Summary: Jesus gave His disciples some keys to the Kingdom of Heaven to be used in binding and setting free things in Heaven and in the earth. What are those keys and how are they used?


by Pastor Jim May

There are many types of “keys” in the world. There are islands that are called “keys”, like those in the Gulf of Mexico at the tip of the Florida Peninsula. There are keys that are points of knowledge that open the understanding to science and mathematics. There are keys, or steps that must be taken, or procedures followed in order to make machinery work. There are keys that are used to unlock or lock a door or a gate. There are keys that are on musical instruments and on office equipment, and then there are keys that are used to turn something on or off.

One of the most memorable moments of my life was the moment that I was handed the keys to the car for the very first time. It was as though there was a birth of freedom and an instant increase in trust that was placed in me. For a teenager, this marks the beginning of a whole new kind of freedom. It’s as though they have suddenly come of age and are ready now to take on the world.

Now that I have been on the other side of this scenario, I know that my parents most likely did not feel that same sense of joy that I felt that day. From my own experience I have learned that they likely had more of a sense of dread and apprehension at what may lie ahead.

I have had the opportunity to hand over the keys to my car or truck to my children, and while I trust them to do the right thing and take care of the vehicles that I give or loan to them, there is always that same sense of dread that arises when I see them drive away. I can only compare that feeling, at that moment, with the feeling I would have if I left a baby in the hands of a known child molester. They never drive away without my saying a fervently, effectual prayer for their safety and for the return of a fully functional vehicle that has not been rearranged in some manner.

A key is a wonderful thing, but placed in the hands of the wrong person, or used in the wrong manner, it can also become a dangerous thing. Like most things in life, a key is simply a tool, to be either used or abused. It isn’t the key that is the problem; it is the man or woman who wields the key that determines its use. A key to the bank vault in the hands of a teller is necessary to gain access to the wealth of the depositors when they need to deposit or withdraw. But that key to the bank vault in the hands of a thief becomes a very dangerous thing indeed. In an instant, he can bring financial disaster to the bank and all of its depositors. Thank God for depositor’s insurance, but no matter how you look at it, that key causes a lot of damage to someone.

One of the most wonderful verses in the Bible contains a promise from the lips of Jesus Christ to His disciples is concerning some “keys” that He has entrusted to each of us.

Matthew 16:18-19, "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

Jesus was speaking directly to Peter, but his words were not only directed to Peter, but to every disciple of Christ that would ever live. Jesus has given each one of us a set of keys to the Kingdom of Heaven and now it is up to us what we will do with those keys.

Notice that Jesus said that you have the power over those keys and what they will accomplish. First, the words, “whatsoever thou salt bind on earth, shall be bound in Heaven”, is a phrase that points to the fact that we can use the keys of the kingdom to lock something, or someone, in or out of Heaven. Now that’s a serious thought to know that you hold the key to someone’s eternal destiny, but that’s exactly what it means.

Secondly, Jesus also said, “whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven”. I don’t know about you but that concerns me somewhat. What things can I let loose, or give access to the kingdom of Heaven through the church, that may cause damage to the kingdom of God. All in all, this is a very serious business, and a very serious responsibility that you and I have to make sure that the keys Jesus has given to us are used wisely.

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