Q. I would like to hear your view on our Lord’s words in Matthew 16: 18 – 19 where He gives His Church the “keys to the Kingdom” saying “whatever we bind on earth will be bound in heaven” and “whatever we loose on earth will be loosed in heaven”. What exactly was Jesus promising here?. I have encountered various different opinions/teachings for this passage. While I now agree with your view on the Church becoming weaker towards the end, I have been taught the opposite, that because of promises like this, His Church will move in victory, be overcomers and represent “His light” in the darkness during these last days.
A. The only real difference between what you were taught and what I believe is timing. The victorious Church that becomes a light for the nations will appear in the Millennium, not before. We’ve asked for Satan to be bound on Earth and He will be bound. We’ve asked for the Kingdom to be loosed on Earth it will be loosed.
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. (Ephes 2:6-7)
I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. (Rev. 21:22-24)
And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. (Rev. 20:1-2)
Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.” (Rev. 19:6)