He (Jesus) said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades (hell) 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 16:15-19
Jesus told His disciples to go out and preach that the kingdom of heaven is near (Matt. 10:7). We are not to tease people by saying, “The kingdom of heaven is near but you cannot enter it.” We are to grant access to the kingdom. So, it follows that we would need the keys to the kingdom to grant access.
Right after Jesus told his disciples to preach the kingdom, He talked about access:
Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. Matthew 10:8
I don’t own the kingdom – I just hand it out to those to whom God directs.
Jesus told Simon: “You are blessed because of the revelation you have received. You are now to be called, ‘Peter’ – a small stone. Your size is not significant. What you are made of and a part of is. Using people like you, a gigantic Gibraltar sized living rock will be built by Me – that looks like Me and glorifies Me. The authority of Hell will recognize it as My body and will assault it but shall not prevail against its purpose.”
“This rock (church) will be delegated the keys of access to My kingdom. They will know by revelation from My Father what is authorized for release from the kingdom of heaven and what is not of the kingdom. Through that revelation, they will conduct kingdom business on the earth – accurately reflecting Me in both action and character.”
Okay, this is my translation but according to study, I believe it to be accurately done.
This year, we must “step up” our kingdom business.
Think of how ashamed you would be if someone very important gave you keys to their business and home to take care of it while they are away. You are to conduct business as usual, so that things continue on in their physical absence. At some point, the owner returns. He asks you, “How did things go?” You reach in your pocket and hand the keys back to the owner and say, “Well, I never went there.” Or, “I didn’t believe I had permission to go.”
The owner will answer, “Well, I gave you the keys! Of course, you had permission! What other revelation do you need from me?”
Or, the owner might say, “What do you mean you never went there? I guess my business and friendship is not important to you. You can’t be trusted with my things.”
The church (that’s you and me) have been entrusted with the keys to the kingdom. It’s time to step up our prayer life, our knowledge of the Bible and be obedient to the Lord. We are carrying on kingdom business now:
Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. Ephesians 3:8-11
The church is the administrator of God’s manifold wisdom. As administrator, we have the keys.
Pull the keys out of your pocket and get busy! It’s time to release what God has done! One day, when He returns to find out what you have done with His things, I want you to hear this from Him, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful as a small stone! Now, come enjoy the riches of the Rock!”