“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.” ( Revelations 1:18 )
Jesus overcame all sin and death by his resurrection: “behold, I am alive for evermore.” Consequently he has complete and full authority over hell: who will go there, and who will be saved from having to go there. Later in Revelations the second and final death is described where the soul is lost forever in hell.
“And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” ( Revelations 21:6-8 )
But through Jesus Christ’s victory over both hell and death, we can have mercy to be saved from the power of sin and hell, and the final death of eternal torment. Additionally, Jesus is the one given all power in heaven and earth by the Father, for the Father has committed all judgement to the Son:
“For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” ( John 5:22-29 )
And Jesus can, and does, give the keys to the kingdom (the Word of God) to his ministry to deliver to the people:
“And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” ( Matt 16:19 )
To those who reject the Word of God, it becomes to them as the keys of hell and of death because their rejection of the opportunity to serve God in this life closes their opportunity of making heaven. When Jesus opens the opportunity to heaven with the keys of the Word of God, no man can close off that opportunity for a soul to be saved. But after too many times of rejecting the opportunity, when Jesus closes the door, the opportunity is gone, no man can reopen that opportunity.
- “And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.” ( Isaiah 22:22 )
- “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.” ( Rev 3:7-8 )