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Can you tell me why the Lord said I will build my church and then said to Peter that He would give him the keys of the kingdom and not the church?
ANSWER:   In Matthew the kingdom of heaven is mentioned 32 times. It is not used elsewhere.  In the other Gospels it is often mentioned as the kingdom of God. This tells us that the terms are interchangeable. Though they are, yet they are not the same.  In Matt 13: Jesus says the literal kingdom preached by Him and John the Baptist was now in a mysterious form. (Matt 13:11) He gives seven parables of that kingdom.  One of the parables is of the wheat and tares. Some were real and others not. The true wheat was saved and the other not.  
Now the saved people in the kingdom of heaven is the kingdom of God.  One can be in the kingdom of heaven by profession, but one must be born again to get into the kingdom of God (John 3:5,7) So the kingdom of God is not the kingdom of heaven,  but it is in the kingdom of heaven.  New York is in America, but New York is not America.
So Peter was given the keys to the kingdom and the church. He opened  the door to the Jews on th Day of Pentecost and then the Gentiles in Acts 10:
The kingdom of God is used in association with the church.  Note these verses that relates to the kingdom and church;  Rom. 14:17,  For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. 1 Cor. 4:20,  For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. 1 Cor. 15:50,  Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Col 4:11,  And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me. Acts. 8:12  But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Acts. 14:22  Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. Acts. 19:8  And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. Acts. 20:25  And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. Acts. 28:23  And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening. Acts. 28:31  Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things, which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.
Dear reader, If you want to be in this kingdom you must be born again. John 3:7.  Trust Christ and be born again.

All comments and questions to:  Harold Smith

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Updated January 23rd, 2014 by Sandra Felix