Summary: We want God's kingdom to come to our hearts to se up his royal reign.
Do you know how World War II started? Germany invaded Poland. Most people remember that from high school history but do you know why Germany invaded Poland? They were invited to do so. At least that’s what Hitler wanted the world to believe. On the night of August 31st, 1939, a small group of German operatives dressed in Polish uniforms seized a German radio station in Gleiwitz, Poland and broadcast a short anti-German message in Polish. Hitler used this as a pretext to invade Poland “for the sake of the Germans living there who wanted protection from anti-German sentiments.” Everyone saw through Hitler’s ruse of course and that’s why Britain and France immediately declared war on Germany.
Would any nation really invite invasion? The rebels in Libya might if they can’t overthrow General Gadhafi on their own. Although Libya has been a traditional enemy of the West, its rebels may soon welcome air support from NATO to neutralize Libya’s air force which Gadhafi is now using against his own people. But generally nations don’t invite invasion, they defend against it. That’s what makes the Second Petition in the Lord’s Prayer so interesting. When we pray, “Your kingdom come,” we’re inviting invasion. That may sound scary but it’s actually a blessing for us. Let’s find out how.
True or false? When we pray “Your kingdom come,” we’re asking Jesus to reappear in glory and usher in Judgment Day. You’re right if you answered, “True.” This world is a battlefield. Satan and his demons have teamed up with evil governments and false prophets to keep unbelievers in the dark and to cause the loss of faith among Christians. Our foe is formidable. In the book of Revelation Jesus compared Satan to an enormous red dragon with seven heads (Revelation 12). It’s no wonder we pray: “Your kingdom come. Hurry Jesus! Save us from Satan’s onslaughts. Give us eternal rest from the heartaches our own sins have caused. And bring us to that blessed home in heaven where we’ll never be frustrated, grumpy, or have back pain again!”
It’s good that we keep inviting this invasion lest we forget it’s coming with or without our invitation. The Apostle Peter reminded his readers: “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives” (2 Peter 3:10, 11). Don’t be like the Russian leader Stalin. He was warned by both Winston Churchill and his own Russian spy network that Hitler was planning an invasion of Russia in 1941. Even after 3.4 million German troops were seen crossing the border into Russia, Stalin still failed to order defensive measures. In the end, Russia managed to beat back the Germans but those who are not prepared for Judgment Day will not be as fortunate. If we are found without faith on that day, we’ll have to face God’s wrath forever. And so when you pray, “Your kingdom come,” add this thought: “Today, Lord? Will you return today? If so, let me be ready.”
So how exactly do we prepare for Christ’s return? Well, how would you prepare for an incoming tsunami like the one that slammed into Japan on Friday? You wouldn’t scurry around looking for your favorite high heels to scoop up, or waste time wrestling your big screen TV into the pickup truck after receiving word that a tsunami was going to hit in a matter of minutes would you? No! You would gather up the necessities of life: bottled water, canned food, batteries to power your flashlights, before hustling for higher ground. Likewise when we pray, “Your kingdom come,” it should remind us to stock up on spiritual necessities: not bottled water but baptismal water; not canned food but Holy Communion; and not batteries for your flashlight but the fuel of God’s Word for your faith. These spiritual gifts cause us to stand firm on the Rock where we’ll be safe from God’s surging anger on Judgment Day.
And so when we pray, “Your kingdom come,” we’re not just inviting Jesus’ invasion on Judgment Day, we’re inviting Jesus’ invasion of our hearts right now. You see, God’s “kingdom” is not so much a place as it is an activity; it’s God’s royal reign. Our sinful nature of course doesn’t want this invasion. This morning it may have tried to convince you that you were too tired to come to church. Or it may be telling you right now that listening to this sermon is a waste of time. Your sinful nature doesn’t want you to be kind and compassionate. It doesn’t want you to encourage others but to tear them down. And it won’t stop clamouring for the throne of your heart until you die. Satan will make sure of that with his constant barrage of temptations.