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Thy Kingdom Come
What Kingdom is involved?
A part of the prayer which the Lord taught us to pray says, “Thy Kingdom Come”.– What Kingdom was the Lord talking about? How many Kingdoms are there? If we recognise that it is Christ our Great High Priest who is presenting our petitions and praying to God the Father for His Kingdom to come, that we must ask ourselves whether we understand what we are asking. Obviously His (God’s) Kingdom has not yet come, so what is His Kingdom and for what are we praying?
To try and answer this, there are some factors that we must consider. First, God has given to His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, all authority on earth and in heaven, Matt. 28.18. As Christ has asked us to pray that His Kingdom come, it is obvious that we do not live in the Kingdom which Christ had in mind. So, to what kingdom does His prayer refer? Certain commentators suggest that there have been four kingdoms in the past, that we live in the fifth which is a kingdom of “grace” and that there are still two to come making a total of seven in all. Set out below are the seven kingdoms. Before dealing with each of these individually we must bear in mind Christ’s statement in 1 Cor. 15. 24/28 in which He sets out the conditions under which He, Christ, will hand over to God the Father a perfect kingdom. This, of course, suggests that all the kingdoms to date have “failed”. This is true as sin still reigns supreme in the world. The triune God Head created a sinless world until such time as Adam and Eve disobeyed His command and ate forbidden fruit. Ever since that fateful day children have been born into a sinful world.
Now let us take a brief look at past, present and future kingdoms:-
The kingdom of Adam’s day.
This Kingdom lasted for nearly 1000 years, Adam having died at the age of 930. Gen.5.5. Adam and Eve’s sin has had its effect throughout the following generations with his own son Cain becoming the first murderer. Gen. 4.8 The creation of God’s perfect world was marred by man’s sin and disobedience
The kingdom of Noah’s day.
Such was the sin of man at that time that God said in Gen. 6.6-7 that He regretted He had made man. This resulted in what is commonly known as “the flood” with Noah’s family being the only humans remaining alive on the earth. Although the Scripture records Noah as being one of the only two people to “walk with God”(Gen. 6.9) it did not take long for sin to again become prevalent as recorded in Genesis, spreading to all mankind. It is interesting to note that after the flood God made a covenant with Noah that He would never again destroy mankind by water and provided a rainbow as a sign of this promise. Gen.9.9-12
The kingdom of Babel.
Such was the increase in population at this time with all people speaking the same language that they wished TO MAKE A NAME FOR THEMSELVES, not God..To achieve this they commenced
building a tower reaching to the heavens. This displeased God who thwarted their plans by confusing their language and disbursing the people throughout the world.
The kingdom of Moses’ day.
As slaves in Egypt God intervened to have the Children of Israel leave Egypt, (some 600,000 men plus women and children Exod. 12.37) Estimates suggest that the number of men, women and children leaving Egypt was in the order of 2,000,000 but because of a lack of faith and disobedience they wandered in the desert for 40 years. The book of Exodus records their history. Most of the Old Testament from this point tells of prophets, priests and kings whom God chose to bring His chosen people, the Jews, unto Himself. Their rejection of Him is well known and recorded in the New Testament Gospels. Even to-day the Jewish people are still looking for their Messiah. He came, but the Jews did not believe He was the Messiah, and instead of gaining all the wonders and blessings to be found in the Lord Jesus Christ, they rejected Him.
The Kingdom of Jesus day on earth, Grace
As mentioned above the Jews rejected the sinless Son of God and nailed Him to a tree. That was some 2000 years ago and we are still in that time frame with the vast majority of both Jews and Gentiles to-day still rejecting His saving grace, Matt. 27.39-54. In another passage, Matt. 7.13, Christ tells us of a narrow road which leads to God and a broad road leading to destruction with the great majority of people walking that broad road. What a tragedy!
The 2nd coming kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
Many Christians believe that this period is one of peace and prosperity and will last for 1000 years or perhaps a little longer, and is known in scripture as the “Millennium”. Many wonderful things will happen during this time including the conversion of the Jews in one day. The Prophet Isaiah in chapter 66 and verses 6-10 describes this amazing event which will thrill your heart as you read it. The Jewish nation will also become the “head and not the tail” of the nations (Deut. 28.13). They will be the “super-powers” of that day even more so than the US is to-day. The Lord Jesus Christ will rule the world, the scripture informing us that His head quarters will be at Jerusalem. There are so many things to say about this time that I propose to issue another hubpage on this very important subject
The Last Kingdom is Eternity
This Kingdom will be an eternal one where God's people live with Him for ever and ever. There is no place for sin in this kingdom for God will have dealt with this factor as we shall see later. It is a picture of purity, love, trust and everlasting blessings. However, there are other factors which need to be dealt with before the inauguration of this Kingdom.
The Sins of the world.
God regards sin very seriously and the scriptures remind us that all sin must be dealt with before He can hand over to God the Father a perfect sinless world. 1 Cor. 24-25 reads, "The the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet." The statement requires Jesus Christ to destroy sin and the question arises as to how he will do this.
Scripture gives us the answer. It will be done by judgments associated with four different factors. They are the Judgment of the Jewish nation, the judgment of Gentile nations, the judgment of people who love and serve Christ and finally the judgment of those who have rejected him. Let us examine each factor separately.
The sins of the Jewish Nation
The Book of Revelation from chapters 5 to 18 gives graphic detail on how the Jews will be judged. This period of time is known as "The Tribulation", it lasts seven years and is a special study on its own. I suggest you read and study it for yourself. The Late Clarence Larkin's family have kindly placed, without cost, hIs studies and charts in a computer program entitled "eSword", the "e" representing electronics, and "Sword" representing the Word of God. Eph. 6.17. His family takes the view that the Gospel is free and have freely made available his work. I cannot commend it too highly. When downloaded the program covers prophesy in all the scriptures, includes a copy of the A.V. Bible and full commentaries from other well known personalities. Note, there is a small fee if you require the A.V. to be downloaded on your computer.
The sins of the Gentile Nations
Scripture tell us that this judgment will take place at the Throne of His Glory on earth after His 2nd Coming.
It is interesting that in the scriptures in dealing with this subject, the Lord Jesus Christ is seated on His throne at Jerusalem with all the nations before Him. He will separate the sheep nations from the goat nations and say to the sheep nations,” Come, you who are blessed by my Father, take your inheritance in the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world (Matt. 25. 31/46), the sheep nations being those who were concerned for the Jewish people and how they were treated, whilst the goat nations were those who had no regard for the Jewish people, and the Lord said that, “they will go away to eternal punishment.” It is safe to assume that those nations which oppose Israel and which reside close to Israel to-day will be involved in this judgment
Judgment of Christian Saved People
This takes place in Glory and is a very interesting subject, but the question must be asked,“How did they get there?” In answer we must turn to 1 Thess.4.16/18. There we find the words,”the dead in Christ will rise first. After that we who are still alive and left will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so will they be with the Lord forever.’ Again the question must be asked, “where is the judgment?” To answer this we must turn to the scriptures again, 2 Cor. 5.10; 1 Cor. 3. 10/15; Rev.4.2/3 Rom.14.10-/12. There we find the Lord sitting on His Throne judging the Christians on what they did for Christ while they were on earth and presenting to them the crown/crowns earned in their service for the Master.. This does NOT include their sins. Their sins were dealt with at Calvary and have been separated from the sinner as far as the east is from the west at the moment of their salvation. Ps. 103.12. Their works, however, will be tested by fire. If their work is as gold it will be refined, as will the silver works, but if of wood, hay or stubble it will be burned up but they themselves will be saved. There is an interesting picture presented in scripture of this Throne. Above it there appears a rainbow, a sign by God of His mercy and love to mankind as shown after the flood. In like manner the Lord Jesus Christ shows His mercy and love to the saved people who come before His throne
The Great White Throne Judgment
At the end of the 1000 years reign of the Lord Jesus Christ, a resurrection takes place and all unbelieving persons are restored to life to face the consequences of their unbelief and rejection of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Rev. 20.11-18. Scripture tells us that Books are opened where the deeds done on earth are recorded. The most important of these books is The Book of Life, and if a persons name does not appear in that book then that person is destined to be cast into the Lake of Fire. It is a terrifying thought and should be enough to turn thousands to the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour, but so many people to-day have hardened their heart and will not believe the love that God has for them. It is interesting that there is no sign of any rainbow over this throne, and Christ's attribute of love and mercy are not shown at this judgment seat because of their rejection.
Scripture tells us that at the end of the millennium Satan who has spent the 1000 years imprisoned in the bottomless pit is to be released. Rev. 20.7-8. It is clear that he has not learned a thing from the imprisonment for he immediately goes about to deceive the nations once again. So successful is he that he gathers together a huge army. The Bible states that it is so large that its numbers are "as sands on the sea shore". The Bible goes on to tell that his march is against God's holy people. Can he defeat God in this last great battle? His fate is described in scripture as follows, "They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God's people, the city he loves .But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the Devil, who deceived them was thrown into the lake of burning sulphur....to be tormented day and night for ever and ever." Rev. 20.9-10
Renovation of the earth
With the question of sin and enemies being beneath the Saviour's feet, it would appear that the time was close for the Lord to hand over to His Father a sinless kingdom. However, over the long period of time that sin had been in control, it had left its mark on the earth. The Apostle Peter tells us that the earth is to be renovated by fire. 2 Peter 3.10
A Sinless,Wonderful, Perfect Eternity.
The Lord Jesus Christ had achieved the objective of handing over to the Father such a world. We are not told in scripture very much about eternity, but what we do know is that it will be nothing like the earth as we know it to-day. One big feature missing is the sea. I live close to the water and see it almost every day but the Bible tells us that there will be no more sea as we know it. Rev. 21.1. The renovation of the earth by fire suggested that the land mass we know will be much greater than presently exists and heaven will be vastly different being made new. Rev. 21.1 and also God tells us that "I am making everything new". Rev. 21.5.
God, the Lord of Glory will reside with His people. There will be no crying, pain, death or mourning, for God will wipe away all tears from our eyes and the old order of things has passed away. Rev. 21.4/6.
This is the perfect world and its people which I believe the Lord Jesus Christ asked us to pray for in His model prayer when He taught us to pray, "Thy kingdom come".
Where do you stand?
What will you do with Jesus?
Neutral you cannot be;
One day your heart will be asking,
"What will He do with me?"
Albert B Simpson