I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.
And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
In 1869 Charles H. Spurgeon delivered a sermon he titled Christ with the Keys of Death and Hell. After reading this sermon I am very thankful Jesus kept this key. He alone has the right to judge. He alone is worthy to do this justly for he knows the hearts of man and knows all that took place in heaven when the archangel Lucifer rebelled and was cast out of heaven. The Word is clear what his ultimate fate will be but for now Satan still has access to the throne of God and he goes all the time to accuse God’s children. Remember Job? Remember the last time the thought went through your sweet head that you are worthless, beyond saving, to stained to be made clean? Trust me those thoughts did not come from the Savior who gave His life for you.
According to Spurgeon, “The metaphor of keys is intended, no doubt, to set forth the double thought of our Lord’s possessing both the rightful and actual dominion over death and hell.” Jesus gained this key “because He actually conquered both of these powers. This key has the power to open hell, shut out the forces of evil from Heaven and limit their activity in our lives even now, and seal hell forever. “No province of the universe is free from the divine rule of Christ.” I love how Spurgeon writes how Jesus got this key: “When the tenant gives up the key to the landlord, then the owner has the house again under his power, and in his possession, by that act or deed.” When Jesus died He simply held out His hand and Satan put the key in the hand of the rightful owner. His head (Satan’s) was crushed. “Jesus actually rules and manages in all the issues of the grave, and overrules all the forces of hell.”
The Word is clear we are not to judge. Scripture reminds us of the danger we put ourselves in when we judge others. I have been so guilty of this in the past thinking I was “justified.” A study of the abominations quickly and forever put me in my place. I need not pat myself on the back thinking I “got this Christian life” thing because I so do not! In fact, all too often I have been a instrument in the enemy’s hand and been “exhibit A” on how Christians are mean spirited, judgemental, self-righteous, and self-indulgent and live in self-denial of their own sin. It is no wonder the world looks at Christians and says a collective, “No thank you, I will pass. Not much love there.” God forgive me!
Jesus said, “He would judge me as I have judged others.” LORD have mercy!
I need to pray, “Lord break my heart for what breaks Yours.” I need to offer the hand of compassion to those who are in the dark and drowning. When Jesus gets ready to separate the “sheep from the goats” I do not want to be standing there wondering where He will place me. I can fool people but I cannot fool the LORD. He sees the heart. Jesus alone holds the key to heaven, hell, and eternal death (separation for God).
Jesus alone has the right to this key for He alone judges the hearts of men.
I pray I never again try to take this key from the hand of our compassionate Savior. I will be thankful for the keys He has given me as I serve as an ambassador for the kingdom. It is enough He has trusted me to act on behalf the King of Heaven here on earth.