Matthew 6 v 9 – 10a After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven
Matthew 6 v 9 – 10a After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come.
So far in our pondering of the Disciples’ Prayer in Matthew 6 we have seen that
* Our Father helps us to realise who God the Father is, how we value Him and honour Him and how to approach Him with the closeness of His sons and daughters who love Him and trust Him;
* Which art in heaven locates where He is and affirms His greatness over us and shows us how to properly approach Him in awe and reverential fear;
* Hallowed be Thy Name brought us last week to desire that His Name be glorified and magnified and we learn the many ways in which we the people of God can hallow that wonderful Name.
This morning, we move into verse 10, and the first three words
THY KINGDOM COME.
It is the SECOND petition in the prayer and has the same sense of desire – Oh God – I desire, I want your Kingdom to come just as eagerly as I want Thy name to be glorified.
The Lord Jesus Christ in His divine instructions to us who are praying directs us to offer meaningfully sincere desires for the future coming age – something that is to be looked forward to – a perfect Kingdom in which God is no longer challenged by a wicked sinful world, a world where crime, cruelty and injustice abound. There is a time coming when sinful man’s rebellion will finally be crushed and everything that has been spoiled by wickedness will be removed. Immediately this morning we have to realise the nature of what this section of the Disciples’ Prayer is saying – and what we are saying when we utter these three words, or words like them with the same subject – Thy Kingdom Come.
Too often our prayers are filled with our “kingdoms”; our plans, our rules, our reign and our causes. Our culture is a ME culture – advertising is geared to make me want what I haven’t got or to want more of the little that I have got. We believe that we have a right to build our own little Kingdoms where we feel safe, secure and satisfied. From babyhood through school and into the life of work and family we believe that we should be determining our own destinies and govern our own lives. Ask anyone in the neighbourhood or street about this and they will agree instantly. “Only one life, T’will soon be past, so get what you can for nothing will last!”
But when the Lord God reveals Himself to you and you repent and are converted – then the whole emphasis shifts from you and your kingdom, To God and His kingdom! THY name be hallowed. THY kingdom come – not mine. THY will be done.
This is our response when God the Holy Spirit takes over as Lord in our souls. We value what God values. We begin to work for His kingdom not for our own ends. Anything that furthers the kingdom of God is for us! This is yet another way for you my friend to examine whether you are truly saved today – is the Kingdom of God your first and foremost consideration in life? Do you have kingdom interests in your heart?
If you do not want God’s Kingdom to come then it is likely that you are not a Christian and you need to seek the Lord with all your heart right now, confessing your sins. Because - if the fulness of His glorious Kingdom comes in the next few moments you will be outside it! Only those who by faith through the grace of God are members of the kingdom will at once enjoy the realities of the Kingdom that will come. Kingdom citizenship is granted when a person repents and believes. Where do you stand this morning my friend? Jesus Christ tells you what to do – in v 33 of this same chapter –
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
Seek Him with all of your heart; seek Him earnestly; seek Him humbly; seek Him while He may be found – and before it is too late for you to seek!
1. Whose Kingdom is spoken of here – God the Father’s or the Lord Jesus Christ’s?
Such a question need not be asked because the kingdom and the king are one and the same. Jesus said “I and my father are one”. The Word of God and the Word of Christ are the same words. The Gospel of God that Paul speaks of in Romans 1 v 1 is the same as the Gospel of Christ in Romans 1 v 16.
God the Father and God the Son are the same in Nature – so their Kingdom is the same.
Why does the Lord Jesus Christ therefore use the term “Thy Kingdom” in this prayer when all the time it is His kingdom?
1. He is giving us the model to pray as the Man Jesus Christ demonstrating by His example and through His relationship- with His Father, how we should pray as sons and daughters of God.
2. He is distinguishing between Satan’s Kingdom and His own Kingdom.
Matthew 12 v 25 And Jesus said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: 26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?
Satan’s kingdom is real – it is a kingdom of darkness and disorder, which opposes the work of Christ’s Kingdom. So the Lord prays LET THY KINGDOM come. Not Satan’s kingdom.
2. What does it mean “Thy Kingdom”?
The word for Kingdom here is BASILEIA. It occurs 162 times in the New Testament. The majority of times it is joined with THEOS to render the term Kingdom of God. Is the Kingdom here and now on earth? Or is it something else?
We live in the United Kingdom – Great Britain unites in the four countries under Her Majesty the Queen. But this earthly Kingdom is a tangible present reality. We can see our Sovereign. We are aware of the fact that this land is territory ruled over by an earthly monarch – and we had much evidence of that during the Jubilee celebrations this past summer. However the Kingdom of God is different. The true Kingdom of God is an ultimate goal and it is both present and ahead of us. The next phrase of the disciples prayer – thy will be done – is about how God will bring this kingdom about. The Kingdom has not come yet. I was mystified as a boy when anyone used the phrase “I will send you to kingdom come.” The person using that term was describing something in the future – something yet in the planning stage but yet getting closer and closer.
So the Kingdom of God is a future Kingdom.
But it is also a PRESENT kingdom. It is a reign of grace in the heart of the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. That is the way that anyone becomes qualified for the future Kingdom – by grace - and the Kingdom experience begins here in this life.
But the Kingdom that we want to come is future.
3. What is the Kingdom like, then that we are praying should come?
1. It covers particular territory. It is not open to anyone to come in – only perfect people are citizens of this Kingdom – and no-one who is described in Revelation 22 v 15 are to be allowed into the Kingdom -
“For without (outside) are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.”
There is a city bright, Closed are its gate to sin, Naught that defileth, Naught that defileth, Shall ever enter in.
The kingdom is a place of everlasting purity and its inhabitants are entirely free from sin. The Kingdom is the Kingdom of heaven.
2. Those who were poor and struggled in this life on earth will live freely without any oppression. There are no taxes to pay, because the Lord Jesus Christ has bought everything for the benefit of His people. Imagine a kingdom with no taxation and a King who provides everything for his subjects.
This kingdom is a place of equal wealth for all – there are neither rich people nor poor people – there are no classes – upper and lower. The King’s subjects are equal in the King’s sight – and no one will be struggling for position or recognition.
3. The most wonderful thing about the kingdom is the Person of the King. Most earthly kingdoms are measured and judged by the stature and eminence of the sovereign – the King. It is the same with the Kingdom of God – the King Himself is the focus.
Oh worship the King, all glorious above, O gratefully sing, his power and His love; Our shield and defender, The Ancient of days, Pavilioned in splendour and girded with praise. O tell of his might O sing of His grace, Whose robe is the light whose canopy space, His chariots of wrath the deep thunder clouds form And dark is His path on the wings of the storm.
The glory of the Kingdom is the King Himself! O what will it be like to see Him? Enthroned in mighty splendour, surrounded by an innumerable host of ministering angels waiting on Him. His utterances overflow with infinite wisdom and love and kindness towards His people. He is incapable of failure or mistakes – his decisions are wise and the best that can be made. The glorious King creates an atmosphere of benevolence, and orderliness – no dissatisfaction amongst the subjects – no strikes – no sadness and regret – but everyone in heaven does exactly what they want – because glorified believers delight to do that which is holy, perfect and which pleases their King!
Can you imagine what this means my friends? All those sinful desires and appetites that plague our souls, as believers will be gone! There will be glorious liberty from the sins that so easily beset us, from the faults and mistakes that we make; from the hurts that we bring on others because of our sinful natures. While we are here contained in our human bodies, we need to be restrained from sin by the Holy Spirit’s gracious influences – but the Kingdom day is coming when our hearts will be so perfectly conformed to our King that we shall be given perfect liberty of expression. People think that they have the right to that liberty today – and look where it leads them – into conflict with others – into broken relationships. But in the Kingdom there will be REAL liberty! Gladly and freely we will accept and fit in to God’s order.
What else can we say about our great King and His Kingdom?
He is a great King –
Psalm 95 v 3 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
He is a majestic King –
Psalm 93 v 1 The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty;
He is a glorious King –
Psalm 24 v 10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory.
He is a strong King – He needs no power or assistance form others –
Psalms 65:6 Which by his strength setteth fast the mountains; being girded with power:
Psalm 93 v 1 again the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself:
He is an eternal King –
Psalm 29 v 10 The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever.
He is the King of Kings.
Revelation 17:14 for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
Revelation 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
Oh my friend I ask you again – do you know by faith this King of Kings? Is He your king? Has He secured your heart and life for His Kingdom yet? Are you one of His willing subjects?
This Kingdom is like no other Kingdom. This is the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. We read from John’s Gospel earlier
John 18 v 36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
Have you heard His voice? Can you honestly sing and acknowledge these words from Frances Ridley Havergal –
Oh the joy to see thee reigning, Thee, my own beloved Lord! Every tongue Thy Name confessing, Worship, honour, glory blessing Brought to Thee with glad accord – Thee my Master and my friend, Vindicated and enthroned, Unto earth’s remotest end Glorified, adored and owned.
Do you own Him as your friend and saviour and submit to Him as your Master? There are Christians around you who know you and love you who are praying that others would rush to be in the Kingdom of God before its gates are closed! The Lord Jesus said this one day to some unbelievers – it is recorded in
Luke 16 v 16 “The law and the prophets were preached until John the Baptist: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.”
This means that all kinds of people ARE pressing into it – eager to come to the King – eager to become citizens of the Kingdom, rushing in so that they are not left out. There is sense of urgency in their hearts. Do you have a sense of urgency my friend? O may you have it today!
4. When we pray Thy Kingdom Come what are we who are citizens by grace of the Kingdom doing?
1. When we say THY KINGDOM COME we look forward to the glad time when God’s Kingdom, the Messianic Kingdom that was prophesied from Genesis in the Old Testament right through to Revelation in the New will be established and fully realised here on earth. This is what every believer longs for – the return of the Lord Jesus Christ in the clouds. Havergal again –
Thou art coming, Thou art coming; We shall meet Thee on Thy way, We shall see Thee, we shall Know Thee, We shall bless Thee, we shall show Thee All our hearts could never say.
How we long for that time when He shall appear! We are those that love His appearing!
2. When we say THY KINGDOM COME we are pleading that on earth NOW, we shall submit our wills to God’s will. Because if we desire His Kingdom to come then we must be willing that our little Kingdoms will be pulled down – to make way for Him! This will be developed next week.
3. When we say THY KINGDOM COME we are acknowledging His right to rule over us. We need to be concerned enough about God’s sovereignty to make our lives His throne. We dare not pray for His rule to be exercised over others unless we honestly desire His rule over us.
4. When we say THY KINGDOM COME we are pleading for the power and the blessing of the Holy Spirit to accompany His word when it is preached.
5. When we say THY KINGDOM COME we are pleading for the church to be supplied with God-given and spiritually equipped Officers to lead the flock.
6. When we say THY KINGDOM COME we plead that the ordinances of the Church may be purely administered as God’s word directs – that only true believers will be baptised and partake of the Table – that those believers come to the ordinances in true humility and godly grace simply because they are Kingdom ordinances – they are at the King’s direction – be baptised every one of you – this do in remembrance of me.
7. When we say THY KINGDOM COME we plead that God’s people may grow in their gifts and graces and be prepared to work for the King and His kingdom.
8. When we say THY KINGDOM COME we plead that the Kingdom may be extended through the salvation of precious souls. We plead that it will not be long before the whole number of God’s elect will be brought into the kingdom. We pray that the King will take up a reigning residence in the hearts and lives of those who are in rebellion.
9. When we say THY KINGDOM COME we plead that Satan’s kingdom might be utterly destroyed and his influence, until then, be restrained and diminished.
10. When we say THY KINGDOM COME we are acknowledging that we have only tasted a little of Christ’s Kingdom here on earth – and we want so much to see it in all its fulness. We are affirming that even though we are here in this present world, we are citizens of another kingdom; that we are only temporary residents here; that we are living for the future and not for the present.
How will we demonstrate this? By seeking to be in the place where God wants us to be – serving Him in His local church – seeking all the time to be engaged in the business of the Kingdom – active in the evangelistic efforts of the church; discerning what service God would have us to do for Him. There are things that we can enjoy – but we must be balanced. A good thing to do is to say “Thus far and no further with this or that which we are doing outside of the church – in case they become my consuming interest and my gods.”
Practically speaking then we should not be letting our present affairs – of work, family, studies or business cloud our horizons. Let us look more and more to the coming Kingdom. Let us long and long to see it come. THY KINGDOM COME Oh Lord – let it come! Even so come quickly Lord Jesus!
Colossians 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
Above there is the Heavenly Kingdom with all of its joy, peace, liberty, glory and eternal wonder in the presence of the mighty King of glory. That is ahead of every blood bought child of God.
When we are going on holiday the nearer it gets the more ready we feel we are for it. We usually know where we are going. The image of the cottage, the hotel or tent becomes more and more real in our mind’s eye the closer the date comes for us to go away. We begin to prioritise our duties – we select what is most important that must be done before the holiday – but the important thing is we are concentrated, thinking, longing and looking forwards to the time of being away ahead.
My friends we should have the same constant awareness that we are going to leave this scene very soon in our minds. We are travelling through life to a glorious new home – the Kingdom – the Kingdom that is to come. Sometimes we say, “My holiday can’t come quick enough!” Surely we should say, “The Kingdom can’t come quick enough!” Thy Kingdom come Lord – let it come!
And there is one thing about the Kingdom blessings that are before us Christians, that is different from a holiday – we will not be coming back – we will be there forever! Praise God! Thy Kingdom come!