To create the greatest worldwide worship service ever for God's glory, Jesus taught the original disciples to pray a petition for God’s reign to be over all the earth.
“Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10
"Our Father in heaven,"
"Hallowed be your name.”
"Your kingdom come."
Before I studied the Bible, my understanding of the kingdom of God was completely wrong. I thought the kingdom of God was something we would not see until the end of the world!
People still use phrases like “He won’t change his ways ’til kingdom come.' ” As first century Israel, through misunderstanding, missed the appearance of the Messiah, Christendom continues to misunderstand and miss the appearance of God's kingdom on earth!
Countless books have been written about the future - when Christ "will establish his kingdom." Articles have appeared about the latest "Antichrist" on earth now and "when the kingdom comes" Jesus will be Lord over all the earth and wage war against Satan!
The kingdom of God is here now! The battle has been raging since and even before the Garden of Eden!
The word clearly states in Colossians 1:13-14:
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
From scripture, we know that God has always had a kingdom on earth. In Exodus 19:5-6, he said "Although the wole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation."
The kingdom under Christ was established at Pentecost for Israel (Acts 2). Peter was given the keys (Matthew 16:13-20) and opened the door for the Jews in Acts 2. Later, he did the same for the gentiles in Acts 10. From eternity, God's kingdom was planned out to be a blessing for all nations under his reign. The church proclaims this message and demonstrates it in everyday kingdom living - through submission and humble deeds.
The church was designed to be an unstoppable force: Not even the very "gates of hell" themselves can prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18) Daniel prophesied about Christ's kingship with these words...
"He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed." Daniel 7:14
We believed, repented and got baptized to give glory to Jesus and praise God:
- For forgiveness
- For a purpose in life
- For his Glory, Authority, Power, Splendor and Dominion
- For his Mercy, Love, Compassion, Empathy, and Grace
- For his sacrificial atoning painful death and saving resurrection
- For citizenship in heaven
- For loyal friends in his kingdom
- For adoption into his family
- For being transformed into a Holy people "acceptable" to approach God
- For a second, third and infinite chance to live life free from guilt
- For hope, joy, love, peace, patience, faithfulness in the Holy Spirit
We were saved to praise God - and get more of his creation to do so!
This privilege for us to participate in, is clear in many passages, and especially in Ephesians 1:9-10...
And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
In the next 2 verses Paul explains WHY the church is evangelizing to this end...
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. (vss. 11-12)
We worship God as our first and eternal purpose. The Lord describes his people as "everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made."
Evangelism for believers exists because worship does not - in unbelievers!
Paul said it was a mystery - but now we know God's eternal plan! The Lord wants all mankind to be brought together under Jesus Christ as Lord - so that as many as possible might be for the praise of his glory!
Before Christ, none of us were acceptable to God. We did not honor God. We could not appear before his holy presence. The Bible says we were God's enemies! Romans 5:6-10
Now, through Jesus, we can worship God! Jesus makes us acceptable! In heaven, the angels' greatest rejoicing is when even just ONE SINNER repents and gets right with God!
God ordained this praise for us eternally to take place from our hearts from conversion to resurrection - and everything in between.
Worship in God's kingdom starts at conversion when we "SEE" the kingdom of God and are regenerated in baptism. John 3:3
Upon entrance into God's kingdom, we were called to be a "people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." I Peter 2:9
Throughout our Christian life Paul says, "whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." I Corinthians 10:31
And "This is to my father's glory, that you bear much fruit showing your selves to be my disciples." John 15:8
And finally at the resurrection, we, in the kingdom of God will be front and center to praise God's glorious majesty - while unbelievers are cut-off.
"They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you. " II Thessalonians 1:9-10
Why is God coming back for us? To be glorified in his holy people and be marveled at among all true believers.
Worship is a greater and more important purpose than evangelism. And we all know how important evangelism is!
Evangelism is categorized as a means to bring glory to God. (Reflect on Romans 15:16, John 15:1-16, II Corinthians 4:13-15)
Praying "Your Kingdom Come"
How can we effectively and meaningfully pray "Your kingdom come, thy will be done" in today's world? Here are some practicals:
- Pray that you personally will bring the good news to many
- Pray that many others will bring the good news to many
- See the Church Locator and pray for the specific churches at home and far away
- Pray for subject matter experts in Science, the Arts, Medicine, Entertainment, Sports, Academia, Media and World leaders to become Christians
- Pray for your neigborhood and go tell them how glorious God is!
Evangelism is the means for more and more people to worship God. As more and more people worship God, the world may be transformed once again as it was in the first century to become a Christian culture.
The topic of the kingdom is rich with biblical principles for us to be enriched from as we continue to reflect on worship lessons from the Lord’s prayer.
As Hebrews 12:28 reads: "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe."
Every disciple should be a growing theologian – or as Luke called his reader – a “Theophilus” –a friend of God. (Acts 1:1)
My intent has been to share reflections on personal worship from the words that Christ shared with us in the Lord’s prayer. Glorifying God is our overall purpose - both in this life, and the next. Shouldn’t the exclusive privilege to come to the Father freely as Christians be appreciated and practiced as earnestly as possible?
We often quote John 14:6 in light of salvation to convince others that “Jesus is the only way.” As we study out the kingdom, I pray our understanding of that will deepen to the point where our personal worship will flow more freely and sincerely – both privately and publicly. God wants us to worship in Spirit and in truth. My prayer is that he will move me and others to do so more and more. Reflect on the kingdom parables of Matthew 13..
Your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
In Christ -