I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven – Matthew 16:19.
Heaven’s authority and power on earth lie squarely within the church of Christ. This authority and power is far reaching, and go beyond just dealing with demonic entities and the likes. Still on the subject of an erring Christian according to Matthew chapter 18, the Lord commands that if he refuses to listen to the church, then the church should excommunicate him – that is, cut him out from your fellowship, expel or suspend him, treat him as an unbeliever or sinner who needs repentance and forgiveness. This is not Old Testament injunction because He talks about the church, believer and gathered together in His name. The reach of God’s authority and power in the church go beyond our imaginations.
The Lord promises in Matthew 18:19 that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. This promise is particularly to the church which can be two, three or more people. In other words, whatever the church asks heaven sanctions, because the church is God’s highest authority on earth. It’s the reason the Lord has taught us to pray the Father’s will to be done here on earth in and through the church just as it is in heaven. The devil is frenetically racking up churches because he knows what a church in right standing with God can do and what it stands for. It’s the Holy Spirit indwelling believers working through the church that restrains the Anti-Christ, defeats the devil and destroys his works. You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. The “you” is plural. It stands for the church, all of us as a body of believers.
If you can see the truth herein revealed, you’d never see or treat the church of which you are a part the same way again. What we do to the local church, we do to heaven. Our attitude and faithfulness, or lack of, to the local church is exactly the same we show towards heaven. If we cannot hear or handle church, we cannot hear or handle heaven. The way you regard and have allowed the church to influence you, is similar to the way you regard and have allowed heaven to influence you. Heaven and church are one. They run concurrently to fulfill God’s eternal destiny. What the church has shut no man can open, what the church has opened no man can shut. Be careful of your attitude towards church, your life and destiny depend on it.