Matthew 6:5-15


Beginning Prayer:

Thy Kingdom come to our hearts in Jesus’ name; AMEN

 Subject:   “The Lord’s Prayer” (Thy Kingdom Come. Thy will be done)

 God’s Coming Kingdom on the Earth In thumbing through historys pages, one must remain at length in the reading of the fabulous nineteenth centurybetter known as the Victorian Era—for it was in this period, under the reign of Queen Victoria, that the British Empire came to its great expansion through colonization. This was, in truth, the Golden Age. Scientific accomplishments gave impetus to the times, and science began to prophesy that it would bring in a new world order, a new age. Out of so promising a background, the twentieth century was born in high hopes and aspirations. Perhaps there was never a more propitious time for high ideals and dreams than the opening of the twentieth century. With a fanfare of trumpets, it moved upon the scene. Optimism was the dominant note of the hour. Man was going forth in that day as a knight clad in shining armor. “Onward and upward forever” was the catch phrase of the new day. Just around the comer was the millennial kingdom—coming to pass ipso facto—for man had willed it and had made the world a glorious place! Now the church, quick to catch the spirit of the age and permeated with this leaven of false hope, spoke bravely of converting the world. In the writings of the year 1901 lies an interesting bit of reading on the Lords Prayer. Listen to this kind of daydreaming: The Prayer, thus taught us, gives faith and hope that His kingdom is coming. The suns dawning rays on the mountain tops are the assurance that the perfect day will come. The best things in individuals and in nations, increasing each decade, are proof of their final prevalence!1 Further, we note that the Student Volunteer Movement of 1912 had as its motto: “The World for Christ in this Generation.” In later years, a minister identified with this movement told me, “It is hard for me today to realize that at that time we actually believed that the world would be won for Christ within the next few years.” There was a great missionary emphasis in the early part of the twentieth century. Africa, China, and Japan were open fully to the gospel, and inroads were made for the cause of Christ everywhere throughout the world. About that same time, a Peace Conference was held at The Hague in Holland. At this conference men wore little ploughshares made out of swords upon the lapels of their coats. “There will never be another war,” they said. “There will be a warless world—we are coming into a new day.” It is difficult for us today to relate to the thinking of men in that day. Postmillennialism was in the saddle, and riding mankind was a push towards “building the kingdom.” In fact, the church was made synonymous with the kingdom in that day. But frankly, any suggestion of the coming of Jesus Christ would have been a source of great embarrassment, as His coming would only have interfered with the accomplishments of men, holding up the glorious program they had for self-improvement of the race. Men who were premillennial and did speak of the coming of Christ were looked down upon—they were considered strange individuals.  And strange seemed the messages of such men as Dr. Brooks, Dr. Wilbur Chapman, Dr. Morehouse and Dr.  Torrey. In his introduction to Dr. W. E. Blackstones little book, “Jesus is Coming,” Dr. Torrey stated how difficult it was to preach the precious hope in days when popular opinion would have agreed 1 Author unknown. 14 that the sweeping successes of man would surely bring in the kingdom. But there has come a great change! In the race today, all the way from statesman down to the humblest ranks, people are disappointed, discouraged, distraught, and disillusioned. What has happened since the dawn of the twentieth century? An inventory includes wars the likes of which the world had never seen. A worldwide depression swept over us, and today a godless ideology threatens Christianity. Science is no longer the savior of the race but the destroyer. In the world of the spiritual, postmillennialism is as dead as a dodo bird. You will not find on the topside of the earth today a reputable theologian who is postmillennial. Now that does not mean that they have become premillennial—they have not. They have become amillennial. They have given up the idea of the Millennium altogether because they have come to the conclusion that they are not getting the contract from God to build the kingdom of heaven here upon this earth. Your Kingdom Come… An idealistic character in Robert Brownings poem, Pippa Passes, sings forth the spirit of the nineteenth century: The years at the spring And days at the morn; Mornings at seven; The hillsides dew-pearled, The larks on the wing; The snails on the thorn: Gods in his heaven Alls right with the world!  But in our present day I fear we shall have to turn to Shakespeares Hamlet for a summary of our age of confusion. It is there that we find the line, Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. There is something definitely wrong in this world in which we live. In spite of that, however, men are still talking bravely about building the kingdom. But, my friend, they are conducting a bankruptcy sale on a new world order and a fire sale on a new social order. I am of the same opinion as Dr. George Guille who said that it seems as if the church is in the business of making the world a better place for men to go to hell in. Yes, the church was engaged, and feverishly so, in its program for making the world religious when it suddenly became infatuated with an idea that greatly expanded its program—namely, that the church could and would bring the kingdom of God here on this earth. Now this term “kingdom” causes, I suppose, more confusion than any other term in Scripture. What meaning is wrapped up in that word? I do not want to appear too dogmatic where good men differ, but there are certain basic principles that we can state. And I would like the liberty of making this personal observation. For years I thought that the Old Testament and the Epistles were difficult since they contained doctrine. But I thought the Gospels were simple and, in a measure, quite easy to comprehend. May I say to you that I have arrived at the conclusion that the Old Testament and the Epistles are simple, while the most difficult portion of the Word of God is the Gospels!  It is in the Gospels that we find the theme song, “The Kingdom.”  “Pippa Passes,” part I, lines 221-228  Hamlet, act 1, sc.  line 90 15 Now if I can make clear to you something of what this kingdom means, it will help you, I believe, more than any other one thing to get a correct perspective of the Word of God and of life. Basically, mention of the kingdom lies in the Old Testament. When John the Baptist appeared with the Lord Jesus Christ, they began with the message: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Now, neither the Lord Jesus nor John explained it; neither shed any light upon it in the sense of attempting to define it. This argues that the people to whom they were speaking understood what they meant. It is that kingdom which, at first, had been vouchsafed to David, of which God said to him, “Ill bring One to sit on your throne, Ill bring the Messiah, and He will reign in righteousness and justice and peace on this earth (see 2 Samuel 7:12-17). The prophets took up this song and sang it in the dark hours of the night. A day was coming when Jerusalem would become the very center of this earth—the Capital City, if you please. It was the bright ray of hope in the darkest hour of these people. They sang that the entire earth would be ruled over by this One who was to come. Even nature would be affected. The desert would blossom as the rose. The sun, moon and stars would be affected. Just as the events that took place in Bethlehem made it outshine all the other thousands of cities of Judah, so is this little planet of ours made the jewel of the great universe of God—for here is where the glory of God was to break! May I say that this kingdom is a progressive and growing thing! Isaiah said: Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:7) My own point of view—and like many McGee theories, it may not be too good—is that this kingdom will increase and grow throughout eternity. That is going to be one of the glories of it. There will be nothing static or sterile about this kingdom at all; it will be characterized by constant growth! And I think it is defined in our petition, “Your kingdom come.” Your Will be Done on Earth as it is in Heaven “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” What does the Lord Jesus mean as He gives this petition? Is it that the will of God, which is all prevailing in heaven, shall ultimately prevail here upon this earth? Yes, His glory will shine forth on this earth! It is Gods intention that His will shall someday prevail here where rebellion has broken out and man lives in sin and unbelief. AMEN.

 Week # 6

Weekly Pattern:      Priorities

 Prayers from the Bible:

 Questions: These questions are (Agree/disagree) explain as much as you can.

 1). The Kingdom of God is not a real earthly Kingdom, it’s a spiritual kingdom – Agree/Disagree
2). The Kingdom of God is something Jesus didn’t really talk about – Agree/Disagree
3). The Kingdom of God has not yet come. It will come when Jesus returns – Agree/Disagree
4). The Kingdom of God is something only church leaders can see – Agree/Disagree
5). The Kingdom of God is something all Christians are meant to build – Agree/Disagree
6). The Kingdom of God is as small as a mustard seed but stretches across the world – Agree/Disagree
7). The Kingdom of God is something Jesus said had arrived – Agree/Disagree
8). The kingdom of God is located in Jerusalem – Agree/Disagree

 Weekly Reading Assignment: (Acts 11-12)

 Weekly Song:  (Matthew 26:30)

 Weekly Praise:        Praise the Lord

 Let’s Hallow His name by rehearsing Who He is:

 Ending Prayer: