He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven…” – Matthew 16:15-19a
Jesus is talking to His preacher leaders of the church when He says, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” He is saying that church work is kingdom work. He had given the apostles the truth of His gospel. As they preached this gospel, He saved men and women and young people. And as they were saved, they were added into His kingdom. This gospel is the key to the kingdom – not a man, not a personality, but the gospel. So He is saying that He is going to build His church through His gospel, and His church is His ministry of building His kingdom until He comes again to establish the literal kingdom on the earth.
So we are to find a solid, bible-believing, glory of God focused, Christ honoring church and join it and be faithful to it. We cannot be neglectful to the centerpiece of God’s work, the church.
I am reminded of the queen’s house in Greenwich, England. The queen’s house in Greenwich, England, is a great big rectangle and quite bland. It is a majestic building, but it’s not very ornate. The queen doesn’t live there anymore, so they have basically turned it into an art museum. But, one thing that blows you away when you walk into this house is the staircase. It was built in 1616 and was the first unsupported spiral staircase built in England. It is a work of art. When you go into the queen’s house in Greenwich, England, you won’t notice much about the doors or the windows, but you will be awestruck by the staircase. As a matter of fact, it can be said that if you miss the staircase, you have missed the house.
Brothers and sisters, if you are servants of God, you cannot miss having the right profession, which is a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. You cannot miss having the right service and ministry, which is a service and ministry in and through God’s local church. Join it, be faithful to it, and don’t neglect it. I am going to serve in His church because it is the centerpiece of His work. If I miss the church, I miss it all.