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A Biblical Investigation Into The Keys of The Kingdom of Heaven

Updated:- Wednesday, October 18th, 2023

What Are The Keys of The Kingdom of Heaven?

We use keys to open doors! So, how did Apostle Peter use the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven to grant access to others?

So, what are the keys of the kingdom of heaven and how do we obtain them? Are they actual or symbolic keys? Are they the keys of Heaven?

Jesus, in Matthew, Chapter 16, asked his disciples who he was. To this, they gave him a generic answer.

As Christ pursued the question further, Peter told him, you are the Son of the Living God.

To this, Jesus replied:

Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Matthew 16:17-19

Thus, the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven obviously grant access to the kingdom and not to Heaven. They are not the keys of Heaven!

In the context above, Christ is talking about building His church upon a solid foundation. But that foundation is not His disciples but on the revelation of him. People are not the very foundation of the church, but Christ is.

But we are His body. His mouth, hands, and feet!

the-keys-of-the-kingdom

What Are The Keys of The Kingdom of Heaven?

Peter’s answer was different from that of the other apostles, and Jesus recognized it. Therefore, let us break down the above passage to understand what Christ meant.

Firstly, Peter didn’t logically come to the conclusion that Christ is the Son of God. The Lord gave him that revelation. It was the supernatural work of God.

As Christ was building his church He gave his disciples the procedures to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Thus, the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven are laws and concepts that Jesus gave to his disciples which are procedures to use in the kingdom!

Therefore, what exactly are the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven? There are no “keys to the kingdom”! But there are many Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven!

How Do We Enter The Kingdom of God?

They could invite the people of the world to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. But how does a person enter the Kingdom of Heaven, according to the Scriptures?

Jesus instructs us,

Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

John 3:5

Unless we’re born again we can’t enter the Kingdom of God. Are you born-again? Do you recall the exact date this happened?

It’s important to point out an important consideration concerning the usage of the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God in the Bible.

It uses them interchangeably and they mean the identical thing.

Other Ways To Enter The Kingdom

Jesus supplies another requirement to enter the kingdom. Listen as he explains:

For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:20.

Therefore, only righteous people can enter the kingdom. But yours must supersede that of the religious people.

The Scripture says that we’re all born in sin (Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:12).

We’re all dead people walking around because we’re dead in our trespasses. But the glory and salvation of God change everything. As soon as we receive the gift of salvation, we’re born into the family of God.

The Seal of The Holy Ghost!

We become children of God. God seals us with His Holy Spirit, who is a mark of salvation and the promise of eternal life.

We are nothing without the Gospel. The Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven are the very essence of the Gospel. Thus, without the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we could never be reconciled to God.

The wages of sin is death. We were all dead in sin. But Christ saved us all. Then, he gave us the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Yes, you and I have the keys. The question is, what will you do with them?

When Jesus gave us the Great Commission.

He says,

Jesus’ Teaching on The Kingdom!

“Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”

Spreading the Gospel is utilizing the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven and inviting people to God.

Another question that arises here is, would Christ close the doors to heaven?

Jesus teaches,

Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

John 3:18

We have to believe in Christ in order to be saved; faith is a necessity. Without faith, there is no salvation. Without faith, we cannot unlock the door to the Kingdom of Heaven.

It’s that simple. Unless we repent and come to the saving grace of God, we cannot receive the Keys.

How To Use The Keys of the Kingdom?

I must reiterate that the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven are not keys to Heaven. The Kingdom of Heaven is NOT Heaven! Just as there are no keys to the kingdom of Heaven there are no keys to Heaven.

As Believers in Jesus Christ, we utilize the keys of the Kingdom at different times. First, we need them to gain access to it.

Second, if we use them correctly they ensure that we remain in the Kingdom. Third, a correct understanding of the keys teaches us the proper and correct functions and day-to-day operations of the Kingdom.

Consequently, Believers who possess the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven use them confidently and with the power of God and Heaven.

Finally, how we demonstrate that we possess the keys explains the authority and power that we possess with God.

How Many Keys of The Kingdom Are There?

What Are The Keys To The Kingdom of Heaven?

As I said earlier, in this Bible Study, I shall repeat it here. There are NO keys to the Kingdom, just Keys of the Kingdom!

There are ten keys to the kingdom. There are more but I’m starting with these. They welcome the Kingdom of God into our lives. They are:

  1. Prayer: Prayer is talking to God. If you do not have a strong prayer life, you cannot have a thriving relationship with God. God is waiting for His children to ask Him for things. The Bible says in 1 John 5:14-15, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” God is waiting to answer our prayers.
    Another verse that talks about God and prayer is Psalm 34:15, “The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry.” God is always attentive to our words, oftentimes waiting for us to call out to Him. To use the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven and to unlock the riches of the Kingdom, we must pray daily and effectively.
  2. God’s presence: The presence of God is essential; it is important for every believer to invite the presence of God into their lives. Without His presence, we cannot live the Christian life. The Bible says in Psalm 16:11, “You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” The fullness of joy is in God’s presence. We were made to love and be loved by God; we were made for His presence. We need to stay saturated in His presence. When God is involved in our life and daily decisions, we hear His voice often and follow His direction better. As believers, we’re supposed to live in the will of God, and we practice His presence daily; we cannot discern His will.
  3. The Word of God: God’s Word is the very bread we eat. His Word is a lamp and lights the path we walk on (Psalm 119:105). The Bible says in Joshua 1:8, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” The key to being successful and prosperous is the Word of God. We need to regularly read His Word to hear His voice. His will is always written in His Word, and that is how we find the path of life. The Word of God opens the very treasures of God because it is His voice, so we cannot neglect His Word. We need to study it regularly and do what it says.
  4. Faith: Faith is the very essence of being a believer. The Bible says in Hebrews 11:6, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” We must have faith, and faith comes by reading God’s Word. Faith is the key to God’s heart.
  5. The power of Repentance: We need the Gospel every single day. As human beings, we sin. Until we live in the flesh, we’re going to sin because that’s what the flesh wants; it is just a part of who we are. We need to be cleansed with God’s blood every day, and so we need to repent. The Bible says in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” When we repent, God hears and forgives us. He isn’t too busy or far away to hear our cries. When we repent in humility and with a clean heart, He will forgive us.
  6. Boldly walking with Christ: As children of God, we need to be bold. We’re a chosen people, a royal priesthood, God’s special possession (1 Peter 2:9). We’re called to live a life of bold faith in Christ Jesus. The Bible says in Luke 10:19, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” We already have the authority in Christ; we just need to claim and use it.
  7. Generosity: God loves a generous giver. Generosity opens many, many doors. The Bible says in Proverbs 18:16, “A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.” As believers, we must always keep God first; the rest will automatically follow. We must seek His Kingdom first.
  8. Staying saturated in the Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit is a mark of salvation. If you do not have the Spirit of God dwelling in you, you’re not saved. We must, at all times, stay saturated in God’s Spirit. The Bible says in Luke 11:13, “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Ask the Lord for increasing measures of His Holy Spirit; we need to be filled with the Spirit because the world is filled with distractions and sin. When we’re saturated with His Spirit, we learn to hear His voice and heed His direction.
  9. Put on the complete Armor of God: Every believer must put on the complete Armor of God to fight the schemes of the devil. The Bible says in Ephesians 6:14-17, “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” We cannot fight the devil in our own strength; we need the power of the Holy Spirit to resist him.
  10. Fasting: Fasting coupled with prayer provides a massive amount of benefits. Jesus led a life of fasting and prayer, and we must follow His lead. We’re called to be a consecrated generation. In order to live a holy and righteous life, we must seek God in all that we do. Fasting disciplines us and brings us to the cross. It shows us how weak we are and how much we need God.

Did Apostle Peter Actually Receive The Keys of the Kingdom?

Peter was a leader among the disciples. Jesus had twelve disciples, but only three of them were a part of His inner circle. They were Peter, James, and John.

But of the three, Peter was the closest to Christ. Thus, he received the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. He used them to open the doors of the kingdom on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2).

The Jews received the baptism of the Holy Ghost for the first time on that day.

Later, Peter used the keys of the Kingdom to open the door to the Samaritans (Acts 8:14-17). And he also used them to unlock the doors of the kingdom with his Gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 10).

Another question that comes to mind is, when did Apostle Peter receive the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven? It was immediately after Christ had told him about building a church on the rock (Matthew 16:17-19).

How Did He Get Them?

Peter received the Keys through His faith. He wasn’t special or anything; He simply believed that Christ was the Son of God, and that answer pleased Jesus. That is why Jesus rewarded him with the authority of the keys.

Why Did Jesus Give Peter the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven?

Christ gave Peter the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven because he pleased Him. Peter was extremely loyal to Christ. Regardless of what he went through, He didn’t let go of His faith in Christ.

Even when the Pharisees attacked and condemned Christ, Peter obeyed and followed Him.

In the garden of Gethsemane, when the soldiers came to arrest Christ, Peter was the only one to fight back. He cut off the ear of a soldier in order to save Christ.

This shows his love for Christ. At the end of his life, Peter chose to be crucified upside down; he gave up his life for Christ. The man proved his love for Christ time and again, and Jesus took delight in this.

Conclusion

I have explained the meaning of the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. We have also seen and studied the different keys to the kingdom of heaven.

I have also explored why Apostle Peter received the Keys to the Kingdom of God. And I have also demonstrated when and how he got them.

Jesus gave him the keys because of his faith and love for God. This man is a testimony of the beautiful life that he lived for Christ. He changed the world. In the same way, we must follow his example and live for Christ.

We must utilize the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven and spread the Gospel to all the peoples of the earth.

Leroy A. Daley

Leroy A. Daley is an author, blogger, YouTuber, and Bible teacher. Globally, he's helped hundreds of Christians understand the Bible better. He has been studying and teaching the Bible for more than forty years. He is passionate about the Lord and spends quality time with the Word of God every day. His Books are available for purchase wherever books are sold.

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