In Matt. 16:19 Jesus tells us that we have been given the "keys of
the Kingdom of God". What does this mean? What are the keys to Godís
kingdom? There has been a number of answers to this question over the
centuries. Maybe the answer is not all the simple. Maybe the answer is
multi faceted, that is, more than one aspect making up one answer.
Luther, Calvin and others believed that the "keys of the
Kingdom" is the proclamation of the gospel. Simply put, when we
preach the gospel, the door to Heaven is open, allowing the Holy Spirit
come and convict of sin and lead us to Jesus. If this is true, then when
we preach the good news our Lord opens the door to Heaven.
Yet there is another door open as well when we preach the gospel with
the aid of the Holy Spirit. In Acts 16 we read the story of Paul preaching
to certain women just outside the gates of Philippi by the banks of a
river. Acts 16:14 says that the "Lord opened her heart to Paulís
message". Here is another door opening when the gospel is preached.
So here it is. When the gospel is preached, and if that is truly the
"key to the Kingdom", then two doors open simultaneously. The
door to Heaven is opening, allowing the Holy Spirit to come and open the
heartís door to those listening to the preached word. At this point the
person listening makes a choice, either for or against what he hears.
To me this is very interesting. When the gospel is properly preached,
both Heavenís door and our heartís door is open at the same time,
bringing salvation to the person listening to the message.