TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Matthew 16:18-19

Could I get a key to the kingdom please?

I remember when one of the elders at the congregation where I first preached full time handed me a key and said, “I guess you will need this.” I paused. The pause was filled with three lightning quick thoughts: With this key I will have access anytime. I will have responsibility possessing this key. I will need to get into the office in the morning. Then came my response, “Yes, I guess I will.” Keys give access. Read afresh the words of Jesus as He gives Peter the keys to the kingdom.

“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:18-19, NKJV).

The kingdom is manifested on earth presently through the church. Peter has just identified Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). This confession is the solid rock on which the church is built. The truth of this confession is rejected by many. Peter explains this in 1 Peter 2:4-7. Christ gives Peter keys to share so all interested could have access to the kingdom of Heaven. Why is this significant? It is the reminder that the church isn’t just an earthly gathering of people who want to do good works and find purpose. Every strand of fiber of who we are in the church goes back to eternity. We have an eternal King who rules with eternity in mind leading us to eternal life starting now as members of His body and on to Heaven.

Today I will…read Acts 2 with a concentration on the keys Peter used to give access to the kingdom. Give consideration to verses 41-47 and how those who became a part of the kingdom generously shared, frequently fellowshipped, and joyfully praised God. Now consider whether or not we, individually and congregationally, resemble the citizens of the kingdom in Acts 2.