Summary: Message based on Jesus’ words in Matthew 16:19.

The Keys to Heaven

Matthew 16:13-20

February 25, 2007

How many of you have ever been locked

out of your car? It’s okay – you can admit it.

Frustrating, isn’t it? Okay, maddening.

Maybe you can relate

Returning home one afternoon with my two daughters, Kimberley, age two, and Kristi, six months, I pulled into my driveway and stopped to check the mailbox. But when I returned to the car, I found Kimberley had pushed the locks down on both doors—and I had left the key in the ignition.

For an hour I tried to explain to Kimberley how to pull up the door handle. I was on the verge of tears. My husband wasn’t home, and since we live in the country, there were no neighbors to help.

Finally Kimberley stood up and softly tapped on the window. As I looked down at her, she said, “Mommy, do you want me to roll down the window?”

[Diane Prestwood (Magee, Miss.) Contributed by: SermonCentral]

Keys are such a small thing, but they are so important for our functioning in everyday living.

If you don’t believe me, just try losing them. Especially your car keys.

You’ll tear the place apart, you’ll check your pants pockets ten or eleven times and your coat pockets 7 or 8 times.

You look in the couch cushions, the desk, the microwave…

You’ll ask your spouse, and of course, they haven’t seen them.

And then you get desperate. You go to the baby, “Did you put my keys in your crib? Hmmm? Did U put my keys in you widdle cwib?

That doesn’t do any good.

The rest of the kids hide because they remember what happened when you lost the remote.

You look at the dog. The dog sees the look in your eyes and runs away.

As panic begins to really take over, you get the wild idea to check the car. And sure enough, you find you’d left them in the ignition overnight.

Keys are important to functioning as human beings in this day and age, aren’t they?

Jesus talks about some keys. And these keys are infinitely more important than your car keys

Matthew 16:13-20

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"

14 They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."

15 "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"

16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

17 Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 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." 20 Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.

We’ve spent a good deal of time on this passage, and we’ve looked at a number of things that it deals with.

First we looked at the idea that it’s incredibly important that we get the correct idea of who Jesus is, because what we believe about Jesus affects where we’ll spend eternity. And so I said that to get the truth about Jesus, you need to go the Word, not the world. Then we looked at the fact that Jesus doesn’t bend to our ideas about Him, we bend to His ideas about Him, which of course we get from the Scriptures, not other people’s or our own opinions about Him.

Today we pick up our examination by looking specifically at verse 19:

“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."

This is some pretty heavy stuff, and I want to make sure we don’t take it lightly. This passage is key to helping us understand our task as it relates to the kingdom of heaven and how people become part of it.

I mentioned last week that the verses just before this, where Jesus says that He will build His church, are subject to a ton of opinions about just who the rock is, and this and that.

But this passage seems to have a large consensus of agreement among conservative preachers and scholars.

I think I can summarize what I found by saying this: Jesus has given us have the awesome task and responsibility to make sure as many people as possible make it through the doors of heaven.

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