Summary: You Have the Key to Heaven 1) Guard it! 2) Share it!
Daniel Habben You Have the Key to Heaven
Revelation 3:7-13 1) Guard it!
December 12th, 2004 2) Share it!
Is there anything worse than being locked out of your own home? That’s especially bad when it happens to be –30 C out and you have two bags of groceries in your arms and a carload of screaming kids. All you want to do at that point is get into your warm house and curl up on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate. Although it’s no fun being locked out of your home, it’s rarely ever tragic. I mean eventually you’ll find your way in even if you have to call a locksmith.
What would it be like, however, to be locked out of heaven? It would be more than an inconvenience; it would be tragic for Jesus tells us that outside of heaven is a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth (Luke 13:28). It’s not a place any of us will want to spend eternity. Unlike your home that probably has that one window you can always crawl through if you get locked out, there is only one way into heaven and it requires a key. You have the key to heaven. After we identify what that key is I want to encourage you to guard it and to share it.
Jesus spoke the words of our text to Christians living in the Asia Minor city of Philadelphia. Even though they seemed to be a small and insignificant congregation, Jesus had nothing but praise for them for they had faithfully guarded his Word and shared it in spite of ridicule from Jews living in their city. It’s comforting to know, isn’t it, that we don’t have to be a mega-church to be pleasing to God? In fact last week we heard how churches that seem vibrant aren’t necessarily alive in God’s eyes. What’s important is that we remain faithful in preserving God’s Word and faithful in sharing it.
To encourage the congregation in Philadelphia, Jesus wanted them to know that he held the key of David and had opened a door for them no one could shut (Rev. 3:7, 8). What was this key? What door did it open? The key of David is an Old Testament reference to a key that opened King David’s storehouse (Is. 22:22). The one who was given charge of this key had the right to dispense temporal blessings in the form of money and grain to God’s Old Testament people. While David was a wealthy king he couldn’t give the kind blessings Jesus does. While Jesus gives us temporal blessings in the form of food, clothing, and health, he also gives us spiritual blessings like the forgiveness of sins. In fact it’s forgiveness from Jesus that opens the door to heaven.
Unfortunately many people are trying to get into heaven using other keys. Some try to use the key of their own goodness, while others rely on keys provided by other religions. Only Jesus can open the door to heaven because only he has satisfied his Father’s demands that we be cleansed of sin and be dressed in perfection. Jesus gave us both things through his perfect life and death on the cross. Before you tune me out because you’ve heard this all before, listen to the unique way Jesus describes the benefit of his forgiveness. He said: “Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name” (Rev. 3:12).
When Jesus says that we will be pillars in the temple of God, he wants us to know that our spot in heaven is permanent. Indeed, whenever you see ruins of ancient buildings what’s the part that’s left standing? The pillars! Not only has Jesus secured a permanent spot for us in heaven, he says that he will write on us the name of his God, the name of the new Jerusalem, and his new name (Rev. 3:12). What’s that all about? Well have you ever written your name in a book to show that it belongs to you? By saying that he will write God’s name on us, Jesus is assuring us that we belong to God. Not only will Jesus write God’s name on us, he will write the name of the new Jerusalem, a reference used throughout the book of Revelation for triumphant believers (Rev. 21). Right now we bear the name “Christian”, a title that is ridiculed by many. Come Judgment Day we won’t be ridiculed anymore for we will be glorified and, as we heard a couple of weeks ago, we will judge the world that once made fun of us for being Christian. To emphasize this change in our status Jesus says that he will write his new name on us. Although many mock Jesus now because they see him as a weakling that was put to death on the cross, come Judgment Day they will see a powerful Jesus who bears the name King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Rev. 19:16). Having Jesus’ new name written on us would signify that we are on the winning team!