Your Kingdom Come & The Lord’s Prayer

Kingdom of GodHow many times have you said the Lord’s prayer?  If you have been a Christian, particularly from childhood, you will have recited it perhaps more times than can be remembered.

Me too…but now I’m praying and declaring it differently!

‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven

Matthew 6:9-10


How many times have I aimlessly muttered that opening phrase with no understanding of the ramifications.

See for me, the Kingdom of God was always “out there”.  Its where you go when you die.  And we as Christians were trying to get as many people “saved” as we could so they could go to “the Kingdom of God” when they died too.

(Lord please forgive me the sincere, well meaning, foolishness of my youth!)

The Lord’s Prayer which was what Jesus taught his disciples when they asked him how they should pray starts out declaring the sheer Holiness (Wholeness) of the Father and then that the Kingdom of God and His will should come and establish itself on Earth as it already is in Heaven.

That Heaven and Earth, separated since the fall of man, should be united once again.

The idea of that really never occurred to me…or anyone I knew in my Christian circles.  We embraced verses such as:

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.

2 Peter 3:10

It’s all going to burn was our mentality.  In fact that phrase became an in house joke.  Whenever someone didn’t get the “thing” they wanted (car, boat, job promotion) a brother would put their arm around and console with a healthy dose of, “Don’t let it get you down, it’s all going burn anyhow.”

But reading in the context of 2 Peter Chapter 3 Peter goes on to say that:

But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. 

2 Peter 3: 13

Why would Heaven, being perfect, need to become new?  I think just about everyone can see a need for a new earth, but why is there a “new” Heaven?

Because when Heaven breaks in on Earth as the Lord’s Prayer declares and God’s will is again supreme in BOTH spheres, they will both become new.  The Garden of Genesis is restored.

That’s why it is imperative that the church eject its “evacuation” theology.  We need to stop focusing on getting people some ticket to heaven when they die and get them to see Heaven established in their hearts so they can bring “living water” to those around them.

“But Steve,” you say, “isn’t it more important to focus on someone’s eternal destination?  Shouldn’t we be getting people saved so they can be with Jesus forever?”

Absolutely!

And I guarantee that if someone has heaven in their heart and is advancing that Kingdom on earth by operating as a citizen of that Kingdom here, I have no worries of that person’s destiny both in this age, and in the age to come.

I have much less certainty with someone we’ve manipulated into saying a “sinner’s prayer” at the front of a church by creating the perfect “sales pitch” environment.

I am convinced we’ve reduced introducing a person into a new life with Jesus to the level of selling time-share vacation homes.  They often even get a free meal when they sign up…

The Lord’s Prayer both begins with a declaration of the Kingdom and then closes by saying:

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever.

My guess is that Jesus was trying to convey that a prayerful petition for His Kingdom to be fully established was pretty important.

Lord, let your Kingdom come…let your will be done…on Earth as it is in Heaven!

 

 

5 comments

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  • Janet Smith

    Reply

    Perhaps why this bothers me is that is just what the Religious Right loves, The kingdom of heaven is not about politics. I want God’s kingdom, not theirs.

    • Steve

      Reply

      Thanks for your comment Janet! It’s always a choice between whether Caesar is King or Jesus. The mob cried “We have no King but Caesar”. I think a large portion of the church is waking up to the fact we have a better choice.

  • Thanks for sharing, I was very encouraged! Yea let heaven come! I think it’s so true that we can bring more of the Kingdom onto Earth–that’s a very hopeful message! Sometimes it’s easy to forget there is that power and hope, thanks for the reminder!

  • Nicole

    Reply

    HOW MANY TIMES has GOD FORGIVEN YOU? My advice is to think about that.

    • Steve

      Reply

      Hi Nicole…I suppose my answer would be “once”. God has forgiven me once and for all at the cross.

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