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In Matthew 16:13-20, Jesus spoke of the “keys of the kingdom of heaven”. In Acts 2:22ff, Peter and the other 11 Apostles used those “keys” open the doors.

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Presentation on theme: "In Matthew 16:13-20, Jesus spoke of the “keys of the kingdom of heaven”. In Acts 2:22ff, Peter and the other 11 Apostles used those “keys” open the doors."— Presentation transcript:

1 In Matthew 16:13-20, Jesus spoke of the “keys of the kingdom of heaven”. In Acts 2:22ff, Peter and the other 11 Apostles used those “keys” open the doors of that kingdom through the preaching of salvation in Jesus Christ. But keys have two purposes: One is to open, and the other is to lock, or close. In Matthew 23:13, Jesus said that some then had “shut off the kingdom of heaven…” Are you opening, or shutting off the kingdom of heaven?

2 Shutting Off the Kingdom of Heaven from Men, Matthew 23:13 Note first from the preceding chapter that 3 distinct groups have tried to trip up Jesus: -Herodians, 22:15-22; they favored the dynasty of Herod; advocated peace at any price with Rome; they asked about paying taxes to Caesar -Saducees, 22:23-33; did not believe in spirits, or the resurrection from the dead; they asked about resurrected marriage -Pharisees, 22:34-40; believed in spirits and resurrection, but were excessively devoted to law-keeping; they asked about the greatest commandment

3 Shutting Off the Kingdom of Heaven from Men, Matthew 23:13 From the background of chp.22, comes the discourse of chp.23. Chronologically, it was at the very end of Jesus’ earthly ministry. Jesus had proclaimed “the gospel of the kingdom” from the outset, Matt.4:23. Obviously, His teaching was preparatory in nature and did not become “of force” until after His death. At every turn, these folks tried their very best to thwart His efforts. Matt.23:13 tells how they did so….

4 Shutting Off the Kingdom of Heaven from Men, Matthew 23:13 So, how did they endeavor to shut off the kingdom? 1. “you did not enter in yourselves” >They were leaders, teachers, and custodians of God’s Law; as such, should have been the first to enter, showing the way to those in their charge. >They did the opposite, John 7:48. >They rejected Him because He was not one of “them”. 2. “nor do you allow those who are entering to go in” >Notice their efforts to stop others from entering: -Matt.12:24 “by Beelzebul” -John 9:13-41 “we know this man is a sinner” -John 12:42 “because of the Pharisess…” -John 9:22 “if any should confess…be put out”

5 Shutting Off the Kingdom of Heaven from Men, Matthew 23:13 How do we “shut off the kingdom” today? 1. Our own manifested attitude toward our religion. >Closet Christians? Matt.10:32 >Ball and Chain Christians or blessing and privilege? >have to Christians, or want to Christians? >castigating and deriding, or loving and concerned? >something we also do, or who we are? >recklessly haphazard, or devotedly religious?

6 Shutting Off the Kingdom of Heaven from Men, Matthew 23:13 How do we “shut off the kingdom” today? 2. Proclaim or Promote how difficult the Christian Life is, Matt.11: But why? >We make it so through unrepentant hearts and lack of submission ourselves, 1John 5:3. >We want to elevate ourselves to an exclusive club, Mk.16: Tim.2:4 >So we will feel better regarding our own failures, Jas.4:17 >So we will be smarter to understand the mystery, Gal.4:17

7 Shutting Off the Kingdom of Heaven from Men, Matthew 23:13 How do we “shut off the kingdom” today? 3. By practicing Church-House Religion / Evangelism “Look at all we have (built) here: >a ‘full-time’ preacher >a modern, nice, pretty facility >a full slate of regular meeting times >special services twice a year >a good location on a busy street >even a lighted sign! “We’ve all the necessary ‘things’….all they need to do is show up and be converted!” Luke 14:16-24

8 Shutting Off the Kingdom of Heaven from Men, Matthew 23:13 How do we “shut off the kingdom” today? 4. By presenting the Truth of the gospel arrogantly, unnecessarily harsh, or even maliciously instead of in keeping with Jesus’ intent and motive, Luke 19:10. We can tell the brethren what’s wrong with every major denomination under the sun; we can rant and rave and set all kinds of straw men arguments and fail to lovingly and sincerely win souls to Christ! We can teach the gospel to prove I’m right (and you’re wrong) rather than to convert men to it. Or, we can use the gospel as the key to open the kingdom of heaven! Which will it be: Opening or Shutting the Kingdom of Heaven?

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