And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Mt 16:18-19).
As we approach the halfway point in our journey to finding the one, true Church, let’s look at some of Jesus’ most famous and important words. In our last segment, we looked at the fact that the Church is the ultimate guardian of truth. Today, we see that Jesus founded this Church under the leadership of a specific individual. Saint Peter, the head of the Apostles, is entrusted with the “keys to the kingdom” and is given the power to make authoritative decisions on earth that will be upheld in Heaven. Recognized as the first pope, Peter led the early Christian Church with the same Christ-given authority as Pope Benedict XVI does today. When we analyze Jesus’ words to St. Peter, it becomes apparent that we’ve just eliminated a number of churches, as they just don’t hold up when compared to the Bible!
In the next stop on our trip, we’ll look at the “Great Commission”, when Jesus instructed the Apostles to “make disciples of all nations”, through baptism and authoritative teaching. It will give us an another critical clue and bring us closer to discovering the TRUE Church!
Tomorrow: The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)