Has God’s kingdom come or is it still coming? If you’re a regular viewer, you know that we’re working our way through the Sermon on the Mount.
We’re in Matthew chapter six, kind of getting towards the middle, talking about prayer, actually looking at the model prayer that Jesus gave his disciples to pray.
Every Christian and even a lot of non-Christians know how to repeat the Lord’s Prayer, but it’s absolutely packed with wonderful truths. It starts off, and this is what we talked about in our last Little Lesson, “Our Father,” identifies something marvelous about the one we’re praying to.
Boy, we’ve already got a lot going for us if God is our Father and our Father who art in heaven. That’s where he is. He’s in heaven. That reminds us that there’s another place. The scripture talks about this other place as a place that we can go to, as opposed to yet another place that we can go to, which Jesus emphatically couldn’t have made it more clear is a place of torment and a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth and a place of darkness. That’s not where our Father is at.
God is light and he dwells in unapproachable light. He’s shining with glory. He’s in heaven. I think that there’s evidence that heaven is illuminated by the glory of God. You start off the prayer thinking about how all our five sense are just geared to taking in information from the physical world. It’s just easy to be focused on what your five senses are always sending you and what your brain is reacting to and processing all that information.
When you pray, you got to get into the heavenly mode and jump up there in your thoughts to, “This is my Father. He’s on his throne. He’s in heaven,” and you can read some of those scenes out of the book of Revelation or something, think about those, or in the Old Testament, people that saw God in his glory and so forth.
Just think, “Here’s who I’m talking to right now. Oh my goodness. This is not earthly. This is heavenly.” The first thing that has to escape my lips is some bit of praise. If you’re in the right mode of prayer, “Hallowed be your name.”
God is great. God is awesome. God is resplendent in glory. God is good. God is awesome. God is all-powerful. He knows everything. He created the universe. He put the stars in their places. He knows every mystery. Oh my goodness. I get a chance to say something to this wonderful person. It sometimes makes me, you know, like I don’t want to say anything because I think, “Who am I to be talking to this person?” but Jesus is encouraging me because I have a relationship with him. He’s my Father. Oh my goodness.
We asked the question at the beginning of this Little Lesson: Has the kingdom come or is it coming? Well, it’s kind of a trick question, but the answer is pretty plain from the New Testament. Jesus told his disciples to pray, and this is Matthew six verse number 10, “Your kingdom come.” Obviously, something to be anticipated, but New Testament teaches that we are citizens right now of the heavenly kingdom and, you know, that Jesus is our Lord.
We’re in the kingdom spiritually and, in our prayers, it helps us to think about all that, the kingdom that we’re in. We’re in the kingdom spiritually and that kingdom does exist on the earth now spiritually, but the kingdom hasn’t come yet to this earth because it’s very clear that one day Jesus is going to literally reign from Jerusalem and rule over the entire world.
Of course, there’s debate on all these things, but I’m just telling you this is what I see in scripture. Jesus is coming back and he’s going to set up a kingdom, a physical kingdom. When we pray, “Thy kingdom come,” that’s a prayer, to go back to a previous question we asked in a Little Lesson, “Is it okay to pray the same prayer over and over again?” Well, Jesus didn’t mean for us to pray this prayer one time, obviously, “Give us this day our daily bread,” so we pray this every day. Well, praying every day, “Your kingdom come.” Of course, in the wider context of our understanding, we know that he’s not just talking about your kingdom coming physically, but your kingdom coming to a greater degree spiritually, that gospel will spread, that God will glorify his name through his servants and so forth.
There’s so much involved in God’s kingdom because it’s already here spiritually and it growing and spreading, praise God. In that sense, I suppose we could also be saying, “I’m praying for your kingdom to be established.” Paul told some of his disciples, “Pray for me, that the word of God would spread and spread rapidly and God would anoint me and give me the power to speak.” That’s a form of praying for God’s kingdom to come.
God, use the people that you’ve called. God, anoint them. God, protect them and so forth. Your kingdom come. Again, we started off this prayer thinking about heaven, thinking about our Father there in heaven. We just can’t be all wrapped up in the itsy-bitsy things of life that are really, when you come right down to it, rather minor and insignificant in the bigger picture. We so often have tunnel vision. I only see this little, tiny part of the picture and God’s trying to expand our minds to be thinking about the whole picture, the whole scenario.
We’re not really thinking about our daily bread as much we’re thinking about, “Your kingdom come and may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Your kingdom being established right now spiritually, that’s the second part of that prayer, and, the first part of the prayer, may your kingdom come physically. We want them both. That’s the biggest thing we want. Naturally, we want God’s kingdom to come to this earth.
Be kind of hypocritical to say, “Let it come for everybody else except me.” You start examining yourself, “How well am I doing as a subject and a servant of the King and a son of God? Does my life reflect that focus, that realization, or am I just earthy, living daily life, focused on all the nonessential stuff, living for the day, or am I focused on a greater purpose, the kingdom of God?” Then, I think after you get through with those weightier, bigger, majestic, awesome things that you can be including in your prayer, then you can get to the little stuff like, “I need some bread.” We’ll probably talk about that at our next Little Lesson. Thanks for joining me. God bless you.