Tuesday, September 18, 2012, Part 2
“In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come” (Matthew 6:9).
IDEA: When we pray, “Your kingdom come,” we are praying for something that touches on the past, the present, and the future.
PURPOSE: To help listeners understand what we pray for when we ask, “Your kingdom come.”
Jesus told us to pray, “Your kingdom come.” Do you think every Christian who prays that prayer is asking for the same thing?
I. Christians have often disagreed about Christ’s kingdom.
Some have argued that this is merely a prayer for the second coming of Christ. It has nothing much to do with our present life.
Others have argued that it only has to do with our present life. It is a mandate for social action. We will bring in God’s kingdom now by doing His will on earth now. It was a popular view in the 19th/early 20th centuries.
Still others argue that this prayer is fulfilled only through the salvation of souls. When every last person is saved, then the kingdom will come.
II. The biblical reality has some of all these qualities.
Jesus has already been declared the Sovereign King (Psalm 2).
The verb come, however, points to the decisive time when Jesus will return to judge the world and set up His eternal kingdom. It looks to the time that the apostle Paul wrote about when there will “be righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).
The optimism of the 19th century that imagined that we could bring in the kingdom has been shattered by devastating wars. Helmut Thielicke  stood in a bombed-out church and declared, “In this world of death, in this empire of ruins and shell-torn fields, we pray, ‘Thy kingdom come!’ We pray it more fervently than ever.”
Yet, when Jesus came, He brought the kingdom in His person.
His first words spoken after reading from Isaiah were, “the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:7).
Later He announced, “The kingdom of God is in your midst” (Luke 17:21).
The kingdom was a major theme in Jesus’ preaching. The word kingdom appears 49 times in Matthew, 16 times in Mark, and 38 times in Luke.
 Helmut Thielicke, Our Heavenly Father, p. 60.