When I get home, one of the first things I do is ensure that I put my keys in their proper place. Anytime that I don’t, I usually panic later about misplaced keys. Keys give us opportunities. The keys to our house allow us access to our home, our comfort zone. It also allows us to lock the door, keeping people out. The keys to our car allow access to our vehicle and an opportunity to travel. Lose either key, and we’ll have trouble.
If someone trusts you enough to give you a key to their home or car, they are trusting you with something that is very valuable and important to them. You wouldn’t simply toss the key aside. You’d ensure it’s kept safe and used wisely. By giving you the key, they’re showing that have great trust in you. There are only two people that I trust to give my keys to. I know that both people will wisely use the key. I’m showing my faith in them.
Keys of the Kingdom.
In Matthew 16:19, Jesus is speaking to Peter. He tells Peter that He is giving him the keys of the kingdom of Heaven. Jesus trusts Peter to give Him the key.
19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Matthew 16:19 (ESV)
What are these keys that Jesus gave to Peter? Jesus was giving Peter the authority to open the doors of heaven and invite people in. Jesus was building His church. Peter was His rock; the foundation.
18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Matthew 16:19 (ESV)
20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,
Ephesians 2:20 (ESV)
Peter was given the opportunity to “open” heaven the people. He was to use the “keys” to preach the Gospel, show people the way to get to the kingdom of God and invite them in.
Not Using Your Key.
However, keys can also be used to lock people out. If Jesus gave the apostles the keys, and they never went out and preached the Gospel, the gates of heaven are closed. No one can get in because no one knows how. The Pharisees and Sadducees were basically keeping the people locked out. They were putting so many rules on the people that no one knew the true way. Jesus warned His followers against them.
12 Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Matthew 16:12 (ESV)
We have the keys of the Kingdom as well. If we aren’t using our keys, we’re no better than the scribes who were keeping people locked out. All disciples of Jesus are charged with the task of spreading the Gospel. Opening the doors of Heaven.
What Are We Doing?
If we find a new “hack” that we know will help others, we can’t wait to share it. If we learn of a safety hazard, we quickly warn others. In the same way, we know what awaits those who don’t follow Jesus. We know the truth. So, what is stopping us from spreading the Gospel? Why do we find it so hard? We are offering them an eternity of life with the Creator of everything. The alternative is eternal damnation.
Our job isn’t to change the hearts of people. That is for the Holy Spirit to do. Our job is to spread the word of God. Hand out those keys. We can’t keep them hidden.
So, what are you doing with your key?