Keys of the Kingdom
Insights - Apr 25, 2021 Author: Jeanette Green

Keys of the Kingdom

Often along my journey with Christ, I have wondered how to share the gift He has given me, clearly and understandably. It troubled me that I couldn’t verbalize what was in my heart. Because how will anyone know the tune that is being played if the notes aren’t sounded distinctly? (1 Co 14:7)
So, I prayed, “Father God, please help me understand what the most basic things of the gospel are.”
God lead me to the gospel of Matthew.
Mat 16:15-19 "What about you?" he asked them. "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."
"Good for you, Simon son of John!" answered Jesus. "For this truth did not come to you from any human being, but it was given to you directly by my Father in heaven. And so I tell you, Peter: you are a rock, and on this rock foundation I will build my church, and not even death will ever be able to overcome it. I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven; what you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, and what you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven."

A cue card with keywords
As I read this passage where Jesus told Peter that He will give him the keys of the kingdom, I saw a vision of a public speaker giving a speech, holding cue cards in his hands.
And then God whispered in my heart, “A cue card holds keywords that frame the speaker’s entire speech. The keywords trigger the speaker’s memory so that he can fluently present the full idea. You can look at the keys of the kingdom as keywords that frame the core values of the Christian journey.”

Keys of the kingdom revealed through conversations
“I told Peter that I will give him the keys to the kingdom. If you read further, you will notice a few conversations between Myself and Peter. I gave Peter words. They are keywords, that frame the gospel. If you understand those fundamental truths, My kingdom will be open for you. But if you do not understand them, My kingdom will be locked, for you. You will not be able to enter in.

Incorrect application of the keys
“Straight after this passage, where I told Peter that I will give him the keys, follows a passage that illustrates an incorrect use of ‘the keys of the kingdom.’
I revealed that I must return to Jerusalem, where I will suffer, die, and three days later, be raised to life.
Peter said, ‘God forbid it, Lord. This must never happen to you.’
I corrected him, by saying, ‘Get away from me, Satan! You are an obstacle in my way, because these thoughts of yours don't come from God, but from human nature.’ (Mat 16:23)
Remember that My ways are not your ways. You must have your mind renewed so that You can understand My perfect will.”

Key 1 – Pick up your Cross
“The crucial fundamental of the gospel is that the cross of Christ is the power of God. And that if you want to follow Me, you must pick up your cross and follow after Me. Lose your life, to find it.”
Mat 16:24-26>Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If any of you want to come with me, you must forget yourself, carry your cross, and follow me. For if you want to save your own life, you will lose it; but if you lose your life for my sake, you will find it. Will you gain anything if you win the whole world but lose your life? Of course not! There is nothing you can give to regain your life.

Key 2 - Jesus is the Son of God
“To enter into My victorious reign and rule, you must understand that I am the Son of God. I am the way, the truth, and the life. As My follower, your faith must be built on the Rock of Christ, alone.
On the mount of transfiguration, Peter wanted to build three tents, one for Me, one for Moses (symbolic of the law), and one for Elijah (symbolic of the prophets). Father made it clear that I am His Son, and from this point on they had to listen to Me.”
Mat 17:2-7> As they looked on, a change came over Jesus: his face was shining like the sun, and his clothes were dazzling white. Then the three disciples saw Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus. So Peter spoke up and said to Jesus, "Lord, how good it is that we are here! If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." While he was talking, a shining cloud came over them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my own dear Son, with whom I am pleased---listen to him!" When the disciples heard the voice, they were so terrified that they threw themselves face downward on the ground. Jesus came to them and touched them. "Get up," he said. "Don't be afraid!"

Key 3 – Citizens are free
“If you belong to Me you are completely free. You don’t need to pay for your sin. But just like I lay down my life out of my own free will, you lay down yours. In order not to offend this world, you adhere to its rules, even though you are not bound by them.
Mat 17:24-27>When Jesus and his disciples came to Capernaum, the collectors of the Temple tax came to Peter and asked, "Does your teacher pay the Temple tax?" "Of course," Peter answered. When Peter went into the house, Jesus spoke up first, "Simon, what is your opinion? Who pays duties or taxes to the kings of this world? The citizens of the country or the foreigners?" "The foreigners," answered Peter. "Well, then," replied Jesus, "that means that the citizens don't have to pay. But we don't want to offend these people. So go to the lake and drop in a line. Pull up the first fish you hook, and in its mouth you will find a coin worth enough for my Temple tax and yours. Take it and pay them our taxes."

Key 4 – Forgiveness
“To enter into My kingdom, you must forgive. Extend grace to receive it.”
Mat 18:21-35>Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, if my brother keeps on sinning against me, how many times do I have to forgive him? Seven times?" "No, not seven times," answered Jesus, "but seventy times seven, because the Kingdom of heaven is like this. Once there was a king who decided to check on his servants' accounts. He had just begun to do so when one of them was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. The servant did not have enough to pay his debt, so the king ordered him to be sold as a slave, with his wife and his children and all that he had, to pay the debt. The servant fell on his knees before the king. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay you everything!' The king felt sorry for him, so he forgave him the debt and let him go. "Then the man went out and met one of his fellow servants who owed him a few dollars. He grabbed him and started choking him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he said. His fellow servant fell down and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back!' But he refused; instead, he had him thrown into jail until he should pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were very upset and went to the king and told him everything. So he called the servant in. 'You worthless slave!' he said. 'I forgave you the whole amount you owed me, just because you asked me to. You should have had mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you.' The king was very angry, and he sent the servant to jail to be punished until he should pay back the whole amount." And Jesus concluded, "That is how my Father in heaven will treat every one of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."

Key 5 – Reward
“To enter My kingdom, it is important that you know and believe that I am a rewarder of those who diligently seek me. And that you have a vision of the reward that I am keeping for you in heaven. How can you run the race as one who wants to win, if you do not envisage the prize?”
Mat 19:27-30>Then Peter spoke up. "Look," he said, "we have left everything and followed you. What will we have?" Jesus said to them, "You can be sure that when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne in the New Age, then you twelve followers of mine will also sit on thrones, to rule the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake, will receive a hundred times more and will be given eternal life. But many who now are first will be last, and many who now are last will be first.

Key 6 – Humility and Testing
“Don’t think you stand, lest you fall. Remember that you are saved by grace. Your own righteousness is filthy rags. Clothe yourself with humility. Because I oppose the proud. You know that there were times in your life when you said ‘I will never…’ And you discovered that those very things you swore you would never do, you ended up doing. Your pride leads to your fall.
As a Christian, you will be tested. Testing is part of every Christian’s walk of faith. Make peace with that, and instead of rebelling against the process, push into the experience to learn from it all you can. Because when you come out on the other side of your testing, you must strengthen your fellow believers.
Mat 26:33-35> Peter spoke up and said to Jesus, "I will never leave you, even though all the rest do!" Jesus said to Peter, "I tell you that before the rooster crows tonight, you will say three times that you do not know me." Peter answered, "I will never say that, even if I have to die with you!" And all the other disciples said the same thing.
Luk 22:31-34> “Simon, Simon! Listen! Satan has received permission to test all of you, to separate the good from the bad, as a farmer separates the wheat from the chaff. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith will not fail. And when you turn back to me, you must strengthen your brothers." Peter answered, "Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you and to die with you!" "I tell you, Peter," Jesus said, "the rooster will not crow tonight until you have said three times that you do not know me."

Key 7 – Prayer
“To enter the kingdom of God, you must watch and pray. Live consciously, do not just drift through life. The Holy Spirit will warn you when testing times are upon you, so that you can prepare and pray.
Mat 26:40-41>Then he returned to the three disciples and found them asleep; and he said to Peter, "How is it that you three were not able to keep watch with me for even one hour? Keep watch and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

Conclusion
This conversation I had with God gave me a fresh perspective that freed me from my constant attempts to try and buy myself free through doing good works. And it led me into a place of being able to experience joy and peace, within my difficult circumstances.

Prayer
Father God, please give us an understanding of the core principles of Your Kingdom, help us to enter into Your victorious reign and rule. Thank you for Your assurance, that even though our faith will get tested, You have prayed for us, that our faith will hold. God, please help us understand the lessons You teach us through these periods of testing and fill us with the love and compassion we need to strengthen our fellow believers who go through the same tests. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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