Open and Closed Preaching: H.C. Question 84

How does preaching the holy gospel open and close the kingdom of heaven? 

Matthew 16:19 – I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

John 3:31-36 – The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.

John 20:21-23 – Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

2 Responses to “Open and Closed Preaching: H.C. Question 84”

  1. staci says:

    that last passage is interesting. that is not to say that because we’ve received the Spirit as well that we can determine forgievness for another’s sins, correct?

    • Jon VanderWall says:

      Yes, that passage has always puzzled me. Certainly, it doesn’t make sense with the rest of Scripture that any humans, even the best of the Apostles, would have the power of forgiveness that comes from the grace of God through the saving work of Jesus Christ and is accepted by faith in Him.

      I wonder if this is, at least in some sense, a warning for the disciples. If they follow the Spirit and preach the Gospel, God’s forgiveness in Christ would be made known and many would find and know the forgiveness and love that comes through Him. Were they to fail to do so, this Gospel message would not advance…

      I think too, looking at Luke 10 too, there are times when the Gospel is presented and it would not be received… the disciples and those sent by Christ were told to then leave that town and to “shake the dust of off their feet” with a warning about not listening to the Kingdom message. Perhaps this may have something to do with it as well. I will continue to read and research…

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