A Key to the City

Matthew 16:13-19 says, “13When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Have you ever heard of the tradition of an individual being given, “The Key to the City”? The granting of the Key to the City is a symbolic presentation which represents the highest honor that a city can confer on an individual or an organization. The tradition of using a key dates back to medieval times, when many cities were enclosed within walled fortifications. The key symbolized the political relationship between a city and the king or ruler of the land on which the city was located. When that ruler visited the city for the first time after assuming power, the authorities would formally greet him at the gates and hand over a key to signify that the city was now under his control. The key would then be returned by the ruler to the city authorities to acknowledge that he intended to respect the political authority of those who administered the city. (link)

The day that you “confessed with your mouth the LORD Jesus and believed in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead” was the very day where God gave you the “key to the city”, not of a city that is earthly, but one that is heavenly (Romans 10:9)! One place we read in scripture where the church was destined and promised to receive the keys to the kingdom of God was in Matthew 16:13-19.

Jesus had given Peter such a kingdom authority that what ever he spoke or did on earth would be backed up in heaven. It is a good thing when God has got your back. It was evident that he had received the keys to the kingdom of God because he was the one to stand up and preach on the Day of Pentecost and at least 3,000 souls gave their hearts to Jesus Christ. He was the first to preach the message of the gospel to both the Jew and the Gentile. Signs, wonders, and miracles followed and confirmed the message of truth he declared, insomuch that people longed to just step in their shadow and they were healed. Such a key is still available to every believer today.

A key exists for the believer to bear such an authority that whatever you bind, such as cancer, and loose, such as healing and peace, on this earth that God would do the same in heaven. It does not say that whatever God binds you bind or whatever God looses you loose, but whatever you bind and loose He will do the same because your life is found upon the Rock of Jesus Christ! In salvation, you have a key that unlocks the windows of heaven so God can pour out such a blessing that there would be not enough room to receive it. You have such a key that you can open or shut heaven, which is distinguished through obedience or disobedience to God’s Word. Disobedience creates a brazen heaven and an iron earth, meaning that rain will not fall and fruit will not be produced (Deuteronomy 28:23). The only cure for a latter day outpouring and a harvest of souls is obedience. Through obedience, not only can you open the windows of heaven with a kingdom authority, but you can also shut the gates of hell. According to Isaiah 5:14, hell enlarges her borders everyday, and we are wasting too much time allowing souls to die lost and spend eternity in hell. We must be a voice and proclaim who Jesus is through our actions and dead. Hell should not be prevailing over the church, but we should be prevailing over Hell! It can only happen through our obedience and knowing our position in God. If you cannot convince a police officer that he cannot pull you over because he does not have the badge or place of authority to do so, then why should you let the enemy deceive you to believe you have no authority? Grasp the revelation of the kingdom of God because it has arrived! It is within you!

Now, we have been given the keys to the city! Matthew 18:18-20 says, “18Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” The keys to the kingdom set people free from imprisonment. The key can lock or unlock chains that bind people up. We cannot misuse or abuse our authority believing that everyone has to serve us, but we must deny ourselves and take upon ourselves the identity of Jesus Christ in the form of a humble servant. It is using the key of faith in scripture to shut the gates of hell and opening the windows of heaven. It is about using the right keys in the right door. Sometimes we have the right key and the wrong door, which means that not every place will accept our message of truth from God’s Word and that we should follow the leading of the Spirit. Other times, we have the wrong key and the right door, meaning that we are going to the place where God wants us to go, such as reaching out for our healing, but we are using keys of doubt and fear, and it is not working. We must use the keys to the Kingdom if we want to see breakthrough! For example, we read in scripture concerning the key of David because David was king in which the lineage of Christ would come through. It displayed God’s choice of destined and eternal authority! Isaiah 22:22 says, “And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.” Revelation 3:7 says, “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth.” In other words, Jesus Christ holds the key of David, a key that He longs to use in the life of a believer. David was anointed to be king at 17, but he did not take the throne till he was 30 because you must go through a season of preparation before you are released into a greater work. That preparation time may take a while, and you may already know where God is taking you, but don’t allow where God is taking you to get you to rush His plans for your life out of impatience and rebel against the authority that is over you now. There is always a season of release, and you must wait patiently for God to give you that moment in time. He wants to open doors of opportunity for your life, while, at the same time, shut doors that can lead to traps of the enemy. While you may not understand in certain seasons of your life why certain doors may be shut, just know that God knows what is best for your life, and if you are a believer, put all of your faith in God, knowing that as long as you seek His face, His Word will be a lamp to your feet and a light to your path, guiding you in the direction that is best for you!

We have the very tool we need to lead people to freedom in Christ, and we can no longer be shy about it. It is time to use the keys, and we cannot be ashamed. Mark 8:34-38 says, “34And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 35For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. 36For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? 37Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 38Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” In correlation from the same story in Matthew, it was amazing that Jesus first called the “crowd” along with His disciples, which would more than likely be the Pan worshipers. He was speaking to them to not lose their soul and spend eternity in hell be seeking pleasure in it and being a part of a sinful and adulterous generation. He was illustrating how important their soul was and that the world was not worth gaining. There is eternal hope that they could have, and it was not through temporary fulfillment in perversion or ungodly music. It was all about believing upon Jesus Christ as the Son of the Living God and being part of this powerful, supernatural Kingdom! We must not be ashamed, but rather deny our identity, take upon ourselves the burden of Christ, and follow Him with everything inside of us, and then we can become like Him! If we do not want God to be ashamed of us when He returns, then we must not be ashamed of Him!