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. Your Kingdom come

YOUR KINGDOM COME

We are back with the disciple’s prayers as taught to them by Jesus Christ. We have looked at this section from the viewpoint of our attitude. We have studied the term Father and dug deep to see what our attitude ought to be when we say that. Then we looked at the first petition ‘hallowed be your name’, which is not a statement of praise but a desire to see the Lord’s name made holy in our midst. Three days ago, we turned to the next petition, “your Kingdom come”. Again, we are looking at our attitude when we pray this. Let us read the prayer together again.

Luke 11:1-4 (ESV) 1 Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” 2 And he said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread, 4 and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”

The first attitude then when we pray this, is that we are expressing something that is the antithesis of our former life.

The last angle we were approaching this was stated as follows.  To say that He is your King when you resent and resist and reject his rule is a contradiction between a confession and a course. Does your course match your confession?

Paul has another list in Ephesians 5:3-10 (ESV) 3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

God is not saying that someone who is in the Kingdom could not possibly fall into sin. We have seen this is detail in previous studies. We all fall into sin, well at least I do, and I hate it every time I do. He is saying: watch the course of a person's life and where there is this habitual pattern, a kind of a rebellion against holiness and a running after sin, wilfully,  then there is someone who does not have an inheritance in the Kingdom of God.

It is interesting that in these kinds of sections, God is always careful to tell us do not be deceived about this. You need to be sure about this you need to know this is the truth. You see this in verse 6: 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.”

So, we have seen the list in Colossians 3 yesterday in our devotion, and now in Ephesians 5. We must not think that anybody of us are exempt from these lists. Take the Colossians 3 list. How does Paul address these brothers and sisters who in chapter 3 are capable of doing these things? Colossians 1:1-2 (ESV) 1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2 To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.”

It is to saints and faithful brothers that he says, make dead, mortify the flesh, as they are able to act as if they were still in the former Kingdom, but as they are now in the New Kingdom, their behaviour must be adjusted. In the Old Kingdom we pursued these things, now we hate the deeds of the flesh and we flee from it. And this you will do till you are glorified.

There is another list in Galatians 5:16-21 (ESV)16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

That is not even the whole list as Paul says: “and things like these.” No wonder Paul says in Romans 7:21-25 (ESV) 21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.”

Sadly, so often our behaviour still reflects the old Kingdom and not the new. So, when we pray: “your Kingdom come” it is to say, that I desire your rule. I do not want self-rule, I want your rule, I do not want my Kingdom, I want your Kingdom.  I know that I need to be the antithesis of what I used to be.  We walked according to the course of this world when we were going our own way, ignorant of the fact that the Prince of the power of the air, was informing our thinking, and leading our steps, and destroying us every step of the way.  When we were there, we resisted God's ruling we resented God’s ruling and rejected God’s ruling.  And the evidence that we were transferred from the domain of darkness into the Kingdom of God's beloved son, is that now we desire his rule and rejoice in his rule. We want to do his will on earth as it is in heaven. That is why we pray: “your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”, which is to say your will be done in my life.

Second thing we say when we say, “your Kingdom come”, is that this is also then the antithesis of this present age.

We are asking this. This is the same grammar you found in the previous petition. It is an aorist, passive, imperative. This is ‘let your Kingdom come’, or ‘let your Kingdom be established’.  We are asking God to do this, and the reason why we are asking God to do this, it is because we are dissatisfied with the way things are in this world. We do not enjoy the world as it is, we are looking for a better day we are longing for a time that is still in the future.

We are living during an age amid a world that is in rebellion against God. This world does not rejoice in God's rule, this world is not receiving God's rule. This world is a rebellion against God and that grieves our hearts. Look at all the protests around the world demanding that which God calls sin as their right. We sin, but we know it is not right, and we ask God to deliver us.

Go and look at what is happening around the world. Many people are still under the rules of that which has been established over the years with a Christian flavour. We can list the rules that have been put in place that they hate. And they fight against it. They do not want to be associated with anything with a taste of godliness. But this is not new. We read about it in Psalm 2:1-3 (ESV) 1 Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying, 3 “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”

They have one message.  We do not submit to God son. If you want to the spiritual nature of this world, just remember that the true King was offered, and the people chose a murderer instead. They chose a robber instead of the Lord of Glory. The Bible describes Barabbas as both a murderer and a robber. And is it not instructed that they chose a murderer and robber since their father is a murderer in a robber. We would prefer a murderer and a robber to the King of life. When you reject  Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, that is exactly what you are saying, that you prefer your father Satan who is a murderer and a liar and a robber a destroyer to the King who gives life.

John 18:36 (ESV) 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”

The Kingdom that we exist in as believers, required the death of the son of God. It would not be brought about by some military kind of action. It required His shed blood. What we are looking for, will not be established by military might or political activity. In that sense it really does not matter if Biden or Trump wins the US elections. The future Kingdom that we await will be brought by Jesus himself.  We look for the King and when the King comes, he will judge this world, and his Kingdom will be established on the earth. We long for that day, we look for that day, we desire that day, a day in which righteousness will flow over this planet.

2 Peter 3:13-15 (ESV) 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 14 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him”

John Piper said it very well. He says: “the mystery of the Kingdom is the surprising fact, but the Kingdom comes in two stages, not just one. The first stage is like a mustard seed, and not a military coupe.  The King comes first on the donkey with a branch of peace and amnesty. Later he will come on a great White Horse with a sword of judgment. Many Kingdom blessings have been fulfilled, but the consummation is still future.” And then Piper goes through he compares the now but the not yet. Let us see what he says: “we know that Christ has already purchased our healing, but we still groan with sickness. We have already passed from death to life but we still die, we already have the sanctifying spirit as a down payment of our inheritance, but the war between flesh and spirit goes on every day, we have already been acquitted of all sin in Christ, but we must go on every day praying forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. We already have our citizenship in the Kingdom of God but for now must still submit to the rulers of this world. In a word every blessing of the age to come is already ours in Christ, but God wills for us to come into our inheritance patiently. Acts 14:22 (ESV) “22 saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. It is God's way to make us fit for the Kingdom”

So, this prayer points to the fact that we have been converted, we desire God's rule. It also points to a dissatisfaction that is now in our hearts as we look out at this world, because this world is in rebellion against God. We are asking for the Lord to establish His rule all over this world.

It leads to a third thing we are saying in this petition, and that is this. It is also the antithesis of competing allegiances.

When we say your Kingdom, what we are saying is Lord your Kingdom means more to me than anything this world has to offer. Let your Kingdom come and read what this world represents be made right, wiped out, judged. May your Kingdom come your will be done on this earth as it is in heaven. My allegiance Lord is to you as my King, my allegiance is to your Kingdom, and this is what I desire. Jesus is where your ultimate allegiance rests, His Kingdom is where your ultimate allegiance rests. God's rule supersedes national allegiances. Meditate on that fact that today somewhere all over the world believer have been saying: “your Kingdom come”. And we say at the same time, even so come quickly Lord Jesus.

Does He have people in in Russia, in Iran who love the Lord Jesus.  And they are looking for another Kingdom, not a Russian or an Iranian one, but a Christ Kingdom. There are people in China looking for Christ Kingdom, there people in Africa looking for Christ King, there are people in Afghanistan who are looking for Christ Kingdom. There are people in Polokwane and South Africa who are looking for Christ’s Kingdom.

Do you realise that there is not a nation in the world that is Christian? I get upset every time I hear people trying to apply 2 Chronicles 7:14 (ESV) that says: 14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land”, to South Africa.

My soul just reacts negatively to that because I am afraid that we are proud people who don't realize how hateful our nation's ways are to a holy God. That is not to say there aren’t many believers in this nation, praise God that there are, and it is not to say that in this nation there are those who know a measure of blessing due to the fact that we've been influenced by the gospel. There have been blessings here and we are still blessed in many ways to live in South Africa. But the idea that we are a Christian nation or for that fact a Christian continent is so far from the truth. We dare not sing “God bless Africa, guide her children.” Why must God bless Africa. God guides His children. Just look at what is happening around us. South Africa has become unchristian liberal, Godless to say the least. Look at abortion on demand, look at the reclassification of marriages, to now include men with men and women with women. Look at the corruption, the violence, the murders, abuse of women and children, farm murders, murders taking place in villages, the raping of babies. Do we not see how many people black and white are taken advantage of in the name of prosperity? This nation is not God’s Kingdom, this nation needs salvation. We must humble ourselves before the Lord, and realise the true state that we are in. I thank God for the blessings he pours out upon us but I am looking for a better country. I am looking for a heavenly country.

This is exactly what the Saints of God are doing. We read this in Hebrews 11 about the men and women of faith. Hebrews 11:13-16 (ESV) “13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.”

Oh Lord, let your Kingdom come. Let the Lord Jesus come. So, God's rule supersedes national allegiances, Gods will also supersede personal allegiances. When you say Jesus is your King that means that your allegiance to him supersedes any other relationship in your life. And it in forms every other relationship in your life.

Can I ask you today?  Do you love Jesus more than anyone, even those relationships that are so sweet, because you have a relationship with a fellow believer? You might be married to a believer, have children who are believers. It is wonderful, such a blessing but do you love Christ supremely. Do you realise that that is what unites us? The fact that we belong to the same spiritual family, that God is our father in Jesus Christ, by adoption, that we share that same new nature the Lord creates in His people. Do you understand that this is what tears down the barriers between people that divide them? It is our allegiance to our King, and the acknowledgement of our family relationship, and it is the love that God pours out within our hearts for him and for each. It brings unity when we realize these things and believe these things and have experienced these things. Ephesians 2:18-22 (ESV) 18 For through him we both (Jews and Gentiles) have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

If you do not look at people that way you look at people sinfully. There are two families in this world those and Adam and those in Christ. The only issue that matters is are you my brother or not?

 

I am going to end here today. We have a little bit left for devotions tomorrow, which I will add here.