on to tell Peter, whatever he binds on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. He is promising to put great power and authority into Peter's hands. This humble fisherman will be given this awesome responsibility. But what was Jesus talking about, the keys to the kingdom of heaven?
He was talking about access to the kingdom, he was talking about entrance into the kingdom of heaven. I doubt Peter knew what Jesus was talking about at that very moment, but it wasn't very long before he came to understand Jesus statement. Peter probably began to understand a little more when Jesus made this statement before going to the cross,Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matt. 28:19 NIV Jesus gives the great commission to His disciples. Jesus told them what they must do to make more disciples for the King and His Kingdom.
The first opportunity to do this presents itself shortly after Jesus ascension into heaven, on the day of pentecost. Peter gets to present the first gospel sermon to a massive crowd. Jews from every nation of the world were in Jerusalem for the festival and thousands heard Peter proclaim Jesus as the Christ. When they heard what Peter said they wanted to know what to do about it. Peter told them, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off--for all whom the Lord our God will call." Acts 2:38,39 Peter implemented the Keys to the Kingdom and they were bound on earth and in heaven. Obedient sinners were loosed from sin and granted access to the Kingdom of Heaven when they obeyed Peters response to their question. They repented of their sins and were baptized in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins and received the gift of the Holy Spirit. Three thousand were added to the kingdom that day.
The great commission still stands and the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven are still available. It is the duty of Christians to present the gospel to those that will hear. When they believe that Jesus is the Son of God, are convicted of their sin and repent, they must be baptized in order to gain access to the Kingdom. What was bound that day in Jerusalem was bound in heaven. That process for entry into the Kingdom heaven was used in every conversion story in the book of Acts. Today the process for entry into the kingdom remains the same. There is not a second set of keys, the originals must be used.
© 2012 Leo J. Woodman