Keys to Kingdom of Heaven

To understand the keys to the kingdom of heaven, it is helpful to understand the definition of the kingdom. The kingdom is where God reigns and exercises His authority. It is the realm in which God reigns as King. By letting God reign in the minds and hearts of those who have made Jesus Christ the Lord of their lives, experience the kingdom of God.

Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven

The kingdom of God was the theme of Jesus’ message during His earthly ministry. Jesus was a great teacher who taught with authority. He explained in many ways what the kingdom was all about and how man could enter the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus taught more about the kingdom than any other subject during His three years on earth. He told the people to “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

Matthew 3:1-4

In those days, John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” For this is He who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying:

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make His paths straight.’ ”

Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.

Just as Isaiah had said hundreds of years earlier, John the Baptist came preaching the good news of the coming of Christ. He did not go to the metropolis of Jerusalem; he preached in the wilderness, and people flocked to hear him.

John was the first prophet to speak to the people in more than 400 years. It was just as Amos had prophesied; “the famine of hearing the words of the Lord” (Amos 8:11-12). The famine was over, and the people were ready for the good news of the coming of the Messiah, and they sought John out.

John provided the first of the keys to the kingdom of heaven. It was “Repent.”

Jesus started and ended His Ministry Teaching about the Kingdom of Heaven

According to Matthew 4:17, Jesus’ first words when he began His public ministry were, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” (NLT)

Before Jesus began His teaching and healing ministry, He had been baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. He then went to the wilderness of Judea to fast for 40 days and nights. By the end of the 40 days, Jesus was very hungry, and Satan came to tempt Him. Of course, He overcame all of Satan’s temptations.

Jesus returned to Galilee to begin preaching the good news. “Now, after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:14-15).

Thus, Jesus went throughout the land, teaching and preaching the kingdom. “Butseek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

In the first chapter of Acts, Luke tells us that Jesus taught until the day in which He was taken up into heaven. Jesus presented Himself alive after His crucifixion and showed many proofs He had risen from the grave. He offered “infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:1-3).

Understanding the Keys
to Kingdom of Heaven

The Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven show man how he can enter God’s kingdom. Matthew 16:19 Jesus said, “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.” The keys provide an understanding of spiritual things, whether on earth or in heaven.

Jesus and His disciples traveled to Caesarea Philippi, about 25 miles from Capernaum and on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. It was here that Jesus asked His disciples two questions. The first, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” and the second, “But who do you say I am?”

The disciples answered the first question, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” Peter answered the second question, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Peter’s answer revealed another one of the keys to the kingdom of heaven, and that is knowing who Jesus is. It doesn’t matter what people say about who Jesus is; what matters most is personally knowing and understanding who He is.   

The believer who repents and accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior receives the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. The pathway to becoming close to Christ and living as He would have us live is putting Christ first in our lives and seeking first the kingdom of God.