Series: Student Ministry: The Sermon on the Mount

A few weeks ago we established that not everyone has the right to call God Father. Only those who have trusted in Christ are called Children of God. Our right to call God Father was purchased by the finished work of Christ on our behalf. Then we saw that God, whom we call Father, is the Creator and Ruler of the Universe and His name is to be hallowed or reverenced. Now we are going to look at what Jesus meant when He told us to pray “Your Kingdom Come”.

What do we mean when we pray “Your Kingdom Come? That is the content of this message today.

I’m not sure what comes to mind when I say “your Kingdom come”. The idea of a kingdom is far from our understanding today. We don’t live in an era of kings and kingdoms. It’s been a long time since we’ve even seen one country attempt to take another country, unless you were watching the news a few years ago when Russia invaded the Crimean Peninsula, but you probably weren’t. We simply don’t live in an era of kings and changing kingdoms. This talk doesn’t really mean much to us.

Let’s think about how Western Civilization was established in about 30 seconds and you’ll see what a kingdom expanding looks like.

Alexander the Great, born in 356 BC, is a good place for us to start discussing this. He was from Macedonia and conquered an enormous swath of territory that included Turkey (before recent times was a powerful country), Iraq, Syria, Israel, Egypt, all the way into India in places like Pakistan and Tajikistan. He was a kind ruler who allowed those conquered to continue practicing their religions but he did bring Greek influence into the conquered worlds. This is seen in the money, languages, and plays that people used. Even the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek in a translation known as the Septuagint or the LXX.  Because of this influence Greek Philosophy and the Greek language was used far and wide. The Kingdom of the Greeks was massive and its influence was massive.

Another kingdom grew in relatively the same time period and that is the kingdom of the Romans. They took over the entire Italian Peninsula in 264 BC. They defeated Carthage in the Punic Wars, eventually destroying Carthage making Northern Africa Roman. They also defeated King Philip V of Macedonia in the Macedonian Wars, making it a Roman Province as well. As a Philosphy teacher of mine once said, “The Romans had a mighty army but they weren’t very smart, so they adopted Greek Customs and Philosophy.” So, even though Greek armies were destroyed, Greek culture lived on. The Roman language ended up winning the day though with much of Greek Literature being translated into Latin. And Christianity eventually became the religion of the Roman Empire after many years of persecution. Greek thinking, Roman Language, and Christianity would become the cornerstone of Western Civilization.

These are a few examples of kingdom expansions seen in history that affect us even today.

What about within Israel’s own history. God promised Abraham that his people would have a land of their own. After being rescued from slavery in Egypt they are given a land, a kingdom. God gives the people a kingdom and it comes in the battles that we read about in the Book of Joshua. We read of the encroaching enemies and then the expansion of the kingdom and the loss of portions of the kingdom and then invasions that led to the people of Israel being taken to foreign lands.

They understood what a kingdom was. They had seen kingdoms rise and fall. They were, at this time, living in their own land but ruled by Romans.

So, what did Jesus mean when He told us to pray, “Your kingdom come”?

I believe that there are two things that Jesus is telling us. First, we pray for the expansion of God’s Kingdom in the here and now. Second, we pray for the coming of God’s eternal Kingdom: The New Heavens and New Earth.

We Pray For The Salvation Of Sinners

God’s Kingdom grows here on Earth, in the here and now as people gain the right to call God “Father”. Remember a few weeks ago, we discussed the idea of calling God “Father”. We established that only those who had been adopted into God’s family through the finished work of Christ were able to call God “Father”. As God rules and reigns in the hearts of people, His Kingdom expands.

When we trust in Christ we are conquered by the gospel and made part of God’s Kingdom. The Bible knows of no person that is just a member of no kingdom. You are either a member of Christ’s Kingdom or a member of this present evil age. You are sons of God or sons of Satan. You are either a believer or one at enmity with God. And those who have become believers were once “children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3) and God was merciful to us and made us His children.

Here, we pray for this to continue with other people. We are praying for the mission that Christ gave us, to make disciples of all nations, will find great success. We pray for our friends and family to trust in Christ. We pray for those at our school to become believers. We pray for neighbors to come to faith in Christ. We pray for people all over the world to become believers.

We also pray for people to spread the message and for those who are already doing it to find great success. In this we pray for ourselves to be faithful witnesses to Christ’s finished work. We pray for our own success in sharing the gospel with others. We also pray for others to be successful in our schools or place of work. We pray for missionaries who are both here and abroad sharing the love of Christ with others.

In short, we pray for the salvation of sinners which is an expansion of God’s Kingdom.

Practically, as I’ve already mentioned I do this with the prayer mate app. I use it as I would the old notecard system that people used to use. I type out individuals that I want to pray for. And I also pray through “Operation World” and “Open Doors”. Here I can pray for a country and with “Open Doors” people and churches overseas that are facing persecution.

Let us be people who pray and work toward the expansion of God’s Kingdom here on Earth through the spread of the gospel of Christ.

We Pray For The Second Coming of Christ

There is coming a day when all things will be made right, when Heaven will meet Earth and all things sad will become untrue. There is coming a day when criminals will receive the justice that they deserve and the innocent will be vindicated. This is good news.

I hurt everyday from injuries that came from sports and then just being stupid as a young adult. There is coming a day when pain will be no more. I have friends and family who have suffered from debilitating mental illness. There is coming a day when mental illness will be no more. When I was about 12, my Mom would tell me how much pain my Great-Grandfather was in as he was dying of cancer from his bedroom. He would act okay when I went to talk with him, but he was suffering and everybody knew it. There is coming a day when there will be no more cancer. My son covers his ears when he urinates because the sound of it hitting the water hurts his ears. There will come a day when pain from sensory problems will be no more. I know some people who are victims of abuse whose abuser faced no criminal action in this life, injustice will at this time be no more. We have all been ravaged by the effects of sin in one way or another. And there is coming a day when that will be no more.

You may not long for that day when Christ returns and all things are set right but I’m telling you that you should be. And here, Jesus tells us that we should be praying for that day to come.

Ah Lord, when I think of the horrors of sin on Your creation and its effects on me, my family, my church, and the rest of the world I am moved to say “Your Kingdom Come”.

 R. Dwain Minor