Summary: "Thy Kindom Come" in the Lords’ prayer encompasses a great deal more than most Christians realize, this sermon takes a look at the Kingdom from a higher vantage point.
“Thy Kingdom Come”
In our last message for this series, we talked about the invocation and the first petition of the Lords’ Prayer. And if you missed the last one, don’t worry because each sermon in this series will be totally “self-contained” and understood easily by itself. Anyway, last week we learned that there is more to this prayer that Jesus taught us to pray than first meets the eye. And this morning, we will study yet another example of how we sometimes fail to realize the full extent of what we are praying for. The title of this week’s sermon is “Thy Kingdom Come.”
Today we are going to actually be looking at the next two petitions of the Lord’s Prayer; Thy kingdom come.....and Thy will be done. Now these two petitions, or appeals, are very similar to one another and I hope you will be able to see just how similar they are by the time we are finished.
Now, to even begin to understand this petition, we obviously have to know what kind of “Kingdom” Jesus is talking about here.
When we pray; “Thy Kingdom come...” what are we really asking for?
In the Gospel of Matthew we find the phrase; “kingdom of heaven” for the first time in the New Testament. In chapter 3:1,2 we read: “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying; ‘Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”
Many times we read this and, in the back of our minds, think that John is talking about the Day of Judgment. But he’s not is he? After all, it’s been almost 2,000 years since these words were first proclaimed and we’ve not seen Jesus coming in the clouds of glory yet. No, John wasn’t talking about the day of Judgment or the end of the world....So that leaves us with the question; what was he talking about? What exactly did he mean
when he said; “the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”?
Well, to answer this we need to do a little research. You see, it wasn’t very long after John began proclaiming the soon coming of the “kingdom of heaven”, that Jesus was baptized and began His ministry. And in chapter 4:17 of Matthew, Jesus Himself proclaims this same message; “Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Now, when we hear “kingdom of heaven,” we automatically think of the place that we will go when Jesus comes back for us.
But, it’s interesting to note that what is really meant by this phrase is; “kingdom of God”. Now, I know what you are thinking; if that’s what was meant, why isn’t it what they said?
Well, in Jesus’ day it was customary to refrain from speaking God’s holy name, so they would often substitute the word “heaven” for it. Just like they would say “fear of heaven” for “fear of God”; and “name of heaven” instead of “name of God.” It’s not that unusual, in fact people still do it even today. How many times have you heard someone say; “for heaven’s sakes”; or “my heavens!” So again, both John the Baptist and Jesus Himself are really saying; “Repent, for the kingdom of God is as hand.”
You see, along with the incarnation of Jesus came also the Kingdom of God to earth. And Jesus says that He is King of this kingdom. In John 18:37 He tells Pilate; “You are right in saying that I am a King. In fact, for this reason I was born and for this I came into the world...”
But still, why would Jesus instruct us to pray; “Thy kingdom come...” if it’s already here? It’s simple you say; Jesus is talking about the second coming! Sure, I think that is part of it--we should look forward to the day when Jesus comes to take us home--after all, it will be a most glorious day indeed.
But before we go any further, let me tell you that there are two kinds of kingdoms that we will be discussing; the kingdom of Grace that came with the ministry of Jesus. And the kingdom of Glory that He will bring back with Him. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus is telling us to pray that the kingdom of Grace would come even more so than the kingdom of Glory. Why? Well, we can pray for Jesus to come back constantly but the bible makes it clear that He will come back only when it’s time and not a minute sooner. On the other hand, if we sincerely pray for the kingdom of grace to come, then something very significant happens....
When we pray; “Thy kingdom come,” we’re actually accepting the offer that Jesus makes to us in Revelation 3:20 when He says; “I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,