“Asking for the Father’s Kingdom to Come”
INTRODUCTION What is the Meaning of Matthew 6.10 Part 1
Our text is in Matthew 6, but I’d to have you turn to Ps. 2 to introduce our text this morning, Psalm 2. Christianity and politics has been a point of intense debate throughout history. How involved should a Christian be in politics? What about the separation of church and state? The growth of Christianity in the Roman Empire, even while under persecution, led to Emperor Constantine issuing the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed toleration for the Christian religion. That Roman emperor helped organize the first Council of Nicaea in 325, which developed the Nicene Creed, still quoted by Christians today. And under Emperor Theodosius I, Christianity became the state Church of the Roman Empire in 380, becoming the Roman Catholic Church.
Augustine in the early fifth century A.D. wrote The City of God in large part to defend Christianity against the idea that Christians caused the fall of Rome. He said that the City of God, God’s city, was what was ultimately important. Despite Christianity’s designation as the official religion of the Empire, Augustine declared the message of the church to be spiritual rather than political. Christ followers should be concerned with the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem, rather than with earthly politics, he said.
Throughout the Middle Ages, the Pope claimed the right to depose the Catholic kings of Western Europe, and tried to exercise it, sometimes successfully and sometimes not so much, as in Henry VIII. And then you have the Holy Roman Empire, the Magna Carta, and the Crusades, not to mention our current debate of the separation of church and state and the Christian’s involvement in politics.
The Moral Majority was founded in 1979 by Jerry Falwell, out of a concern for the moral decline of the United States. That organization attempted to mobilize conservative Christians politically. It appears to have succeeded and evangelicals played a major role in electing Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush. The Moral Majority disbanded in the late 1980’s but evangelicals are still considered to be a major political force in the United States.
In fact, today according to [deacon name] Christerson (a sociology professor at BIOLA) and Richard Flory, also a professor, it’s the Charismatic’s turn. Charismatics, as their name suggests, are a group of people who hold to and emphasize the gifts of grace, particularly believing in and practising what they believe to be miraculous gifts, such as the gifts of miracles, healings, and what they would call speaking in tongues.
August 2011, 30,000 of these folks including gathered to hear from Rick Perry, who led in prayer. Rick Perry was running for president at the time. Christerson and Flory include those 30,000 people in a segment of Christianity they call INC Christianity, “Independent Network Charismatic.” There are popular, religious entrepreneurs who have close ties with conservative political figures.
Although not formally organized, Christerson and Flory, from their in depth interviews of 41 of these leaders, maintain that these leaders are not primarily focused on building congregations, but spreading beliefs and practices. They are not about evangelizing, so much as transforming society by placing Christians in powerful positions in society, in the 7 mountains of culture, which includes business, government, media, arts and entertainment, education, family and religion… “let’s place Christians in those powerful positions” they say, then we’ll change society. Christerson and Flory write, “Their leaders are not content simply to connect individuals to God and grow congregations. Most INC Christian groups we studied seek to bring heaven or God’s intended perfect society to Earth by placing ‘kingdom-minded people’ in powerful positions at the top of all sectors of society.”
And for example, Paula White, a popular charismatic pastor, became chair of the evangelical advisory board in Donald Trump’s administration. She delivered the invocation at his inauguration.
Similarly, Doug Ford, whose Progressive Conservatives just won majority government in Ontario, was on the stage of Toronto’s Prayer Palace mega-church, a charismatic church. Doug Ford stood solemnly as Pastor Paul Meln-i-chuk blessed him and his bid to be Ontario Progressive Conservative leader.
He tells his church, “We need Christians in high office to protect the church.” And when he blesses Doug Ford, he says “I’m sensing a deep and profound anointing,” Melnichuk told those in attendance.
Then a giant screen fills with the words FordforLeader.com. Ford speaks and says, “Go online … register, register your family and friends, because that’s the only way we can make a change in this province,” Ford told them. “And we will make sure — I can guarantee you we’ll make sure — the church has a voice. All the time.”
Who can fault Mr. Ford? Getting votes is part of the job application; no blame to him. However, what is the calling of the church? Although the New Testament doesn’t mention voting…and 1st century Christians probably voted, voting is a fine thing to do. Although the NT doesn’t mention getting involved in politics, there is nothing wrong with getting involved in politics or holding public office. Let’s be clear.
But what about politicizing the kingdom of heaven for the benefit of the kingdoms of earth, like what these charismatics are now doing, like Paul Melnichuk? Never!
In the history of North America, it seems that society has changed when the church has changed first. Just think of the First and Second Great Awakenings in America and how, through the transformation of individuals, society was greatly altered!
Or think of Billy Sunday’s ministry, the evangelist, whose preaching and ministry to individuals played a significant role in politics, leading to the passing of the 18th Amendment, on prohibition, the benefit of which we could debate, but it’s clear: individuals through preaching and prayer were changed first, then society.
If those churches involved in the Moral Majority, for example, in the 1980’s would have concentrated on obeying Jesus by praying for God’s kingdom to come then to put feet to those prayers, as we say, and make disciples instead of being a political force, North America would be a totally different place. It’s the same with INC Christianity today. How many millions of dollars have been spent by Christians trying to elect certain people? … by God’s grace, we can spend that money instead on winning souls for eternity.
The culture will always refuse to be moralized with Christian morality. The kingdom of Satan, the domain of darkness, will never be on a path of becoming more godly.
The church has not been given a command to elect the right politicians and get kingdom minded citizens in the right places in society, but we have been given the treasure of the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. The eternal kingdom will never be advanced by earthly politics. The kingdoms of this world are diametrically opposed to the kingdom of God, as Psalm 2 says. Look at Psalm 2 verse 1…
Psalm 2:1–3 1 Why are the nations in an uproar And the peoples devising a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, 3 “Let us tear their fetters apart And cast away their cords from us!” Why is it that the peoples are devising empty things and rulers have enacted laws against Yahweh and Christ?
Well, that’s what’s going on in the world, the nations, the provinces, and in our cities and towns. Generally speaking, the world leaders are against the LORD and His Christ.
Naturally, our hope is not in any political party or government. The church does not need politicians to defend it, to advance its cause, or to guard the truth. That’s the church’s job, by the power of Christ.
Instead, our job is to pray. Matthew 6:10 10 ‘Your kingdom come.’ You can turn to Matthew 6 now. That’s what we’re to do, pray! Yes, we long to see our culture changed, our nation godly, and our society transformed…what should we do? Pray, “Your kingdom come.”
The Father’s Kingdom
Who’s kingdom is this? Matthew 6:9–10 9 “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 ‘Your kingdom come.” It is the Father’s kingdom.
TRANS: What is the Father’s kingdom?
Not primarily an earthly rule
Well, first it is not primarily an earthly rule. During the time of the second Temple, before and during the time of Christ, the Jews taught that the Messiah would come and rescue the Jewish nation, destroy their enemies, and become king of the world.
However when the Messiah came, he continuously preaches, “Repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
TRANS: So it’s not primarily an earthly kingdom, but it’s also not a location.
Not a location
It’s not a place, a location. John 18:36 Jesus testifies before Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world.” And He said Luke 17:21 21 “…the kingdom of God is in your midst.” So, the Father’s kingdom is not a particular location…
TRANS: Oh, the kingdom is spiritual then. It must be the church?
not the church
No, it’s not the church because the kingdom is said to be “at hand” while elsewhere Mt. 16:18 the church’s growth was predicted to occur and it began at Pentecost (Acts 11:15-16). The kingdom is “right here,” but the church’s growth predicted to occur in the future. It can’t be the same thing.
Furthermore, [left hand down] members of the church have their citizenship in heaven as members of the kingdom … Philippians 3:20 20 “For our citizenship is in heaven.” Members of the universal church are citizens of the kingdom of heaven. Clearly, the kingdom is not the church.
TRANS: The kingdom is not primarily on earth, not a location, not the church, what is it?
The Kingdom of God is God’s rule or reign. When you think of the kingdom of God or the kingdom of heaven, think of the action of God’s reigning. He reigns.
For example, He reigns and rules over all of creation. Psalm 103:19 The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all.
The LORD’s rule is present, that is, going on right now.
Over in Daniel, and you could turn to Daniel 4. Daniel was written about 500 years before Christ. The pagan king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon is speaking in this passage. He’s already had a vision that he will live with the beasts in the field and eat grass like the cattle.
Daniel 4:30 “The king reflected and said, ‘Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?’
And the vision is fulfilled. He is sent to the beasts and the cattle to eat like the ox. And after the time is fulfilled, He praises the true king of kings… Let’s read verses 34-37
Daniel 4:34–37 34 “But at the end of that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever; For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom endures from generation to generation. 35 “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’ 36 “At that time my reason returned to me. And my majesty and splendor were restored to me for the glory of my kingdom, and my counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was reestablished in my sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me. 37 “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.” God is presently reigning over the whole universe as King. Nebuchadnezzar says he exalts and honors the King of heaven…
TRANS: God presently reigns and He currently humbles the pride of man to get people like Nebuchadnezzar into his kingdom. So, there is an entrance into the Father’s kingdom … and it can come to anyone…. If you could turn to Mark 1:15, and here is where we learn of the entrance into this present kingdom.
Entrance into the kingdom
God’s reign over the whole universe began at creation. But God’s rule was challenged when Adam and Eve chose to disobey God, plunging the entire human race into sin and rebellion against God. So because of that we all deserve God’s judgment of death!
After the disobedience, God chose a certain people, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And they were promised a land to live in.
And these promises are realized in the Exodus when the Lord delivers his people out of Egypt through Moses, establishes his covenant with them, and then returns them to the promised land. The people of Israel are governed by God, they are a theocratic nation. David, however, will eventually become king and rule in the land and his son Solomon will build the temple…. Than the kingdom is divided into Judah and Israel and as you read through the Kings you realize how short Israel falls. But the prophets bring hope! There is the promise of a new covenant and a new Jerusalem and of a new Davidic king who will one day rule over his glorious and eternal kingdom, banishing the effects of sin and death.
And then the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed one, the One who was promised to come by all the prophets… here He is, He has arrived on the scene!
Mark 1:15 15 [Jesus preached], “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
The fullness of the time has come, the Messiah arrives. And the theme of His preaching is the kingdom of God! It is said elsewhere that He began to preach, “the kingdom of God is at hand.” The kingdom of God is a constant theme that runs through the whole gospels. Jesus teaches many parables of the kingdom, entrance into the kingdom, it’s all over the gospels.
But how can Jesus say that the kingdom of God is at hand? Because He is the king of that kingdom and He Himself has come to earth. And He calls on all who live in the kingdoms of earth to do what? “Repent and believe the gospel.”
EXP: To repent is simply to change your mind, to have a complete change of mind with regards to your sin. Basically, you are turning from your sin, and hating your sin…not because it’s bad stuff you don’t like, but because it’s bad stuff that God doesn’t like: anger, lying, bitterness, lust.
Do you hate sinning against God? Do you hate your sin? Have you ever had a sense of utter disgust over your sin? And a desire never to sin against God?
That’s repentance. Then talk to Him about your sin, confess that sin to Him.
EXP: Then Jesus says, “… believe in the gospel.” What is the gospel? The gospel is the good news. The good news that the king of the kingdom has come in as we reflect back on his life, we know that He has died for our sins as the OT predicted He would and He was raised from the dead as the Old Testament predicted that He would.
Do you believe those facts? Do you trust Jesus Christ, the Lord, to save you from the horrible penalty of your sin? Trust in the King now! And seek of primary importance in your life, seek His kingdom and the righteousness that can be yours by trusting in Him alone.
TRANS: If the LORD presently rules over all and you can enter it today, in what sense are we to ask for it to come? “Father, Your Kingdom Come!”
The Coming of the Father’s Kingdom
It’s the Son’s Kingdom
You are still be in the book of Daniel, let me get you to turn to the 7th chapter.
Daniel 7:9–14 9 “I kept looking Until thrones were set up, And the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow And the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, Its wheels were a burning fire. 10 “A river of fire was flowing And coming out from before Him; Thousands upon thousands were attending Him, And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; The court sat, And the books were opened. … verse 13…13 “I kept looking in the night visions, And [mark this language] behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. 14 “And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.
Who is this speaking of? Verse 13, the Son of Man. To Him is given an everlasting dominion, that will always endure, will never be destroyed. Who is this Son of Man?
Matthew 26:64 has the answer! Turn to Matthew 26:64
This is Jesus and He is undergoing a trial before Caiaphas, the high priest. This event occurs in a matter of hours before Jesus dies on the cross.
Matthew 26:63–64 63 …And the high priest said to Him, “I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Do you remember those words? That is a direct reference to Daniel 7 when the Son of Man comes on the clouds of heaven. And the high priest didn’t waste any time, verse 65… he tears his robes and says, “he has blasphemed!” Clearly Caiaphas understood Jesus to refer to himself as the Son of Man, the Son of Man of Daniel 7. In fact, Jesus referred to Himself as the Son of Man more than any other title. The phrase itself occurs some 84 times in the Gospels alone.
Jesus is the Son of Man and the kingdom is His. Matthew 25:31 31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.” The Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne. He will sit down as King, ruling over all.
TRANS: The kingdom is the Son of Man’s, Jesus Christ. But the kingdom is also the Father’s.
It’s the Father’s Kingdom
When Jesus is explaining the parable of the tares, the weeds, which grow up among the wheat, [left hand] he compares the tares to the unbelievers and the wheat is compared to those who are saved.
The tares, the unbelievers, verse 40, are gathered up and burned with fire… Verse 42 they will be thrown into the furnace of fire, in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
However, verse 43 … “Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father….” See, it is the Father’s kingdom.
In eternity past, Ps. 2 says, the Father says to the Son “Son, ask of me and I will surely give the nations as your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron, you shall shatter them like earthenware.”
It is the Father’s kingdom to give, “Ask, and I will give you the nations.” Similarly in Psalm 110, the Father says to the Son, “sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” And the Father will stretch forth the Son’s strong scepter from Zion, in Jerusalem, saying, “Rule in the midst of Your enemies.” It’s the Father who says to the Son “I will make your enemies a footstool for your feet” and it is the Father who stretches forth the Son’s scepter, commanding Him to rule in the midst of His enemies. So, it is the Father’s kingdom to give.
Isaiah prophesies in chapter 9 that the Son would be given to us and that there would be no end to the increase of his government.
And all of that will be fulfilled one day when the Lord Jesus comes again to rule on this very earth! At that time, the nations will indeed be his inheritance and the very ends of the earth will be his possession…. And he will have his strong scepter stretched forth from Zion, which is Jerusalem on this earth, and he will rule on this earth in the midst of his enemies.
And that very vision is given to us through the apostle John in Revelation 20 when he says there that he saw those who have been martyred during the great tribulation and they came to life and reigned with Christ for 1000 years… Those redeemed ones in this life will have a role in that glorious kingdom and “they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.”
And after that comes the end, 1 Co. 15:24 says, “when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.”
After the Son of Man’s 1000 year reign on earth, He will deliver over the kingdom back to God the Father.
Matthew 13:41–43 41 “[At that very time, at the end of the 1000 year reign, He] will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His [millennial] kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, 42 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 “Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
TRANS: That, … that is the coming of the Father’s kingdom.
Asking that the Father’s Kingdom Comes
Now, you’re called upon to pray that it would! To Him is given an everlasting dominion, that will always endure, will never be destroyed. What should be our business? What should take up my heart, energy, my devotion? Moralizing the immoral? Spreading my beliefs to influence public policy… is that what should dominate my life? Not that getting involved in politics is wrong, clearly, but what about politicizing the kingdom of God for the sake of the kingdoms of men? Never!
No, we pray “Your Kingdom Come!” It is the Father’s kingdom to give and He is the one who will bring it to pass.
And to think that we are called upon to join in prayer to our Father that He would accomplish this glorious work?! What in estimable privilege!
He wants to include me in the coming of His kingdom?
1. But as we noted, the kingdom of God is God’s rule. He is ruling now. That’s why I pray “Your Kingdom come” when I pray that God would have a deeper rule in our hearts, that He would come and reign over us now in a way that makes His name more glorious.
2. You’re praying “Your kingdom come” when you pray that Jesus’ mission would be accomplished, when we pray that He’d use our offerings to Him to further that glorious kingdom by saving people from their sins that people of every tribe, tongue, people, and nation would come and serve him.
3. You’re praying “Your kingdom come” when you are praying for those for whom you disciple. When you are praying that they would follow Christ, turn to him and praying that Christ would change them.
4. And perhaps, primarily, you are praying “your kingdom come” when you’re asking that Jesus Christ would come and that He would reign on this earth and that the Father would receive back His kingdom.
What a glorious privilege that He has called on us, to call on Him and that Him using us, by His grace, we are advancing the Father’s kingdom through prayer.
CONCLUSION What is the Meaning of Matthew 6.10 Part 1
And one day Jesus will come from heaven to earth judging and making war…on that day, all the governments of earth will mourn and wail over Him and as He comes riding on that white horse, they will see His eyes like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems … He’ll be clothed in a robe dipped in blood and From His mouth will come a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” Our glorious king comes!
…..and there will be the loud voices of a great multitude of people, saying in triumph… Revelation 11:15 15 …“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”
And we’ll all be able to say together “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come.” And then we who are His, whom He knows and loves, who are His children, the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, [even] for all ages to come.’ (Dan. 7:18).
Glorious day! Pray then in this way “Your Kingdom Come!” EXPLAIN 51 Jesus Shall Reign [THIS WEEK pray this]