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DOCTRINE QUESTION 51
Could you explain Matthew 16:19? Did Peter have the keys to heaven?
The idea that Peter is the gatekeeper to heaven and nobody gets in unless he says so, is purely fiction and has no foundation in the Bible. There is only one door into heaven. John 10:9, Jesus said, "I am the door, by me if any man enter in he shall be saved. . . ."
The scripture in Matthew 16:19 reads "I will give unto thee (Peter) the keys to the kingdom of heaven . . . " A study of Matthew 13 will show you that the kingdom of heaven is not heaven. It contains wheat and tares, good and bad. It is the realm of professing Christianity. The keys given to Peter are in the plural. He used these on three occasion in Acts in opening the door of salvation to all men. He was God chosen vessel for this event. In Acts 2:37-38, he opens it to the Jewish Nation and three thousand were saved. In Acts 8, he confirms the acceptance of the Samaritans in God's kingdom. In Acts 10, he opens the kingdom to the Gentile world. He had the keys. His was delegated authority to declare forgiveness to all through the blood of Christ. Peter never forgave anybody their sins. He told the Gentiles that ". . . through His name whosoever believeth on Him would receive forgiveness of sin." He told the Jews to "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out . . . " The keys have served their purpose and are not in use today.
The door is wide open. Have you entered yet? Soon that door will close and it will be eternally too late. Trust Him today. Christians, rejoice in this blessedness. Sinners, repent and accept the Saviour to know the joy of sins forgiven.
All comments and questions to: Harold Smith
Updated July 2009, by Shelly Allen