Keys of the Kingdom
By Larry d. Wright
“I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom”
Keys are important because they unlock closed doors and open new opportunities. Jesus rebuked the scribes when he said, "Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering." It is a serious matter to fail to use your keys!
The church has been given the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, the responsibility of the Church is to unlock and illuminate the truths of God and his kingdom especially those truths that relate to the gospel message.
Jesus commanded, “Go ye therefore and teach all nations…” and yet there are still those who ask, “What right do we have to do this?” We have the right to do this because we have been given some keys. They are the source of our authority.
In New Testament times a servant was given the keys to his master’s storehouse. The master of the house trusted his servant and gave him the authority to access the essentials of life so he could distribute the goods to the family. Likewise, the church has been given authority to proclaim the Way to a world that has lost its way and the privilege to declare salvation to those who haven’t heard.
We have a responsibility to reveal God’s truth to a lost world because we alone have been trusted with the keys. There was once a missionary preaching the gospel to a lost tribe. One of the natives was elated about this exciting good news so he asked the question, “Why haven’t I heard this good news before? Why hasn’t my father and grandfather heard it before? You said this story is over 2000 years old and yet so many have not heard. Why?”
Keys represent authority. Thus Jesus gave to the church His authority, and left the church with the responsibility to carry out His work. The keys are not trophies to display but tools to unlock closed doors. “The message that pulsates through the New Testament, the incredible challenge that comes again to the church in every generation, is that the church is the mind through which Christ thinks, the heart through which Christ loves, the voice through which Christ speaks, the hands through which Christ helps, the body of believers through whom Christ works.” (Ed Wood, “What’s Right with the Church?”)
That is why we have been given the keys.